Kobe Bryant, 41, and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna were among nine people killed in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California, on Sunday, the LA Sheriff’s office confirmed.
Drafted 13th overall in 1996 out of Lower Merion High School in Philadelphia, Bryant was a five-time NBA champion, a two-time NBA Finals MVP and the 2008 NBA MVP.
Bryant, an 18-time All Star and an 11-time All NBA First Team player, retired in 2016 after 20 seasons in the league, all with the Los Angeles Lakers.
He led the Lakers to five NBA championships and scored 33,643 points in his 20-year NBA career which was third-most in NBA history at the time of his retirement but was recently surpassed by Lebron James – an event which marked the last ever tweet Bryant sent.
Following news of his shocking death, tributes are pouring in from all parts of the world as current and retired basketballers, sports athletes, world leaders and celebrities react to the tragic loss of the 2020 Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame nominee.