In a tragic incident that sent shockwaves across the world of sport, Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna Bryant passed away in a helicopter crash on Sunday, January 26. Kobe Bryant was among at least four people travelling in his private helicopter over Calabasas when a fire broke out, sending the chopper spiralling down, according to TMZ Sports. Following the news, stars from the global sporting fraternity mourned the death of the Los Angeles Lakers legend.
Kobe Bryant was killed when the helicopter he was travelling in crashed and burst into flames Monday morning amid foggy conditions in the hills 48 km north-west of Los Angeles. His 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, who accompanied him also died. As per the reports, all nine people on board have died in the crash.
Following the news of Kobe Bryant's death, another Lakers legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar shared his thoughts about the tragedy through a video shared on Twitter which he shared on Sunday afternoon. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, one-time Lakers power forward Karl Malone and current Laker star LeBron James are the only three players to have scored more points in their career than Kobe Bryant.
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
Continuing to move the game forward @KingJames. Much respect my brother 💪🏾 #33644— Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) January 26, 2020
Just hours before his death, Kobe Bryant congratulated current Lakers star, LeBron James for passing him for third place on the league’s all-time scoring list. Bryant was considered the favourite to be installed into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, set to be announced next month.
Lakers fans gathered outside Staples Center on Sunday to mourn the death of the Lakers legend. Fans carried huge portraits of Kobe Bryant, while monitors outside the Staples Center flashed pictures in tribute of the deceased Lakers legend.
Kobe Bryant retired after the 2015-16 season as a five-time NBA champion and one-time league MVP. He was an 18-time All-Star and played his entire career as a member of the Lakers. He retired from NBA after scoring 60 points against the Utah Jazz in April 2016.