Legendary NBA player Kobe Bryant and daughter has died in a California helicopter crash, a report said on Sunday.
According to TMZ, the LA Lakers icon was travelling with three others in a private aircraft when it came down in Calabasas near Los Angeles, California, US.
He was 41.
Bryant was among at least four people travelling in his private helicopter over Calabasas when a fire broke out, sending the chopper spiralling from the sky, according to TMZ Sports. The report goes on to say that the helicopter went up in a ball of fire after hitting the ground.
There were no survivors, and the cause of the crash is under investigation, according to TMZ.
Bryant’s wife, Vanessa, was not among those aboard the chopper, according to the report.
Bryant starred for two decades with the Los Angeles Lakers, winning five championships and making 18 All-Star Games before retiring after the 2016 season.
Bryant who was worth around US$500 million is survived by his wife Vanessa and their three daughters – Natalia and Bianca and their newborn Capri who was just born in June 2019. Bryant’s other daughter Gianna Maria was also on board the helicopter and died in the crash
Bryant was drafted straight to the NBA from high school — where he won the Pennsylvania state championship in 1996. He was picked up by the Charlotte Hornets before being traded to the Lakers.
Bryant is widely considered one of the greatest NBA players of all time — making 18 All-Star teams during his 20-year career with the Lakers in which he won 5 NBA championships, 2 NBA Finals MVPs and was the league MVP in 2008. He was the No. 4 on the NBA’s all-time scoring list.
Bryant formed a formidable partnership with Shaquille O’Neal on the court and led the Lakers to three back-to-back NBA championships from 2000-2002.
Bryant spent his first 10 seasons wearing No 8 and his final 10 wearing No 24.
The Lakers famously retired both of Bryant’s jerseys, number 8 and 24 … the only player in the team’s history to receive that honour.