Basketball legend Kobe Bryant died in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California, Sunday morning, several news outlets reported Sunday. He was 41.
According to the reports, Kobe was traveling with at least 3 other people in his private helicopter when it went down. A fire broke out. Emergency personnel responded, but nobody on board survived.
Five people are confirmed dead. We’re told Vanessa Bryant was not among those on board.
Eyewitnesses reported that they heard the helicopter’s engine sputtering before it went down. Flames and smoke covered much of the scene from the wreck. The official cause of the crash is currently under investigation.
Bryant, the 18-time NBA All-Star who won five championships, became one of the greatest basketball players of his generation during a 20-year career spent entirely with the Los Angeles Lakers.
He retired in 2016 as the third-leading scorer in NBA history, finishing two decades with the Lakers as a prolific scorer with a sublime all-around game and a relentless competitive ethic. He held that spot in the league scoring ranks until Saturday night, when the Lakers’ LeBron James passed him for third place during a game in Philadelphia, Bryant’s hometown.
“Continuing to move the game forward (at)KingJames,” Bryant wrote in his last tweet. “Much respect my brother.”
Kobe is widely considered one of the greatest NBA players of all time
This story is developing and will be updated.