obe Bryant, one of the most prolific basketball players to ever step foot on the hardwood has reportedly died.
According to TMZ, Bryant was flying in a helicopter while traveling in California Sunday morning when it crashed in Calabasas and everyone on board died. The site also confirms that Bryant was traveling with at least three other people when the ‘copter went down and caught on fire, leading to five total deaths.
The five-time NBA champion was known to always take helicopters to and from all home games while he played for the Los Angeles Lakers due to the city’s infamous traffic.
His death was also confirmed to ESPN by NBA Insider Adrian Wojnarowski, as he tweeted, “Kobe Bryant is among those dead in a helicopter crash outside Los Angeles, a source confirms to ESPN.”
During his time in the NBA, Bryant made sure that his presence was always felt. The Philly born baller was drafted in 1996 from Lower Merion by the Lakers and matured in four years–enough to accomplish a three-peat from 2000 to 2002 alongside Shaquille O’Neal.
Six years later, after the team was upheaved, he again showed why he was one of the league’s fiercest competitors when he won another two Larry O’Brien trophies in 2009 and 2010 with the help of Derek Fisher and Pau Gasol.
The Laker legend was most recently in the news just Saturday Night, as LeBron James passed him for third place on the league’s all-time scoring list.
“Continuing to move the game forward @KingJames . Much respect my brother #33644,” he tweeted alongside a bicep flexing emoji, showing how proud he was of the advancement of the game he once ruled.
41-year-old Kobe Bryant is survived by his wife Vanessa and four daughters, Nathalia, Gianna, Bianka, and Capri who was just born last June.
Rest in peace, Kobe.