US basketball legend Kobe Bryant has died in a helicopter crash in California, sparking an outpouring of grief from followers all over the world.
Bryant, 41, and his daughter Gianna, 13, have been among the many 9 killed when the plane got here down in Calabasas.
The LA county sheriff mentioned there have been no survivors from Sunday’s crash.
Bryant, a five-time NBA champion, performed for the LA Lakers all through his profession and is taken into account one of many best gamers within the sport’s historical past.
Tributes from celebrities and fellow sports activities stars have been pouring in, many expressing shock at his sudden dying. Moments of silence have been noticed at basketball video games throughout the US.
Bryant has additionally been remembered at the Grammy Awards that are being held on the Los Angeles Lakers’ stadium.
“We’re all feeling loopy unhappiness proper now,” mentioned Grammys host Alicia Keys. “As a result of earlier at present Los Angeles, America and the entire vast world misplaced a hero. We’re actually standing right here heartbroken in the home that Kobe Bryant constructed.”
The NBA issued an announcement saying it was “devastated by the tragic passing of Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna”.
“For 20 seasons, Kobe confirmed us what is feasible when outstanding expertise blends with an absolute devotion to profitable,” it mentioned.
What do we all know in regards to the crash?
Sheriff Alex Villanueva mentioned the helicopter’s manifest indicated that 9 folks have been on board when it crashed, elevating the quantity from 5 in earlier statements by officers.
Coroners haven’t formally named the victims. However relations and colleagues mentioned John Altobelli, coach of the Orange Coast College basketball team, was among the passengers, alongside along with his spouse Keri and their 13-year-old daughter Alyssa – who performed with Bryant’s daughter, Gianna.
Christina Mauser, a basketball coach at Gianna’s faculty, was additionally on board, her husband wrote on Fb.
In an announcement on Sunday afternoon, the Metropolis of Calabasas mentioned it heard the information “with nice unhappiness”.
“The plane went down in a distant discipline off Las Virgenes round 10:00 this morning. No one on the bottom was damage,” it added.
Gavin Masak, who lives close by, instructed CBS Information of the second the helicopter crashed.
“It wasn’t precisely like an explosion sound nevertheless it was like a loud increase. It appeared like a helicopter, nevertheless it appeared like a jet, prefer it was loud, so I went inside and instructed my dad what was taking place. So once I got here out I noticed smoke on the hill nevertheless it wasn’t like an enormous, black cloud of smoke, it was simply gray,” he mentioned.
Different eyewitnesses instructed superstar information web site TMZ they heard the helicopter’s engine sputtering earlier than it went down.
The LA County Sheriff’s Division shared photos from the scene of the accident, displaying a hearth truck and smoke rising from the hills.
The Nationwide Transportation Security Board recognized the crashed helicopter as a Sikorsky S-76B and mentioned it was sending a group to analyze the crash.
Police have requested folks to steer clear of the crash web site so as to not intrude with the investigation.
Bryant was known for taking his helicopter to beat traffic in Los Angeles.
Why was Kobe Bryant so well-known?
Bryant performed his complete 20-year profession with the Los Angeles Lakers. He retired in April 2016.
His achievements embrace being the 2008 NBA Most Priceless Participant (MVP) and two-time NBA Finals MVP. He was additionally NBA scoring champion twice and a two-time Olympic champion.
He famously scored 81 factors towards the Toronto Raptors in 2006, the second-highest single-game complete in NBA historical past.
He additionally gained an Oscar for finest brief animated movie in 2018 for Pricey Basketball, a five-minute movie primarily based on a love letter to the game he had written in 2015.
Bryant and his spouse, Vanessa, have three different daughters, Natalia, Bianca and Capri.
Bryant was accused of sexual assault in 2003 by a 19-year-old lady working at a Colorado resort. He denied the allegation, saying the 2 had consensual intercourse. The case was dropped after the accuser refused to testify in court docket.
He later apologised, saying he recognised that “she didn’t and doesn’t view this incident the identical approach I did.” A subsequent civil go well with was settled out of court docket.
What has the response been?
Tributes for the sports activities star poured in on social media following information of the crash.
Shaquille O’Neal, who performed alongside Bryant on the Lakers between 1996 and 2004, mentioned there have been “no phrases to specific the ache I am going by way of”.
“I like you and you’ll be missed,” he wrote on Instagram alongside a photograph of the pair of their Lakers kits.
Deron Williams, who gained an Olympic gold alongside Bryant, mentioned he was misplaced for phrases. He described Bryant as “the best competitor I’ve ever gone up towards and performed with”.
Former basketball participant Tony Parker mentioned he was “heartbroken”.
“Horrible information,” tweeted US President Donald Trump. “He cherished his household a lot, and had such sturdy ardour for the long run. The lack of his stunning daughter, Gianna, makes this second much more devastating.”
Former US President Barack Obama described Bryant as “a legend on the court docket” and mentioned he was “simply getting began in what would have been simply as significant a second act”.
Eight-time Olympic gold medallist sprinter Usain Bolt mentioned he couldn’t consider the information.
Rapper Kanye West tweeted his appreciation for “the life you have lived and all of the inspiration you gave”.
Manchester Metropolis ahead Raheem Sterling wrote “relaxation straightforward legend” in a tweet accompanied by a black-and-white picture of the sports activities star.
“That is completely horrible. Everyone seems to be numb,” American actress and mannequin Chrissy Teigen tweeted.
Pop star Mariah Carey mentioned she was in shock.
Followers gathered at a makeshift memorial for Bryant in entrance of the Staples Middle sports activities and leisure enviornment in Los Angeles, laying flowers and basketballs in reminiscence of the star.
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