Legendary Basketball Player Kobe Bryant Dies off Helicopter Crash at 41

Kobe Bryant, the NBA Most Valuable Player who had a 20-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers, died on Sunday when the helicopter he was traveling in crashed and burst into flames in the hills above Calabasas, about 30 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles. His daughter Gianna, 13, was also on board and died along with seven others.

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“The NBA family is devastated by the tragic passing of Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna,” NBA commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement. “For 20 seasons, Kobe showed us what is possible when remarkable talent blends with an absolute devotion to winning.”We send our heartfelt condolences to his wife, Vanessa, and their family, the Lakers organization and the entire sports world.”

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Kobe Bryant won five NBA championships for the Lakers and amassed a number of accolades. He was the NBA’s Most Valuable Player in 2007-08, a 15-time All-NBA selection, 18-time All-Star and 12-time All-Defensive team member. He twice was named MVP of the NBA Finals and was the All-Star Game MVP four times.

Since retiring from the game, he had been working actively behind the promotion of women’s basketball coaching and mentoring basketball players around the world while also backing women’s soccer and other endeavors.

Kobe Bryant retired as the third-leading scorer in NBA history with 33,643 points, all scored in Lakers jersey. He was also knicknamed as Black Mamba. He was a gifted shooter and had a good all-round game. His hard work and his work ethics were the two reasons why he was a crowd favorite, hugely followed by his fans and even by his rivals.

He won Olympic gold medals for the United States in 2008 and 2012 and is among the candidates this year for induction into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame. Before entering the NBA, Bryant was a star at Lower Merion High in the Philadelphia area and led the school to the 1996 state championship.

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Idolizing, Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant had a similar swagger of Jordan when he played on the court, which allowed him to play with the competitive approach similar to that of Jordan. To talk trash, guard his opponents, always fight for the ball and playing with pain were his biggest assets as a player.

His final game was one for the ages as Bryant scored 60 points during a 101-96 victory over the Utah Jazz on April 13, 2016. Both numbers Bryant wore for the Lakers 8 and 24 were retired by the club.

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