Kobe Bryant and 13-year old daughter killed along with 3 others in a Helicopter crash in SoCal.
- Calibasas, CALIF.
Basketball legend Kobe Bryant has died after a helicopter crash in Casabas killed all five people on board, a representative from Lakers confirmed to Eyewitness News.
Authorities responded to reports of a downed aircraft on a hillside in the town of Calabasas around 10 a.m. Sunday. An investigation into the crash is ongoing.
The 41-year-old Bryant spent his entire professional basketball career with the Los Angeles Lakers and won five championships.
He was the fourth-highest scorer in NBA history, recently removed from third by LeBron James.
Two weeks ago Bryant visited Cashmere to see a high school basketball game.
Bryant was on his way to a travel basketball game with his daughter Gianna Bryant, who was 13, when the helicopter crashed, sources told Wojnarowski. Those aboard the helicopter also included another player and parent and the pilot. According to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, there were no survivors. An investigation is ongoing.
A source told ESPN's Ohm Youngmisuk that the Lakers found out about Bryant's death while on the team plane flying home from Philadelphia.
"Everyone is in shock," a team source said.
The crash comes one day after Bryant was passed by Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James for third place on the NBA's all-time scoring list. As late as 10:39 p.m. ET on Saturday, Bryant was active on social media, congratulating James on Twitter during the Lakers' 108-91 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers.
James inscribed his sneakers with "Mamba 4 Life" and "8/24 KB" in gold marker before the game, showing respect for Bryant, an 18-time All-Star with the Lakers who is eligible for the Basketball Hall of Fame this year. All week, in the lead-up to the milestone, he was quick to laud Bryant.
"It's another guy that I looked up to when I was in grade school and high school," James said. "Seeing him come straight out of high school, he is someone that I used as inspiration. It was like, wow. Seeing a kid, 17 years old, come into the NBA and trying to make an impact on a franchise, I used it as motivation. He helped me before he even knew of me because of what he was able to do. So, just to be able to, at this point of my career, to share the same jersey that he wore, be with this historical franchise and just represent the purple and gold, it's very humbling and it's dope."
A 6-foot-6 small forward with the ability to swing up front and play point or shooting guard, Bryant entered the NBA straight out of high school. In 1996, he became the youngest player in NBA history.
He won five NBA titles in his time with the Lakers, as well as two Olympic gold medals playing for the United States. Now fourth on the NBA's all-time scoring list with 33,643 points, Bryant won two NBA Finals MVP awards and one NBA regular-season MVP nod in 2008.
Shaquille O'Neal, who won four titles with Bryant in Los Angeles, posted on Instagram:
"There's no words to express the pain I'm going through now with this tragic and sad moment of loosing my friend, my brother, my partner in winning championships, my dude and my homie. I love you brother and you will be missed. My condolences goes out to the Bryant family and the families of the other passengers on board. IM SICK RIGHT NOW !"
DEVELOPING: This story will be updated as more information becomes available.