Kobe Bryant dead at 41, Gianna Bryant, cause of death

Kobe Bryant death, NBA legend dead at 41 with daughter Gianna "Gigi" Bryant | Basketball.

by Jessie Mendoza

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On the morning of January 26, 2020, a helicopter carrying nine occupants, including former professional basketball player Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna, crashed in Calabasas, California. All occupants including the pilot were killed.

WHO IS KOBE BRYANT

Kobe Bryant was an American professional basketball player. He played his entire 20-year career in the National Basketball Association (NBA) with the Los Angeles Lakers. He entered the NBA directly from high school and won five NBA championships. Kobe Bryant was an 18-time All-Star, 15-time member of the All-NBA Team, 12-time member of the All-Defensive team, and the 2008 NBA Most Valuable Player (MVP).

Widely regarded as one of the greatest basketball players of all time, he led the NBA in scoring during two seasons, ranks fourth on the league’s all-time regular season scoring, and ranks fourth on the all-time postseason scoring list. Kobe Bryant was the first guard in NBA history to play at least 20 seasons.

KOBE BRYANT DEATH

At 9:06 a.m. Pacific Standard Time on January 26, 2020, Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna, and seven others took off from John Wayne Airport in Orange County, California, in a Sikorsky S-76 helicopter owned by Bryant. The helicopter was registered to the Fillmore-based Island Express Holding Corp., according to the California Secretary of State business database.

The helicopter crashed in Calabasas, California, at about 9:47 a.m. and caught fire. The helicopter had passed over Boyle Heights, near Dodger Stadium, and circled over Glendale during the flight. Personnel from the Los Angeles County Fire Department attended the scene, and the fire had been extinguished by 10:30 a.m. None of the nine passengers on board the helicopter survived. Initial reports indicated that the helicopter crashed in the mountains above Calabasas in heavy fog. Witnesses reported hearing a helicopter struggling before crashing.

The FAA and NTSB launched investigations on the day of the crash.

HELICOPTER CRASH

At 9:06 a.m. (PST) on January 26, 2020, Bryant, daughter Gianna (his second of four children with his wife Vanessa) and seven others had taken off from John Wayne Airport in Orange County, California, in a Sikorsky S-76B owned by Bryant. The helicopter passed over Boyle Heights, near Dodger Stadium, and circled over Glendale during the flight. The helicopter was registered to the Fillmore-based Island Express Holding Corp., according to the California Secretary of State business database.

The helicopter crashed in Calabasas, California, at about 9:47 a.m. local time and caught fire. Weather conditions at the time were reported to be foggy. Los Angeles County Fire Department firefighters responded to the scene and extinguished the fire by 10:30 am. All nine people on board were killed. Witnesses reported that the helicopter’s engine was “sputtering” before the crash. Data from Flightradar24 appear to show the helicopter rising abruptly before crashing.

INVESTIGATIONS

The FAA and NTSB launched investigations on the day of the crash.

MEMORIALS

Around 200 people gathered at the foot of the hill close to the crash with several wearing Bryant’s jersey and holding basketballs. People also formed an impromptu memorial at Staples Center where the Los Angeles Lakers play.

The Toronto Raptors and San Antonio Spurs started their game with intentional 24-second violations in honor of Bryant’s former jersey number. The Boston Celtics and New Orleans Pelicans did the same in their game, followed by the Washington Wizards and Atlanta Hawks, Brooklyn Nets and New York Knicks, Los Angeles Clippers and Orlando Magic, and Phoenix Suns and Memphis Grizzlies. A moment of silence was also held during a game between the Denver Nuggets and the Houston Rockets.

Many players in the NFL learned of Bryant’s death while they were in the locker room moments before the Pro Bowl. Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson led a prayer in the locker room among the NFC players, and during the game many players made on-field tributes to Bryant.

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