January 26, 2020
NBA superstar Kobe Bryant has died following a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California, the City of Calabasas has reported.
Kobe Bryant Dead: NBA Superstar Killed In Helicopter Crash
Four other people on board also died, the city said. The news was originally reported by the celebrity website TMZ. It said Bryant’s wife Vanessa was not on board. The LA Times also confirmed the death. 
The LA County Sheriff’s Department had tweeted that five people died in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, but did not identify the victims.
The City of Calabasas later confirmed Bryant’s death, saying on Twitter: “It is with great sadness that we learn of the death of Kobe Bryant and four others in a helicopter crash in Calabasas.”Emergency services put out the flames of the crash site, the sheriff’s department said, posting a picture of a fire engine and smoke emerging from a ravine.
Bryant, who retired in 2016, was known to use a helicopter for travel dating to his days as a player when he commuted to games in a Sikorsky S-76, TMZ said.
Bryant was a star for the Los Angeles Lakers for two decades, winning five championships and making 18 All-Star Games.
Bryant and his wife have four daughters: Gianna, Natalia, Bianca and Capri, who was born in June 2019.
A press conference will take place shortly in Los Angeles, at which the authorities will “provide details on the tragic helicopter crash that occurred this morning in Calabasas”.Having announced his plans to retire in 2015, NBA commissioner Adam Silver called Bryant “one of the greatest players in the history of our game”.
He was named the NBA’s Most Valuable Player in 2008 and was Finals MVP on two occasions.
Bryant – who was born in Philadelphia in 1978 – was drafted at number 13 by the Charlotte Hornets in 1996 but was immediately traded to the Lakers.
The Lakers retired both of Bryant’s shirt numbers – eight and 24 – in a ceremony in December 2017, when then franchise president Magic Johnson said: “We’re here to celebrate the greatest who has ever worn the purple and gold.”
He stood third in the all-time NBA points list until Saturday night, when current Laker LeBron James pushed him down to fourth place.
James had told NBA.com after the game: “I’m just happy to be in any conversation with Kobe Bryant, one of the all-time greats to ever play.”
Bryant tweeted on Saturday night: “Continuing to move the game forward @KingJames. Much respect my brother.”
Before his death was confirmed, tributes poured in for the former Laker.
Basketball player Kevin Love tweeted: “Please no. Please god no. It can’t be true.”
Tennis player Andy Murray’s Instagram story read: “This has hit me hard. Thinking of all his family, friends and colleagues.”
Former England striker Gary Lineker wrote: “Oh no. How awful. One of the greatest sportsmen of our lifetime. Utterly tragic”, while current England forward
Raheem Sterling wrote: “Rest easy Legend”.
Six-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady said: “We miss you already Kobe”, while retired NBA star Dwyane Wade wrote: “Nooooooooooo God please No!”.
Former sprinter Usain Bolt tweeted: “Still can’t believe @kobebryant.” This is a breaking news story and will be updated. Follow HuffPost UK on Twitter here, and on Facebook here.Related... Sports Stars And Fans Pay Tribute To Kobe Bryant After Superstar's Death
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