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Kobe Bryant Dead at 41 in Helicopter Crash in California

From US Weekly/TMZ -

Kobe Bryant - Chelsea Lauren/Shutterstock

NBA superstar Kobe Bryant died at 41 in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California, on Sunday, January 26, TMZ is reporting.

The former L.A. Lakers player was traveling with at least three other people on his private helicopter when a fire reportedly broke out. Fire brigade and paramedics attended the scene but TMZ reports that five people are confirmed dead.

It’s believed that Bryant’s wife, Vanessa Bryant, was not on board.

Kobe has famously used a helicopter to travel for years -- dating back to when he played for the Lakers. He was known for commuting from Newport Beach, CA to the STAPLES Center in DTLA in his Sikorsky S-76 chopper.

KB is survived by his wife Vanessa, and their four daughters -- Gianna, Natalia and Bianca and their newborn Capri.

Kobe has recently been spotted out at NBA games with his daughter Gianna -- a rising star basketball player herself. Their youngest daughter, Capri, was just born in June 2019.

Kobe is widely considered one of the greatest NBA players of all time -- making 18 All-Star teams during his 20 year career with the Lakers. He was a first-round pick in the 1996 draft, winning 5 NBA championships, 2 NBA Finals MVPs and he was the league MVP in '08.

The Lakers famously retired both of Kobe's jerseys, number 8 and 24 ... the only player in team history to receive that honor.

Kobe's accomplishments stand far outside of the basketball world. He won an Oscar for his short film, "Dear Basketball," in 2018.

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