He perished in a helicopter crash just hours before. Shareef O'Neal, Shaquille O'Neal's son, texted Kobe Bryant hours before his death. Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, were killed in a helicopter crash near Calabasas, California, on Sunday. The NBA announced Monday that it has suspended its season until further notice.
Bryant, 41, had been married to Vanessa Bryant for less than a year when she filed for divorce in April 2017. She later withdrew the petition after deciding not to proceed with the split.
Kobe Bryant was one of the most influential people in basketball and America. He was an eight-time NBA champion, two-time MVP, and one of the greatest scorers in NBA history. Bryant brought glory to his hometown of Philadelphia and transformed the Los Angeles Lakers into a winning team.
Before becoming one of the best players in NBA history, Bryant led Canada's under-18 team to a gold medal at the 1996 World Championships in Rome. He then played four years at University of Pennsylvania, where he became the first player in Division I basketball to score 2,000 points and rebound 1,000 balls.
Bryant entered the National Basketball Association in 1996 as a 19-year-old rookie who immediately made an impact with his scoring ability and relentless work ethic.
Kobe Bryant, a Los Angeles Lakers legend and five-time NBA champion, died Sunday in a helicopter accident in Calabasas, California. There have been nine confirmed deaths and no survivors. According to CBS News, all nine fatalities have been identified. Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna were among the passengers. The pilot of the helicopter has been hospitalized with serious injuries.
Bryant's wife, Vanessa, and his seven children were at home when he died. "This is an incredibly tragic and sad day for our family", they said in a statement. "We are devastated by the loss of our beloved Kobe and Gianna and feel their absence every minute of every day."
Vanessa Bryant told reporters that she believes her husband died on January 26th, the date he was scheduled to play against the Sacramento Kings. She added that she thinks he had a heart attack in the helicopter after it crashed into a residential area near his mansion.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) will conduct an investigation into the cause of the crash.
Here are some facts about Kobe Bryant:
He was 41 years old.
He won five championships with the Los Angeles Lakers, tying Michael Jordan for most overall titles won by a North American athlete.
He was only the sixth individual in history to go straight from high school to the NBA, skipping college to focus on his talent. NBA legend Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna were only two of the nine individuals killed in a helicopter crash in Southern California on January 26, 2020. The other victims included Bryant's seven-year-old daughter, Eva; her mother, Vanessa Bryant; Peter Katsuhira, the father of Gianna's friend Chloe; Nicole Paultre Bellivier, the wife of Peter's partner Jonathan; Tony Katz, the director of photography for On Demand Network who had worked on commercials with Bryant; and Barry Krost, a producer for On Demand and an assistant coach for Cal State Fullerton.
Bryant was being hailed as a hero after he called 911 just before 6:00 a.m. on Saturday, saying that there was an emergency on the phone line and he wasn't able to speak further. He returned home later that morning when the police told him about the crash. Kobe and several others were taken to a hospital where they were declared dead on arrival. Police said that there was no evidence of criminal wrongdoing and that the helicopter crashed into a residential area near Bryant's Mamba Sports Academy in Thousand Oaks, California.
The Sikorsky S-64 helicopter, which was owned by Bryant's sports agency, had departed from a parking lot at the Los Angeles International Airport around 4:20 a.m.
Bryant, the retired Los Angeles Lakers basketball player, was murdered when his helicopter crashed into a fog-shrouded hill outside Calabasas, Calif., erupting in flames on Jan. 26, 2020. Mr. , the pilot, and everyone else on board died. The crash remained under investigation that month.
Mr. Bryant, who played for the Lakers from 1996 to 2016, had two children: a daughter, Gianna, with his wife, Vanessa; and a son, Kobe Jr., with his former partner, Lisa Marie Presley. He also has four other children from previous relationships: Natalia, Naomi, Bianka, and Capri.
After graduating from high school in 1983, he spent one year at Centennial High School before moving on to Lower Merion High School. He then attended the University of Pennsylvania, where he played college basketball for the Penn Quakers. In only his second game as a Quaker, he scored 50 points against St. Joseph's College. After one season, he transferred to the University of Connecticut, where he stayed for three years.
In 1988, Mr. Bryant decided to leave college early to begin his professional career. He was the number two pick in the NBA draft that year by the Chicago Bulls. Over his 20-year career, he won five championships with the Lakers, and earned many other awards including the Most Valuable Player award three times.
Vanessa Bryant finally speaks out about the death of her husband, Kobe, and daughter, Gianna. The basketball player, 41, and his daughter were murdered in a helicopter accident near Los Angeles on their way to a basketball event in Thousand Oaks, California, on Sunday. He had just returned from a tournament in China where he played in three games without any signs of injury.
Bryant told reporters that she believes her husband was killed by someone who has never been caught. She also said that Gianna was killed too because "she loved him more than life itself." Vanessa added that she doesn't want people to think that she is ungrateful or disrespectful to God because she isn't. She said that she wants people to know that she and her daughter are happy with what God did with their lives and they don't regret anything.
Kobe received multiple awards and honors throughout his career for its excellence. In 1996, he was named the NBA's Most Valuable Player after leading the Lakers to their first championship in 10 years. He returned the next year to win another title.
After ending his career in 2009, Bryant started an apparel company called Kobe One. The company aims to make premium sports gear for athletes at all levels of competition.
Bryant had two children with his wife Vanessa: a son named Natoko and a daughter named Gianna.
'I Love You and You Will Be Missed,' Shaquille O'Neal says of Kobe Bryant's death. Following the loss of Bryant's daughter Gigi in a helicopter crash on Sunday, the former Los Angeles Lakers great expressed his feelings on social media.
Shaq wrote on Twitter: "I love you and you will be missed." He added a black armband emoji next to his message.
Bryant died at 44 after he was found unconscious in his hotel room in California. Police are investigating the cause of death but have not announced any findings so far.
The NBA world has come together since news of Bryant's death broke on Monday morning. Many players from different teams took to social media to express their grief over the death of one of basketball's greatest ever. LeBron James said he was "lost for words" after hearing the news about Bryant.
James also commented on how amazing it was to see kids wearing Kobe jerseys outside their homes in China after they were released by the National Basketball Association (NBA).
The teenager who got the opportunity to meet James and other NBA stars when they visited China last year said that seeing them wear Kobe jerseys made him sad because he knew what it cost the children to get these items. But James said he understood their desire to show their respect for Bryant.