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Kobe Bryant, four others killed in helicopter crash in Calabasas

Kobe Bryant, four others killed in helicopter crash in Calabasas

Kobe Bryant by Alexandra Walt is in the Public Domain.

Kobe Bryant, four others killed in helicopter crash in Calabasas


Estimated Reading Time: 4 Minutes

One of the saddest things about life is the suddenness of death.

I woke up this morning to one of the saddest twitter posts I have ever seen:

Kobe Bryant, one of the most legendary basketball stars, was killed when his personal helicopter crashed and burst into flames Sunday morning in Calabasas, California (Just outside of LA).

The crash occurred shortly before 10 a.m. near Las Virgenes Road, south of Agoura Road, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. As of right now the word is that four others have also died in the crash. Sources said the helicopter took off from Orange County, where Bryant lived.

TMZ first reported the news.

It gets worse.

It has now been reported that Kobe’s daughter Gigi was also on board:

This came after the awesome video posted of Kobe teaching his daughter about basketball at a Lakers game last week:

An 18-time NBA All-Star, Bryant was considered to be one of the greatest basketball players of all-time. Bryant stayed with one team his entire career.

Bryant’s death immediately stunned and saddened the entire sports and real world.

Overshadowing history

The crash comes following one of the greatest nights ever for LeBron James. Bryant was passed by the Los Angeles Lakers forward for third place on the NBA’s all-time scoring list. Late last night, Bryant was on social media offering congratulations to LeBron during the Lakers’ 108-91 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers.

Kobe, known as Black Mamba, was the closest thing to Michael Jordan as we have ever seen. He won five NBA titles with the Lakers and two gold medals for the U.S. Bryant finished his career with 33,643 points (fourth all time), two NBA Finals MVP awards and one regular-season MVP in 2008.

Kobe began his career in 1996 when he was drafted number 13 overall by the Charlotte Hornets before he was traded to the Lakers. Bryant is the only player in NBA history to have multiple jerseys retired by a single franchise (8 and 24).

The only way I can personally relate to this crash is that I moved to LA one year ago. My first job out in LA is only five minutes from where the crash occurred:

Calabasas is one of the richest cities in Los Angeles county. Several of its residents are celebrities and most people live on top of the hills. It was reported as raining on Sunday morning. Only one could imagine what it was like in that helicopter the final moments for all involved in the crash.

So what now?

There are times when words lose all meaning. There are times when the only things we can ask is “why?”. World basketball is mourning. All of the United States sports world is mourning.

Please pray/send all of your thoughts to the Bryant family and everyone involved. Please hug your loved ones.

One of the saddest things about life is the suddenness of death.

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