5 time NBA champion, 18 time NBA all-star, 2 time Olympic gold medals, and one of the most iconic athletes of the modern day, Kobe Bryant, has died at the age of 41.
Bryant was travelling in his private helicopter when it crashed in Calabasas, Los Angeles. Four other people were killed, including his 13-year-old daughter Gianna ‘Gigi’.
Investigations into the crash are ongoing, it is currently believed to have been caused by bad weather. The helicopter was believed to be on its way to Gianna’s basketball game in Thousand Oaks.
At 18 he was the youngest player in NBA history, he entered the league straight from High School, where he set the all-time scoring record for southeastern Pennsylvania basketball.
He left a legacy which sees him regarded as one of the greatest players in NBA history, in 2014 he passed Michael Jordan to move into third place on the all-time NBA scoring list.
Bryant’s electrifying performances in basketball attracted much love from all fans of the game. His highest single game total was 81 points in 2002 against the Toronto Raptors, the second highest in NBA history.
Plagued by injuries in the final years of his career, he retired in 2016. In his final game he led a last place Lakers to a surprising 101-96 win over the Utah Jazz, scoring 60 points.
After retiring from basketball, he launched a production company, Granity, He won an Academy Award in 2018 for the short film, “Dear Basketball,” which was based on a poem he wrote before he said goodbye to the NBA.
Kobe Bryant is survived by his wife, Vanessa, and three daughters, Natalia, Bianca and Capri.
On the 25th of January 2020, Lebron James became the third highest scorer in NBA history, passing Kobe’s record. He sent out this congratulatory tweet, which incidentally happened to be his last.
People around the world are mourning the tragedy of the helicopter crash, and declaring their support for the families of the deceased in this difficult time.