Retired basketball star Kobe Bryant has died in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California early on Sunday morning, reports have claimed.
Bryant was traveling with three other people, including his daughter Gianna, in his private helicopter when it went down, TMZ reports. Emergency personnel responded, but nobody on board survived and 5 people are confirmed dead. His wife 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, and their three daughters; Natalia and Bianca and their newborn Capri.
Kobe has recently been spotted out at NBA games with his daughter Gianna, a rising star basketball player herself, who also died in the crash in a remote field about 40 miles (65 km) northwest of central Los Angeles, the city of Calabasas said on Twitter. Kolbe's youngest daughter, Capri, was just born in June 2019.
It is with great sadness that we learn of the death of Kobe Bryant and four others in a helicopter crash in Calabasas. The aircraft went down in a remote field off Las Virgenes around 10:00 this morning. Nobody on the ground was hurt. The FAA and NTSB are investigating.— City of Calabasas (@CityofCalabasas) January 26, 2020
Kobe 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. He was a first-round pick in the 1996 draft, winning 5 NBA championships, 2 NBA Finals MVPs and he was the league MVP in '08.
The Lakers famously retired both of Kobe's jerseys, number 8 and 24 ... the only player in team history to receive that honor.
Politicians, celebrities and the public all took to social media to share their condolences and memories of the basketball star:
Michael Jordan, Six-time NBA champion
“I am in shock over the tragic news of Kobe's and Gianna's passing. Words can't describe the pain I'm feeling. I loved Kobe - he was like a little brother to me. We used to talk often, and I will miss those conversations very much.
“He was a fierce competitor, one of the greats of the game and a creative force. Kobe was an amazing dad who loved his family deeply - and took great pride in his daughter's love for the game of basketball.”
Barack Obama, former US president on twitter
Kobe was a legend on the court and just getting started in what would have been just as meaningful a second act. To lose Gianna is even more heartbreaking to us as parents. Michelle and I send love and prayers to Vanessa and the entire Bryant family on an unthinkable day.— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) January 26, 2020
Earvin Magic Johnson, former Lakers great on twitter
As I try to write this post, my mind is racing. I’m in disbelief and have been crying all morning over this devastating news that Kobe and his young daughter, Gigi have passed away in a helicopter crash. Cookie and I are heartbroken. pic.twitter.com/X2vF0M0a1u— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) January 26, 2020
Kareem Abdul-Jabaar, former Lakers great on twitter
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
U.S. President Donald Trump on twitter
Kobe Bryant, despite being one of the truly great basketball players of all time, was just getting started in life. He loved his family so much, and had such strong passion for the future. The loss of his beautiful daughter, Gianna, makes this moment even more devastating....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 26, 2020
Rev. Jesse Jackson on twitter
As I tweet through my tears, I am so hurt. I cannot stop crying. Kobe was instrumental to so many people. There is a hole in the basketball world and will be for a long time. Rest in heavenly peace. #KobeBryant pic.twitter.com/52I83A0Q0n— Rev Jesse Jackson Sr (@RevJJackson) January 26, 2020
Cristiano Ronaldo, Portuguese soccer great on Instagram
View this post on Instagram
So sad to hear the heartbreaking news of the deaths of Kobe and his daughter Gianna. Kobe was a true legend and inspiration to so many. Sending my condolences to his family and friends and the families of all who lost their lives in the crash. RIP Legend💔
A post shared by Cristiano Ronaldo (@cristiano) on
Kanye West,Grammy Award winning artist on twitter
Kobe, We love you brother— ye (@kanyewest) January 26, 2020
We’re praying for your family and appreciate the life you’ve lived and all the inspiration you gave pic.twitter.com/pxbgLOOmpY
Halle Berry, Oscar-winning actress on twitter
There are no real words to convey the depth of my sadness. Love and strength to Kobe’s entire family and to the families of all who were lost in today’s crash. pic.twitter.com/HvL2m9NXJU— Halle Berry (@halleberry) January 26, 2020
Justin Bieber, Canadian Pop superstar on Instagram