Sports World Stunned: NBA Legend Kobe Bryant Killed in Helicopter Crash

Kobe Bryant 1978 - 2020

By The Stream Published on January 26, 2020

NBA legend Kobe Bryant died Sunday morning in a helicopter crash northwest of Los Angeles. He was 41. Eight others were aboard the craft when it went down. There are no survivors. Wife Vanessa was not among those on-board. The couple has four daughters, the youngest born just this past June. Kobe’s 13-year-old daughter Gianna, also known as GiGi, was among those lost.

“We’re told they were on their way to the Mamba Academy for a basketball practice when the crash occurred,” TMZ reports, “The Academy is in nearby Thousand Oaks.” This has not been confirmed.

Eyewitnesses tell TMZ they heard the chopper sputtering before it came down. The NTSB is investigating the cause of the crash.

We join in praying for the Bryant family and friends, the NBA community and the City of Angels he dazzled for two decades.

Kobe’s Career

Kobe Bryant joined the Lakers at the age of 17. Eighteen times in his 20-year-career he was an all-star. He left the Lakers with five championship rings. Kobe scored 33,643 points. In fact, just last night, Lebron James passed Kobe for the number 3 spot on the NBA’s all-time scoring list.

Kobe immediately tweeted his congrats to King James.

After the game, James spoke of Kobe’s influence on his own career.

“another guy that I looked up to when I was in grade school and high school,” James said. “Seeing him come straight out of high school, he is someone that I used as inspiration. It was like, wow. Seeing a kid, 17 years old, come into the NBA and trying to make an impact on a franchise, I used it as motivation. He helped me before he even knew of me because of what he was able to do. So, just to be able to, at this point of my career, to share the same jersey that he wore, be with this historical franchise and just represent the purple and gold, it’s very humbling and it’s dope.

Kobe’s a legend. That’s for damn sure.

Bryant was still finding success in retirement. In 2018, he won an Academy Award for “Best Animated Short” with “Dear Basketball,” a film he wrote and produced. “I feel better than winning the championship, to be honest with you. I swear I do,” he said afterward.

Laker Legends and the Basketball World Reacts

Reaction to the death of the basketball legend has begun pouring in.

Former Laker teammate Shaquille O’Neal, with whom Kobe won champions and had one feuded, shared his love:

Fellow Laker greats Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar tweeted their sorrow at the loss.

The Political World Reacts

President Trump tweeted his shock at the “terrible news.” He later followed with a statement:

Former President Barack Obama issued a statement.

Former Vice President Joe Biden was told at a campaign stop in Iowa. He reportedly told reporters, “It makes you realize you’ve got to make every day count.”

Stream Senior Contributor Dr. Michael L. Brown echoed the same thought:

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