Kobe Bryant dies in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California. According to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, there were no survivors of the crash. An investigation is ongoing. The crash happened a day after Lebron James passed him on the NBA all-time scoring list. Kobe Bryant even tweeted at Lebron congratulating him on the accomplishment. Lebron honored Kobe before the game with “Mamba 4 Life” and “8/24 KB” in gold marker before the game on his shoes. Lebron showed respect for Bryant, an 18-time All-Star with the Lakers who is eligible for the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2020.
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. Kobe ranked first in Lakers history in points, games, steals and 3-pt field goals. Kobe Bryant is the only player in NBA history to have two jerseys retired by a single franchise. His highest scoring game came on Jan. 22, 2006 when he scored 81 points against the Raptors, which is second all-time.
Kobe Bryant was amongst my top-10 NBA players of all-time. On Nov. 29, 2015, Bryant announced that he intended to retire at the end of the season, which launched a farewell tour for the ages around the NBA. In his final game, on April 13, 2016, he scored 60 points, leading the Lakers past the Utah Jazz 101-96.
This is incredibly sad, and it feels like a family member was lost. I’ve seen people already bringing up his rape case and deservedly so, but let’s show respect to him. Prayers to go out to his family and especially his wife, Vanessa who lost a husband and daughter.