This post has been updated to reflect new information. See below.
TMZ reports that basketball star Kobe Bryant died in a helicopter crash in Calabasas Sunday morning. Five people, including the pilot, are confirmed dead. Bryant is survived by his wife Vanessa, and four daughters, including a newborn. He was 41 years old.
Kobe has famously used a helicopter to travel for years — dating back to when he played for the Lakers. He was known for commuting from Newport Beach, CA to the STAPLES Center in DTLA in his Sikorsky S-76 chopper.
Kobe is widely considered one of the greatest NBA players of all time — making 18 All-Star teams during his 20 year career with the Lakers. He was a first-round pick in the 1996 draft, winning 5 NBA championships, 2 NBA Finals MVPs and he was the league MVP in ’08.
The Lakers famously retired both of Kobe’s jerseys, number 8 and 24 … the only player in team history to receive that honor.
The cause of the crash is under investigation.
Kobe Bryant’s last tweet was posted Saturday.
Continuing to move the game forward @KingJames. Much respect my brother 💪🏾 #33644
— Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) January 26, 2020
Social media reacted with shock to news:
— The Tweet Sniper💥 (@IWashington) January 26, 2020
— Tony Parker (@tonyparker) January 26, 2020
Life really isn't fair sometimes. RIP @kobebryant
— Justin Wilson (@xjdubs) January 26, 2020
— Martin Lawrence (@realmartymar) January 26, 2020
— Sanjana R (@HERoyalhighnes) January 26, 2020
RIP Kobe Bryant.
What a shock. What a rude shock. Daaamn! pic.twitter.com/FswnO24Cbx
— Jonas (@Dr_Clandestine) January 26, 2020
When I speak to young athletes I often talk about NOT bucket listing your life, bucket list your day because no one is promised tomorrow. 41 years old and just beginning the rest of his life. God Rest his soul https://t.co/uzEV6GSBl9
— Curt Schilling (@gehrig38) January 26, 2020
RIP Kobe Bryant. Gone but will never be forgotten. I always would shoot paper balls in the trash can and scream Kobe as I release. We're gonna miss you bruh. #KobeBryant
— #1 Lebron fan (@spyda_337) January 26, 2020
— Vitor ⚡ (@vitor_calldeira) January 26, 2020
UPDATE: There have been some conflicting reports as to whether Bryant’s daughters were on board.
UPDATE: TMZ confirms that Kobe Bryant’s 13-year-old daughter was also on board the helicopter when it crashed.
— TMZ (@TMZ) January 26, 2020
12:35 PM PT — Kobe’s daughter Gianna Maria Onore — aka GiGi — was also on board the helicopter and died in the crash … reps for Kobe tell TMZ Sports. She was 13.
We’re told they were on their way to the Mamba Academy for a basketball practice when the crash occurred. The Academy is in nearby Thousand Oaks.
Kobe and Gigi courtside breaking down the game 📋 pic.twitter.com/FxqSjVx6ew
— ESPN (@espn) December 22, 2019
UPDATE: President Trump has made a statement via Twitter.
Kobe Bryant, despite being one of the truly great basketball players of all time, was just getting started in life. He loved his family so much, and had such strong passion for the future. The loss of his beautiful daughter, Gianna, makes this moment even more devastating….
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 26, 2020
This story is developing…