US basketball legend Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna are among nine people killed in a helicopter crash in the city of Calabasas, California.

Kobe Bryant Dies In Helicopter Crash

Bryant, 41, was travelling in a private helicopter when it came down and burst into flames.

The LA county sheriff said there were no survivors.

Bryant, a five-time NBA champion, played for the LA Lakers throughout his career and is considered one of the greatest players in the game’s history.

Tributes from celebrities and fellow sports stars have been pouring in, many expressing shock at his sudden death.

Moments of silence have been observed at basketball games across the US.

Bryant has also been remembered at the Grammy Awards which are being held at the Los Angeles Lakers’ stadium.

“We’re all feeling crazy sadness right now,” said Grammys host Alicia Keys.

“Because earlier today Los Angeles, America and the whole wide world lost a hero. We’re literally standing here heartbroken in the house that Kobe Bryant built.”

The NBA issued a statement saying it was “devastated by the tragic passing of Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna” aged 13.

“For 20 seasons, Kobe showed us what is possible when remarkable talent blends with an absolute devotion to winning,” it said.

Who was Bryant?

Bryant played his entire 20-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers. He retired in April 2016.

His achievements include being the 2008 NBA Most Valuable Player and two-time NBA Finals MVP. He was also NBA scoring champion twice and a two-time Olympic champion.

He famously scored 81 points against the Toronto Raptors in 2006, the second-highest single-game total in NBA history.

He also won an Oscar for best short animated film in 2018 for Dear Basketball, a five-minute film based on a love letter to the sport he had written in 2015.

Bryant and his wife, Vanessa, have three other daughters, Natalia, Bianca and Capri.

He later apologised, saying he recognised that “she did not and does not view this incident the same way I did.” A subsequent civil suit was settled out of court.

What has the reaction been?

Tributes for the sports star poured in on social media following news of the crash.

Shaquille O’Neal, who played alongside Bryant at the Lakers between 1996 and 2004, said there were “no words to express the pain I’m going through”.

“I love you and you will be missed,” he wrote on Instagram alongside a photo of the pair in their Lakers kits.

Manchester City forward Raheem Sterling wrote “rest easy legend” in a tweet accompanied by a black-and-white photo of the sports star.

“This is absolutely terrible. Everyone is numb,” American actress and model Chrissy Teigen tweeted.

Pop star Mariah Carey said she was in shock.

Fans gathered at a makeshift memorial for Bryant in front of the Staples Center sports and entertainment arena in Los Angeles, laying flowers and basketballs in memory of the star.

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