NBA legend Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter died Sunday in a helicopter crash in suburban Los Angeles, US media reports said, in an accident confirmed by police that left nine people dead.
Initial reports had indicated that there were five people onboard, but later, it emerged that there were nine passengers on the helicopter.
BREAKING: Kobe Bryant Has Died In A Helicopter Crash https://t.co/42oINV9ZUU— TMZ (@TMZ) January 26, 2020
Los Angeles County Sheriff's officials said there were no survivors from the morning crash in foggy conditions on a hillside in Calabasas, west of Los Angeles.
The helicopter was described as a Sikorsky S-76, Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Allen Kenitzer said.
TMZ was the first US outlet to report that Bryant was among the fatalities. The NBA icon's death was later confirmed by ESPN, CNN and the Los Angeles Times citing unidentified sources.
TMZ reported that Bryant's wife, Vanessa was not among those on board the helicopter.
Early reports of Bryant's death sent shockwaves throughout the world, with fellow stars and celebrities expressing disbelief at the news.
"This can't be true," Dallas Mavericks star Luka Doncic wrote on Twitter. "No please."
Kobe Bryant's last tweet:
Continuing to move the game forward @KingJames. Much respect my brother 💪🏾 #33644— Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) January 26, 2020
The crash came only hours after the 41-year-old former Los Angeles Lakers icon was passed by current Lakers star LeBron James for third on the all-time NBA scoring list in a Saturday game at Philadelphia.
Bryant's final post on social media had been a tweet congratulating James on surpassing him.
"Continuing to move the game forward @KingJames," Bryant wrote. "Much respect my brother #33644".
Bryant was a five-time NBA champion in a career that began in 1996 straight out of a high school and lasted until his retirement in 2016.
He also was a two-time Olympic gold medalist, helping spark the US squad of NBA stars to titles in 2008 at Beijing and 2012 at London.
Neymar dedicates PSG goal to Kobe Bryant
Neymar dedicated his second goal at Lille to Kobe Bryant, whose death on Sunday in a helicopter crash shocked the world.
The Brazilian slotted home the 52nd-minute penalty that put PSG two goals up in the French Ligue 1 clash and went over to the television cameras by the side of the Stade Pierre Mauro pitch to make the number 24 with his fingers in honour of Bryant's shirt number.
Bryant had been nominated for the NBA Hall of Fame in December.
NBA all-time leading scorer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar paid tribute to Kobe Byrant:
Most people will remember Kobe as the magnificent athlete who inspired a whole generation of basketball players. But I will always remember him as a man who was much more than an athlete. pic.twitter.com/9EZuwk8wrV— Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (@kaj33) January 26, 2020
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