Famed basketball player Kobe Bryant, 41, has been reported to have died in a helicopter crash today. Worse still, one of his children, a 13-year-old daughter name Gianna, was also killed.
Bryant spent his entire NBA career with the L.A. Lakers. He was one of the few professional athletes to go directly from high school to professional sports without attending college. I think it didn't hurt he was the son of a former pro basketball player, Joe Bryant. He also ran into trouble with the law a number of years ago when accused of rape in 2003. However, the case never went to trial because the woman refused to testify although Bryant admitted to cheating on his wife with the woman but said the encounter was consensual. Later on there was a civil suit filed on behalf of the accuser, and it was settled out of court.
Other family members were not in the helicopter.
Bryant retired in 2016.
A 6-foot-6 small forward with the ability to swing up front and play point or shooting guard, Bryant entered the NBA straight out of high school. In 1996, he became the youngest player in NBA history.There was heavy fog at the time of the crash. The helicopter went down in Calabasas.
He won five NBA titles in his time with the Lakers, as well as two Olympic gold medals playing for the United States. Now fourth on the NBA's all-time scoring list with 33,643 points, Bryant won two NBA Finals MVP awards and one NBA regular-season MVP nod in 2008.
This week marked the 14-year anniversary of his 81-point game against the Toronto Raptors, still the second most points ever scored in an NBA game behind Wilt Chamberlain's 100.