The incredible life of NBA icon Kobe Bryant
NBA legend 'Kobe Bryant'
He also earned Los Angeles' eternal adoration during his two decades as the fierce soul of the city's beloved Lakers.
Less than four years into his retirement from the NBA, Bryant was seeking new challenges and working to inspire his daughters' generation through sports and storytelling when his next act ended shockingly early.
How did the crash occur?
The crash occurred in the foggy hills above Calabasas, California, about 30 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles, a person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press. A different person familiar with the case confirmed Bryant's 13-year-old daughter Gianna also was killed.
Both of the AP's unnamed sources spoke on condition of anonymity because few details of the crash had been released publicly.
Authorities said nine people were on the helicopter, and all were presumed dead. No names were released.
His dearest mode of transport took his life
The crash occurred about 20 miles from Mamba Sports Academy, Bryant's basketball training complex in Thousand Oaks, California. A girls basketball tournament was scheduled for Sunday at the facility.
Kobe's beloved family
Bryant sat with her courtside at a Brooklyn Nets game late last year, clearly passing along his wisdom to his daughter.
Bryant told Jimmy Kimmel in 2018 that Gianna wanted to play in the WNBA and recalled how fans would often approach him saying ``you gotta have a boy, you gotta someone to carry on the tradition, the legacy.''
Gianna took exception: "She's like, 'Oy, I got this,''' Bryant recalled.
A prolific shooter with relentless competitive ethic
News of Bryant's death inspired an outpouring of grief around the sports world and beyond, but it was felt particularly painfully in Los Angeles, where Bryant was unquestionably the sprawling city's most popular athlete and one of its most beloved public figures.
NBA community pays tributes
Several other teams followed up by deliberately taking delays of 24 and 8 seconds, honoring both of his jersey numbers. Many players were seen crying before their games.
Awards and Achievements
He teamed with Shaquille O'Neal in a combustible partnership to lead the Lakers to NBA titles in 2000, 2001 and 2002. He later teamed with Pau Gasol to win two more titles in 2009 and 2010.
A two-time Olympic gold medalist with the dominant U.S. team, Bryant retired in 2016 after scoring 60 points in his final NBA game. In December 2017, the Lakers hung banners retiring his No. 8 and No. 24 jerseys in the Staples Center rafters in an unprecedented double honor.
The ever-inspiring basketball superstar
Bryant was a basketball superstar for his entire adult life, and he grew up from a teenager to a respected veteran in the unforgiving Hollywood spotlight.
He entered the NBA draft straight out of high school in 1996 after a childhood spent partly in Italy, where his father, former NBA player Joe ``Jellybean'' Bryant, played professionally. He spoke four languages and played a major role in the NBA's international growth over his two decades in the league, traveling the world and connecting with athletes in other sports and celebrities.