In a press conference, authorities confirmed that all nine passengers on the helicopter died.
NBA Superstar Kobe Bryant died in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California, on Sunday, January 26. The former L.A. Lakers player was traveling with eight other people on his private helicopter when a fire reportedly broke out, reports Us Weekly. In a press conference, authorities confirmed that all nine passengers on the helicopter are dead. Later, it was reported that his daughter Gianna Maria Onore Bryant, 13, died alongside him in the crash. Orange Coast College baseball coach John Altobelli, his wife, Kerri, and daughter Alyssa, were also killed in the crash, Altobelli’s brother Tony told CNN.
Costa Mesa Mayor Katrina Foley also tweeted that girls basketball coach Christina Mauser, who’s married to Tijuana Dogs singer Matt Mauser, also died. “This devastating tragedy gets worse by the hour. So much pain for so many local families. Our hearts are broken & grieving for the families impacted,” she wrote. The helicopter involved in the crash that killed Kobe Bryant was a Sikorsky S-76, according to the Federal Aviation Administration. The tail number matches a helicopter Bryant has owned for years.
Safety is our top priority; if there are any actionable findings from the investigation, we will inform our S-76 customers.— Sikorsky (@Sikorsky) January 26, 2020
Witnesses reported seeing the aircraft going down quickly and then crashing into the ground, Fire Capt. Tony Imbrenda said. “I heard the plane splutter and then a boom,” L.A. Times reporter Richard Winton tweeted, adding that the mountains were foggy. The crash started a brush fire, which made it difficult for first responders to get to the aircraft, a watch commander for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department told the Times.
Dallas Mavericks Owner Mark Cuban issued the following statement on the passing of Kobe and Gianna Bryant. pic.twitter.com/Ua41YrvTMZ— Mavs PR (@MavsPR) January 27, 2020
The Los Angeles Country Medical Examiner-Coroner said in a press release on Sunday night that “when authorities arrived at the crash site, they found no survivors in the fiery helicopter wreckage.” Kobe Bryant is survived by his wife, Vanessa, who he married in 2001, and three daughters, Natalia, 17, Bianka, 3, and Capri, 7 months. Everyone from current and former NBA players to former President Barack Obama mourned Bryant's death.
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
Former President Barack Obama shared his thoughts and condolences via Twitter. He wrote: Kobe was a legend on the court and just getting started in what would have been just as meaningful a second act. To lose Gianna is even more heartbreaking to us as parents. Michelle and I send love and prayers to Vanessa and the entire Bryant family on an unthinkable day. President Donald Trump wrote: Reports are that basketball great Kobe Bryant and three others have been killed in a helicopter crash in California. That is terrible news!
"Probably the hardest game I ever had to play. ... Honestly, knowing him the way that I know him, he would have wanted me to play."— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) January 27, 2020
Melo was emotional when speaking of Kobe Bryant's death
NBA legend Michael Jordan is in "shock" over the news of Kobe Bryan's passing. Jordan's spokesperson tweeted his statement: I am in shock over the tragic news of Kobe's and Gianna's passing. Words can't describe the pain I'm feeling. I loved Kobe-he was like a little brother to me. We used to talk often, and I will miss those conversations very much. He was a fierce competitor, one of the greats of the game and a creative force. Kobe was also an amazing dad who loved his family deeply and took great pride in his daughter's love for the game of basketball. Yvette joins me in sending my deepest condolences to Vanessa, the Lakers organization and basketball fans around the world.
"Just knowing him personally, I know he'd want me to come out here and try to ball"— LA Clippers (@LAClippers) January 27, 2020
Kawhi on Kobe Bryant after the game. pic.twitter.com/3trPWyEVMP
In a video, Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James was captured getting emotional as he got off his team plane on Sunday after receiving news of Kobe's death. Jeff Skversky shared the video and wrote: LeBron James and the Lakers found out about Kobe Bryant's death while on their team plane flying home from Philadelphia today after playing the Sixers last night. NBA veteran Tyson Chandler could be seen on the bench visibly shaken from the news, during the match between the Houston Rockets and Denver Nuggets, reports Total Pro Sports.
LeBron James and the Lakers found out about Kobe Bryant's death while on their team plane flying home from Philadelphia today after playing the Sixers last night @6abc #KobeForever #KobeRIP #KobeBryant pic.twitter.com/3XkWOGDSDj— Jeff Skversky 6abc (@JeffSkversky) January 27, 2020
Former Lakers Coach Phil Jackson, who won five NBA championships with Kobe Bryant, released a statement Sunday, saying that he "transcended the norm". "The crash was a tragedy for multiple families. My heart goes out to Vanessa and the families that lost loved ones. Kobe was a chosen one -- special in many ways to many people. Our relationship as coach/player transcended the norm. He went beyond the veil.”
