Basketball great Kobe Bryant dies in copter crash

Basketball great Kobe Bryant dies in cop...

 

LOS ANGELES: Kobe Bryant, the 18-time NBA All-Star who won five championships and became one of the greatest basketball players of his generation during a 20-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers, died in a helicopter crash Sunday. He was 41.

Bryant died in a helicopter crash near Calabasas, California, a person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press. A different person familiar with the case confirmed that Bryant's 13-year-old daughter Gianna also was killed.

 

Both spoke on condition of anonymity because details of the crash had not been released publicly. The crash happened around 10 a.m. about 30 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles.

Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Allen Kenitzer said it was a Sikorsky S-76 and it was not known what caused the crash. The LA County Sheriff's Department confirmed five dead in the crash, but had not released identities.

Bryant lived south of Los Angeles in coastal Orange County for much of his adult life, and he often used helicopters to save time and avoid Southern California's notorious traffic. Even as a player, he often traveled to practices and games by helicopter, and he kept up the practice after retirement as he attended to his business ventures.

The crash occurred several miles from Mamba Sports Academy, Bryant's basketball training complex in Thousand Oaks, California. Bryant, who had four daughters with his wife, Vanessa, dedicated himself to boosting women's sports in his retirement.

Colin Storm was in his living room in Calabasas when he heard ``what sounded like a low-flying airplane or helicopter.''

“It was very foggy so we couldn't see anything,'' he said. ``But then we heard some sputtering, and then a boom.''

A short time later the fog cleared a bit and Storm could see smoke rising from the hillside in front of his home.

Bryant retired in 2016 as the third-leading scorer in NBA history, finishing two decades with the Lakers as a prolific scorer with a sublime all-around game and a relentless competitive ethic. He held that spot in the league scoring ranks until Saturday night, when the Lakers' LeBron James passed him for third place during a game in Philadelphia, Bryant's hometown.

“Continuing to move the game forward (at)KingJames,'' Bryant wrote in his last tweet. “Much respect my brother.''

Bryant had one of the greatest careers in recent NBA history and became one of the game's most popular players as the face of the 16-time NBA champion Lakers franchise. He was the league MVP in 2008 and a two-time NBA scoring champion, and he earned 12 selections to the NBA's All-Defensive teams.

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.

Bryant retired in 2016 after scoring 60 points in his final NBA game.

Bryant looms large over the current generation of NBA players. After James passed Bryant on Saturday, he remembered listening to Bryant when the superstar came to speak at a childhood basketball camp.

“I remember one thing he said: If you want to be great at it, or want to be one of the greats, you've got to put the work in,'' James said. “There's no substitution for work.''

James later teamed up with Bryant on the 2008 U.S. Olympic team in Beijing.

“He had zero flaws offensively,'' James said. “Zero. You backed off of him, he could shoot the 3. You body him up a little bit, he could go around you. He could shoot from mid-range. He could post. He could make free throws. ... He was just immortal offensively because of his skill set and his work ethic.''

Bryant was a basketball superstar for his entire adult life. 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.

The Lakers acquired the 17-year-old Bryant in a trade shortly after Charlotte drafted him, and he immediately became one of the most exciting and intriguing players in the sport alongside O'Neal, who had signed with the Lakers as a free agent. Bryant won the Slam Dunk Contest as an upstart rookie, and the Lakers gradually grew into a team that won three consecutive championships.

Bryant and Gasol formed the nucleus of another championship team in 2008, reaching three straight NBA Finals and eventually winning two more titles.

In 2003, Bryant was charged with attacking a 19-year-old employee at a Colorado resort. He had said the two had consensual sex. Prosecutors later dropped the felony sexual assault charge against Bryant at the request of the accuser.


PostedOn: 27 Jan 2020 Total Views: 147




Badminton world champion PV Sindhu award...

Badminton world champion PV Sindhu awarded Padma B...

Reigning badminton World Champion PV Sindhu has been awarded the Padma Bhushan, the third-highest civilian award in India. The names of Padma awardees were announced on Saturday on the eve of the 71st Republic Day. Sindhu became the only Indian woman to win an Olympic silver when she reached the fin...

26 Jan 2020

Mohammed Azharuddin booked for cheating ...

Mohammed Azharuddin booked for cheating travel age...

A travel agent filed a police complaint alleging that Azharuddin and 2 others cheated him to the tune of Rs 20.96 lakh. A case was filed against former Indian cricket team captain and ex-MP Mohammed Azharuddin and two others for allegedly cheating a local travel agent of around Rs 21 lakh, a police ...

24 Jan 2020

India’s Elavenil Valarivan bags gold in ...

India’s Elavenil Valarivan bags gold in 10m air ri...

India’s tally in the tournament stands at two golds so far, with the other one earned by Manu Bhaker in 10m air pistol event. India’s Elavenil Valarivan has won gold in the ongoing ISSF World Cup in Putian, China by securing 250.8 points in the 10m air rifle category. This is India&rsquo...

21 Nov 2019

Sourav Ganguly calls India's first-ever ...

Sourav Ganguly calls India's first-ever day-night ...

Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) President Sourav Ganguly on Wednesday called India's first-ever day-night Test match a 'big occasion'. India will play a day-night Test match against Bangladesh at Eden Gardens, starting from November 22. The match will be played with a pink ball. Ganguly...

21 Nov 2019

India blow away Bangladesh inside 3 days...

India blow away Bangladesh inside 3 days to win fi...

India vs Bangladesh 3rd T20I Live Cricket Streaming: When and where to watch IND vs BAN match? R Ashwin and teammates celebrate the dismissal of Mushfiqur Rahim during the third day of first Test match between India and Bangladesh in Indore. (AP Photo)Continuing their winning momentum in the longest...

16 Nov 2019

I am here to make a difference: Ganguly ...

I am here to make a difference: Ganguly after bein...

Ganguly on Wednesday became the 39th BCCI president in Mumbai after serving as CAB president for four years. BCCI president Sourav Ganguly on Friday said he is here to make a difference but added that he asks himself sometimes whether he deserves all that he is getting, on the day he was felicitated...

26 Oct 2019

Mithun, Agarwal star as Karnataka clinch...

Mithun, Agarwal star as Karnataka clinch Vijay Haz...

Karnataka defeated Tamil Nadu by 60 runs in the final of the 2019 Vijay Hazare Trophy played at the M.Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru on Friday. Riding on brilliant performances from Abhimanyu Mithun (5/34) and Mayank Agarwal (69*), Karnataka defeated Tamil Nadu by 60 runs through VJD Method in the...

25 Oct 2019