Kobe Bryant was killed in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California on Sunday, January 26, 2020. His daughter, Gianna, 13, was also killed in the crash. She was one of nine on board.
The NBA legend, 41, was traveling with at eight other people in his private helicopter when it went down
The Federal Aviation Administration identified the helicopter as a Sikorsky S-76, which Bryant owned. It crashed under “unknown circumstances.”
The FAA said it was informed by local authorities that were nine people on board at the time. There were no survivors.
On Sunday, Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva, Los Angeles County Fire Department Chief Daryl Osby and other authorities held a press conference to address the helicopter crash in Calabasas, California, that claimed the life of Bryant, his daughter, and seven others including the pilot.
“All survivors were determined to have been perished,” Osby said, adding it took authorities eight minutes to get to the crash site.
Bryant is survived by Vanessa, 37, and their three surviving children together: daughters Natalia, 17, Bianka, 3, and son Capri, 7 months.
Earlier this month, the former NBA star — who retired in 2016 — revealed that he had recently started watching basketball all the time because of his 13-year-old daughter.
“Before Gigi got into basketball I hardly watched it, but now that’s she’s into basketball, we watch every night,” Kobe told former NBA players Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson on the Showtime Basketball podcast All the Smoke.
Kobe and his daughter also attended several Lakers games before the start of the new year, marking the first time he had been to a game since his jersey was retired in 2017.
“We just had so much fun because it was the first time I was seeing the game through her eyes,” the five-time NBA champion said of sharing the experience with his daughter.
“It wasn’t me sitting there, you know, as an athlete or a player or something like that, and you know it’s like about me, and I don’t like that,” he added. “It was her, she was having such a good time.”
Kobe Bryant was born August 23, 1978 in Philadelphia, PA, the son of former NBA player Joe “Jellybean” Bryant. He was drafted out of high school in 1996 in the first round as the 13th pick by the Charlotte Hornets, who then traded him to the Lakers.
Since the start of his basketball career, Bryant was one of the most accomplished men in the NBA, having played all 20 seasons with the Los Angeles Lakers.
He ended his career in 2016. In his final NBA game, Bryant scored 60 points, helping the Los Angeles Lakers defeat the Utah Jazz, 101-96. He scored 23 points in the final quarter.
Bryant won an Oscar in 2018 for best short animated film, which was based on a short poem he wrote on his feelings about basketball. His “Dear Basketball” was the first time a former professional athlete was nominated for an Oscar and the first to win an Oscar in any category. Bryant was also the first African American to win in the Best Animated Short Film category.
Until yesterday, he was the third-leading scorer in NBA history with 33,643 points but was surpassed LeBron James. James paid tribute to Bryant with special Nike shoes during the game against the Philadelphia 76ers.
After the game, Kobe Bryant congratulated James on his latest milestone.
“On to #2 @kingjames! Keep growing the game and charting the path for the next,” the retired star shared on Instagram.
“Continuing to move the game forward @KingJames. Much respect my brother 💪🏾 #33644,” Bryant tweeted.
Continuing to move the game forward @KingJames. Much respect my brother 💪🏾 #33644
— Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) January 26, 2020