Tragedy hit the NBA world and beyond on Sunday morning when the legendary Kobe Bryant died in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California.
His daughter, Gianna Maria-Onore Bryant, 13, and three other people also died in the crash.
The group was flying to the Mamba Academy, Kobe’s sports facility, when the accident happened and the other fatalities are believed to be one of her teammates and her parents. The other passenger confirmed to have died was John Altobelli, a baseball coach at Orange Coast College.
The former Los Angeles Lakers guard was drafted to the Charlotte Hornets with the 13th pick of the 1996 NBA draft. He was later traded the Lakers where he played his entire career.
He was a five-time NBA champion, two-time finals MVP, the 2008 regular season MVP, 18-time NBA all-star, four-time NBA all-star game MVP and a two-time Olympic gold medal winner.
Kobe was recently third on the all-time NBA scoring list untill Lakers superstar LeBron James surpassed him on Saturday night.
He is second in all-time points in a game. He scored 81 points against the Toronto Raptors on Jan. 22, 2006.
Kobe’s first game in the NBA was against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Nov. 3, 1996. The Lakers won that game but Bryant only played six minutes and didn’t score any points.
Kobe’s last game was on April. 13, 2016 where the Lakers beat the Utah Jazz. This is where he scored 60 points on his way out.
Kobe’s death has sent
“Kobe was a legend on the court and just getting started in what would have been just as meaningful a second act.” former United States President, Barack Obama, said on Twitter. “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.”
Former San Antonio point guard Tony Parker said he was “heartbroken” when he found out the news.
“You were a true legend, and friend. Rest In Peace Kobe Bryant, my thoughts and prayers to his wife and kids,” said Parker.