NBA legend Kobe Bryant has died in a helicopter crash according to TMZ. The helicopter was a private one that belonged to Bryant and he had used for years. The pilot and 3 people who were traveling with him were also killed. TMZ confirmed that his wife was not among them.
Bryant entered the NBA straight out of high school and had a 20 year career in the NBA, playing his whole career with the Los Angeles Lakers. He was actually drafted by Charlotte Hornets but was traded to the Lakers before he played a game for them. He was a 5 time NBA champion the first 3 championships came consecutively when he formed a duo with Shaquille O’Neal in the early 2000s. Then he won two more championships after O’Neal left. Bryant won MVP of the league in 2008 and won NBA finals MVP twice. He has the record for the second highest point total by one player in a single game with 81. He retired in 2016, ending his career with a 60 point night in his final game. There plenty more accolades, but too many to list.
Bryant’s all-time point totals sit at 4th in league history. Ironically Lebron James just passed Bryant’s record last night before he was killed.
Bryant did experience some controversy over the course of his life. He was accused of sexual assault in 2003, but the charges were eventually dropped and he settled with his accuser. He and Shaq also had a long feud during their time playing with each other in LA.
It’ll be interesting to see the reactions to this one. I’m not the biggest fan of the guy, but this death was a pretty big shock.