NBA superstar Kobe Bryant died today in a tragic helicopter accident. TMZ just broke the news.
MTO News has confirmed that his 13-year-old daughter Gianna has died also.
This is what they are saying:
Kobe was traveling with at least 3 other people in his private helicopter when it went down. A fire broke out. Emergency personnel responded, but nobody on board survived. 5 people are confirmed dead. We're told Vanessa Bryant was not among those on board.
The cause of the crash is under investigation.
Kobe has famously used a helicopter to travel for years -- dating back to when he played for the Lakers. He was known for commuting from Newport Beach, CA to the STAPLES Center in DTLA in his Sikorsky S-76 chopper.
KB is survived by his wife Vanessa, three daughters -- Natalia and Bianca and their newborn Capri.
Kobe Bryant was widely regarded as one of the greatest basketball players of all time. Kobe began his basketball career at Lower Merion High School in Pennsylvania. Upon graduation, he elected not to go on to college and to instead enter the 1996 NBA draft at just 17 years old.
At the draft, he was selected by the Charlotte Hornets with their 13th overall pick. Charlotte ultimately passed on Kobe and traded him to the Los Angeles Lakers where he would spend the next 20 years of his NBA career as one of the league's most electrifying and talented players in its history.
Kobe's legendary career though was not without obstacles. In his first two years of the league, Kobe struggled to find his game. By his third year and under his new coach, Phil Jackson, Kobe became the team's star player and would help the Lakers earn five NBA championships and complete domination of the game.
Kobe's domination of the sport though would ultimately go beyond basketball. He went on to earn record commercial endorsements including major brands like Nike, Sprite, and Nintendo. His impact on the sport was unparalleled. He was beloved internationally and drew many new viewers to the sport. At the time of his retirement in 2016, he was reported to have earned a total of $770 million.
In addition to leading the Lakers to five NBA championships, Kobe over the course of his career, also earned himself 18 All-Star selections, a Most Valuable Player award in 2008 and two NBA Finals MVP awards.
Kobe Bryant, an iconic figure both on and off the court died today, January 26, 2020, in his prime at just 41 years old and will be greatly missed by all.