On Sunday, January 26, NBA legend and retired Los Angeles Laker, Kobe Bryant, 41, was killed in a fatal helicopter crash in Calabasas, California. Bryant’s 13 year old daughter, Gianna, and one of her teammates were among the other passengers killed in the accident.
Nine Killed in Crash
Los Angeles officials confirmed that, although initial reports indicated five passengers on the aircraft, there were actually nine.
The crash was called in at 9:47 AM. Authorities said the helicopter was in flames when they arrived at the scene. Furthermore, the incident sparked a quarter-acre brush fire. Flames were put out by 10:30 AM. The aircraft reportedly left John Wayne Airport in Orange County around 9:00 AM, Sunday. Furthermore, weather conditions in the area at the time of the accident were reported as foggy and cloudy, conditions known to provide extremely low visibility.
There were no survivors.
The Effects of Bryant’s Death
With many NBA games taking place on Sunday, several teams held a 24 second moment of silence to honor Bryant and his jersey number, 24.
Additionally, the Lakers team plane arrived back in Los Angeles from Philadelphia just hours after the incident. After learning about Bryant’s death, the players could be seen visibly shaken, including NBA lead scorer and Lakers point guard, LeBron James.
Beyond the NBA, grieving for the loss of the legend swept the world.
The Bryant Legacy
Kobe Bryant began his NBA career as the 13th draft pick out of high school in the first round in 1996. Additionally, he continued his career with the Lakers through 2016.
He had numerous accolades to his name, including:
- 5-time NBA champion: 2000, 2001, 2002, 2009, 2010
- 2-time NBA Finals MVP: 2009, 2010
- An abundance of NBA records set
- 2 Olympic gold medals: 2008, 2012
- Oscar award for Dear Basketball, an animated short film written and narrated by Bryant
And perhaps his greatest achievement, husband and father.
Kobe leaves behind his wife, Vanessa, and their three daughters, Natalia, Bianka, and Capri. Further, Kobe was the son of a former NBA forward, Joe “Jellybean” Bryant. His mother, Pamela Bryant, is the sister of former NBA player Chubby Cox.
From the Elk Grove Tribune
The Elk Grove Tribune offers our heartfelt condolences to Kobe and Gianna Bryant’s family, friends, colleagues, and Bryant’s large fan base throughout the world, as well as to the family and friends of all who lost their lives in the crash today.