Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

International

Basketball legend Kobe Bryant Dies in a Helicopter Crash

US basketball legend Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna are among nine people killed in a helicopter crash in the city of Calabasas, California.

Bryant, 41, was travelling in a private helicopter when it came down and burst into flames.

The LA county sheriff said there were no survivors.

Bryant, a five-time NBA champion, played for the LA Lakers throughout his career and is considered one of the greatest players in the game’s history.

Tributes from celebrities and fellow sports stars have been pouring in, many expressing shock at his sudden death.

Moments of silence have been observed at basketball games across the US.

Bryant has also been remembered gat the Grammy Awards which are being held at the Los Angeles Lakers’ stadium.

“We’re all feeling crazy sadness right now,” said Grammys host Alicia Keys.

“Because earlier today Los Angeles, America and the whole wide world lost a hero. We’re literally standing here heartbroken in the house that Kobe Bryant built.”

The NBA issued a statement saying it was “devastated by the tragic passing of Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna” aged 13.

“For 20 seasons, Kobe showed us what is possible when remarkable talent blends with an absolute devotion to winning,” it said.

What do we know about the crash?

Sheriff Alex Villanueva said the helicopter manifest indicated that nine people were on board when it crashed, raising the number from five in earlier statements by officials.

In a statement on Sunday afternoon, the City of Calabasas said it heard the news “with great sadness”.

“The aircraft went down in a remote field off Las Virgenes around 10:00 this morning. Nobody on the ground was hurt,” it added.

Gavin Masak, who lives nearby, told CBS News of the moment the helicopter crashed.

“It wasn’t exactly like an explosion sound but it was like a loud boom. It sounded like a helicopter, but it sounded like a jet, like it was loud, so I went inside and told my dad what was happening. So when I came out I saw smoke on the hill but it wasn’t like a big, black cloud of smoke, it was just grey,” he said.

Other eyewitnesses told celebrity news site TMZ they heard the helicopter’s engine sputtering before it went down.

The LA County Sheriff’s Department shared pictures from the scene of the accident, showing a fire truck and smoke emerging from the hills.

 

Who was Bryant?

Bryant played his entire 20-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers. He retired in April 2016.

His achievements include being the 2008 NBA Most Valuable Player and two-time NBA Finals MVP. He was also NBA scoring champion twice and a two-time Olympic champion.

Los Angeles Lakers Kobe Bryant plays a game in Los Angeles, on 21 May 2009.Image copyrightREUTERS
Image captionBryant played his entire 20-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers

He famously scored 81 points against the Toronto Raptors in 2006, the second-highest single-game total in NBA history.

He also won an Oscar for best short animated film in 2018 for Dear Basketball, a five-minute film based on a love letter to the sport he had written in 2015.

Bryant and his wife, Vanessa, have three other daughters, Natalia, Bianca and Capri.

Bryant was accused of sexual assault in 2003 by a 19-year-old woman working at a Colorado resort. He denied the allegation, saying the two had consensual sex. The case was dropped after the accuser refused to testify in court.

He later apologised, saying he recognised that “she did not and does not view this incident the same way I did.” A subsequent civil suit was settled out of court.

What has the reaction been?

Tributes for the sports star poured in on social media following news of the crash.

Shaquille O’Neal, who played alongside Bryant at the Lakers between 1996 and 2004, said there were “no words to express the pain I’m going through”.

“I love you and you will be missed,” he wrote on Instagram alongside a photo of the pair in their Lakers kits.

Deron Williams, who won an Olympic gold alongside Bryant, said he was lost for words. He described Bryant as “the greatest competitor I have ever gone up against and played with.”

Latest

Football

Mamelodi Sundowns supremo Patrice Motsepe has given five-time PSL title-winning coach Pitso Mosimane his blessing following his surprise resignation on Wednesday morning. Indications are...

Local

The new season of “Uthando Nes’thembu” is about to give viewers a renewed perspective of a polygamous marriage. Season three ended on a high...

Local

Multi award-winning South African musician, AKA, has tested positive for the novel COVID-19 virus. In an attempt to create awareness around the virus and...

Local

Bonang Hints At Coming Back On Radio It has been a couple of years since media personality Bonang Matheba, decided to abruptly hang up her...

Celebrity News

Local soapie The River stops production after one of its members tests positive for Covid-19 1Magic’s popular telenovela The River has halted production after one of...

Local

Sizwe Dhlomo hit back at AKA trying to mock him on Sunday and didn’t mince his words. Taking to Twitter, the “Newzroom Afrika ”...

You May Also Like

Music

Hype Avenue got hold of the award-winning Afro-pop singer Zamajobe to discuss her upcoming reloaded tour which will be debut in the famous Bassline...

Celebrity News

After trending on South Africa’s Twitter for three days, Pulane Lenkoe, the girlfriend of Orlando Pirates midfielder Thandani Ntshumayelo, has spoken out about her...

Celebrity News

TALENTED Uzalo actress and musician, Thandeka Zulu has been allegedly fired. This after the starlet, who plays Nombuso in the SABC1 popular telenovela, was...

Celebrity News

Cape Town – Mariah Carey was questioned about her billionaire ex-fiancé James Packer in a recent interview and her response is so Mariah Carey....