Basketball Icon, Kobe Bryant, Dead at 41

One of the greatest athletes of our generation, Kobe Bryant, has passed away at the age of 41.

The NBA legend was on board his personal helicopter along with his 13-year-old daughter Gianna, also known as GiGi, when it crashed amid foggy conditions in the hills of Calabasas. According to the Los Angeles Times, a total of 9 people is believed to have been on board during the fatal crash. There were no survivors. It is reported that they were of their way to Gianna’s basketball tournament at the Mamba Sports Academy.

As news broke about the untimely death of Bryant an outpour of condolences flooded social media as sports fans, celebrities and fellow athletes and coaches reacted to in disbelief.

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“For 20 seasons, Kobe showed us what is possible when remarkable talent blends with an absolute devotion to winning,” NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement. “He was one of the most extraordinary players in the history of our game with accomplishments that are legendary. He will be remembered most for inspiring people around the world to pick up a basketball and compete to the very best of their ability. He was generous with the wisdom he acquired and saw it as his mission to share it with future generations of players, taking special delight in passing down his love of the game to Gianna.”

After being the drafted to the Charlotte Hornets in 1996, Kobe became the youngest player to play in the NBA – beginning his illustrious 20-year career. Following his trade to the Los Angeles Lakers, Bryant became a fan favorite and spent the rest of his career dedicated to his craft – earning 5 NBA championships, becoming the league’s Most Valuable Player in 2008 and being elected to the All-Star team eighteen times. He then went on to win two gold medals for Team USA in the 2008 and 2010 Olympics.

Following his retirement from the NBA, Bryant moved on to Hollywood where he launched a production company, Granity, which focused on blending entertainment and sports. Kobe went on to win an Oscar in 2018 for his short film, “Dear Basketball,” which was based on a poem written by Bryant. He also published young adult novels.

Bryant is survived by his wife Vanessa Bryant, and his three daughters – Natalia Diamante, Bianka Bella and 7-month old Capri Kobe.

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My Gigi

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Photo Credit: Kobe Bryant / Instagram