NBA legend Kobe Bryant dead in LA-area helicopter crash
Former Los Angeles Laker and five-time NBA champion Kobe Bryant died Sunday in a helicopter crash in the Los Angeles area. Four other people were also killed.
A call for a downed helicopter in Calabasas went out at 10:01 a.m. local time, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. People who were out mountain biking in the area reported the accident.
David Shapiro, a former mayor of Calabasas and currently a city councilman, confirmed to NBC News that Bryant was on the helicopter.
It is with great sadness that we learn of the death of Kobe Bryant and four others in a helicopter crash in Calabasas. The aircraft went down in a remote field off Las Virgenes around 10:00 this morning. Nobody on the ground was hurt. The FAA and NTSB are investigating.
The Los Angeles Police Department alerted fans who wished to mourn at the Lakers arena that they would be unable to access the Staples Center as the Recording Academy was hosting the Grammys at the venue Sunday evening.
He was the son of long-time professional basketball player Joe “Jellybean” Bryant, who played for the Philadelphia 76ers, San Diego Clippers and Houston Rockets. The elder Bryant also had a lengthy career playing in Italy.
Bryant attended Lower Merion High School just outside of Philadelphia and was drafted directly into the league. He took R&B superstar Brandy Norwood to his 1996 prom.
He played in 15 All-Star Games, was MVP of four of those games, was the 2008 league MVP and was twice the NBA Finals MVP.
Doha Madani is a breaking news reporter for NBC News.