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RIP Kobe Bryant

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  • RIP Kobe Bryant

    Kobe Bryant, the NBA star, Oscar winner, and pop culture icon, died Sunday at the age of 41, according to TMZ. His private helicopter crashed in Calabasas, and TMZ reports that five aboard were confirmed dead. A Los Angeles local news report confirmed that a helicopter had crashed in the area, and sparked a quarter-acre brush fire. A source confirmed the death to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

    According to TMZ, Bryant’s 13-year-old daughter Gianna Maria was among the passengers on board, and died in the crash as well. ESPN reports that Bryant and his daughter were on their way to a travel basketball game, and that another player and parent were aboard the helicopter as well.
    Bryant, who began playing for the Los Angeles Lakers in 1996 and stayed there for his entire 20-year NBA career, was a globally famous athlete, a two-time gold-medal winning Olympian and, as the producer of the animated short film “Dear Basketball,” an Academy Award-winner. He was an 18-time NBA All-Star, and led the Lakers to five NBA championships.

    On Saturday, current Lakers star Lebron James surpassed Bryant’s record to become the number 3 scorer in NBA history — a milestone Bryant acknowledged with a magnanimous tweet:
    Bryant was born in Philadelphia, the only son of former NBA player Joe Bryant, and became nationally famous as a high school player; he took singer Brandy to his senior prom. He went directly from high school into the NBA, drafted by the Charlotte Hornets before being traded to the Lakers, where he would spend his entire NBA career.

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