Tragedy has struck the NBA with news that Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant was killed in a helicopter crash in California Sunday morning.
The crash occurred around 10 a.m. Sunday in the hills around Calabasas, Calif. According to eyewitnesses, the helicopter’s engine appeared to sputter before going down. A brush fire sparked by the crash hampered initial rescue efforts but was out by 10:30 a.m.
Reports vary on whether Bryant was one of three or four passengers. But there were no survivors among the five people on board at the time of the crash. Officials are investigating, but what caused the crash is not known at this time.
His wife, Vanessa was not on board. But reports have varied on whether any of their four daughters were with him. According to one of the latest from TMZ, Gianna was one of the other passengers.
He was just 41 years old and she was just 13.
As news of the horrible accident spread on social media, reactions poured in as people expressed their sadness and disbelief. Among the many related terms trending with thousands of tweets were Kobe, LA Times, Bro Kobe, Damn Kobe, “Kobe,” Vanessa, Mamba, RIP GOAT, Please God, RIP Legend, #RIPMamba, #MambaMentality, Wow Kobe and #BlackMamba.
Several NBA players, past and present, shared their thoughts on Twitter along with fans as they learned of Bryant’ passing:
Richard Sherman and Tom Brady are just two of the many stars from across the sports landscape sharing their reactions and thoughts for Bryant on Twitter:
It goes without saying that his career is that of a first-ballot Hall of Famer. Among his many accomplishments are the following: he was a 5X NBA champion, 2XNBA Finals MVP, NBA regular season MVP, and an 18X All-Star, just to name a few.
Fans will remember him for his high-flying dunks, his tireless work ethic, his quest for excellence – the list could go on and on. But he was so much more than just a basketball player.
Along with being a venture capitalist, gold medalist, musician, and philanthropist, he won an Oscar for Best Animated Short Film for his film Dear Basketball in 2018. His book, The Mamba Mentality: How I Play, was published in 2018.
But most importantly, he was a husband, father, and a friend.
We’ll miss you, Kobe.