There are people we will never meet who affect our lives in immeasurable ways.— Pete Buttigieg (@PeteButtigieg) January 26, 2020
For millions, Kobe Bryant was one of those people. He changed the game and his legacy will inspire generations of athletes.
Dwyane Wade, in a series of emotional videos on Instagram, spoke about Kobe. "It seems like a bad dream you just wanna wake up from. It's a nightmare," Wade said through tears. "It's a sad day, there's no way around it. My family and I have been sharing Kobe stories. HE has so many moments he's given us. I'm thankful for those moments. He was one of my favorite players ... I'm gonna miss the friendship. When I came in the league I chased him. That's who I chased. Kobe, thank you, man. Thank you for all the memories."
Davide Giudici, a friend and former childhood teammate of Kobe Bryant, spoke about the death of his friend. "We had a strong team, but he was better than all of us. At 11 years old, he was already very secure in his power and what he would become,” Giudici, 41, told CNN. “I mean, I think we knew he was going to become a professional basketball player. We didn’t know then that he was going to be one of the biggest stars in the world.”
As I try to write this post, my mind is racing. I’m in disbelief and have been crying all morning over this devastating news that Kobe and his young daughter, Gigi have passed away in a helicopter crash. Cookie and I are heartbroken. pic.twitter.com/X2vF0M0a1u— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) January 26, 2020
Giudici, who is now a graphic designer, still plays locally and he found out about the news of his death through messages. “My first concern was for his family. And it’s unbelievable, almost comic, that he died bringing his daughter to play basketball,” he said. Kobe Bryant and his daughter were expected at the Mamba Sports Academy in Thousand Oaks for a basketball game. 13-year-old Gianna was expected to play in the game and Kobe Bryant was expected to coach, according to Lady Mavericks team director Evelyn Morales, reports CNN.
Like everyone, I’m stunned and saddened by the news about Kobe Bryant. My heart is broken for his wife and family.— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) January 26, 2020
NBA teams across the league paid respect to the legend during their games. The Toronto Raptors and the Los Angeles Clippers let the 24-second shot-clock run out, while Orlando Magic got an 8-second violation. Kobe Bryant wore jerseys with the number 24 and 8 during his career. Meanwhile, Los Angeles City Hall was lit in purple and gold beginning at 8:24 p.m. Mayor Eric Garcetti tweeted that the building was lit in honor of Kobe Bryant, his daughter, and the other victims of the helicopter crash.
The Mercedes-Benz Stadium and The College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta both shined purple and gold lights Sunday night in honor of Kobe Bryant. The pylons at Los Angeles International Airport also shone in purple and gold on Sunday night in honor of Kobe Bryant. The 2020 Grammys ceremony has opened with a heartfelt tribute to basketball player Kobe Bryant, reports BBC. "Tonight is for you Kobe," declared pop star Lizzo, opening the show with her ballad "Cuz I Love You."
Host Alicia Keys then dedicated the show to Bryant's memory, with an acapella version of "It's So Hard To Say Goodbye", accompanied by Boyz II Men. She then took the stage to address his death: "We’re all feeling crazy sadness right now because earlier today, Los Angeles, America and the whole wide world lost a hero. And we’re literally standing here heartbroken in the house that Kobe Bryant built.” The Grammys took place at the STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, where the Lakers play their home games. “We’d never imagined in a million years that we’d have to start the show like this,” said Keys.
Alicia Keys brought Boyz II Men on stage for an acoustic rendition of "It's So Hard To Say Goodbye to Yesterday" to pay tribute to late NBA legend Kobe Bryant https://t.co/xMpKWYaeIv #Grammys pic.twitter.com/pokpvM10ls— CNN (@CNN) January 27, 2020
While millions of people all over the world mourn the loss of a great player, there is always one incident that caused even his most ardent fans to pause: the rape case. What exactly happened on June 30, 2003, at the Lodge & Spa at Cordillera, in Colorado, may always be a mystery, because the case never made it to trial. It was dismissed one week before the opening statements were to be made, on Sept. 1, 2004.
RIP Kobe..... Video of the Helicopter Crash pic.twitter.com/yRRYZYM6po— 🔥Sàngó Olúkòso🔥 (@Otunbakush1) January 27, 2020
Disclaimer : This is based on sources and we have been unable to verify this information independently.