NBA Legend Kobe Bryant Dies in Chopper Crash

January 26, 2020, 10:36 AM HST (Updated January 26, 2020, 5:31 PM)
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Kobe Bryant, long-time Los Angeles Laker and NBA legend, died Sunday in a helicopter crash in Calabasas California. His daughter Gianna, who was 13 years old, also perished in the crash.

Bryant and his daughter were among nine casualties in a crash that left no survivors, according to a report by ESPN. An investigation into the crash is ongoing.

Bryant was never far from the news but made headlines Saturday night when Lakers forward LeBron James passed him for third place on the NBA’s all-time scoring list. He congratulated James on his accomplishment on Twitter saying, “Continuing to move the game forward @KingJames. Much respect my brother #33644.” It was Bryant’s last public post on the social media site.

“Kobe’s a legend, that’s for damn sure,” James said Saturday night, hours before Bryant’s death.

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In what is widely considered one of the best 10 NBA careers ever, Bryant won five NBA championships for the Lakers, a regular-season MVP award, two NBA Finals MVPs and two Olympic Gold Medals on the US National Team.

He was drafted right out of high school in 1996, going 13th to the Charlotte Hornets before being traded to the Lakers. At the time, he became the youngest player in NBA history.

Bryant’s nickname was the Black Mamba because of his devastating offensive skills.

He is survived by his wife, Vanessa, and three of his children. Bryant was 41 years old.

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