Kobe Bryant died in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California, Sunday morning, Yahoo Sports confirmed. His daughter, Gianna, was also on board as was another player and parent en route to a travel basketball game, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported.
Bryant played his entire 20-year career for the Los Angeles Lakers and won five NBA championships prior to retiring in 2016. He was named Finals MVP twice and league MVP in 2008. Bryant was 41.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department responded to reports of a helicopter that crashed into a hillside and caught fire, NBC Los Angeles reported. The crash was called in at 9:47 a.m. local time, per the report, and flames that spread a quarter-acre were put out by 10:30. The fire department reported no survivors.
The helicopter, a Sikorsky S-76, crashed under unknown circumstances with five people on board, according to the Federal Aviation Administration. An investigation is ongoing. CNN’s transportation expert said the flight data shows the helicopter tightly circling downtown Los Angeles before heading out to Calabasas. Eric Leonard of NBC Los Angeles shared the radar track on Twitter.
Bryant and his wife, Vanessa, have four daughters: Gianna, Natalia, Bianca and Capri, who was born in June 2019.
Gianna is also a basketball player and coached by her dad. He credited her with getting him back into watching the game and they’ve been seen courtside and NBA and WNBA games over the past few months.