Kobe Bryant, daughter Gianna among 9 killed in helicopter crash, reports say

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Amid the tragic passing of Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant, USA Basketball released a statement regarding the tragedy. I love u and u will be missed.

Lazenby recalled a particular moment that was captured in a photo with Bryant after he had won his first championship in 2000.

Kobe Bryant played for 20 years with the LA Lakers between 1996 and 2016, and was slated to be inducted into the NBA Hall Of Fame in 2020. (Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images) A makeshift memorial for former National Basketball Association and Los Angeles Lakers player Kobe Bryant is pictured after learning of his death at LA Live plaza in front of Staples Center in Los Angeles on January 26, 2020.

In his last tweet, Bryant wrote: "Continuing to move the game forward (at) KingJames". "Mr. Bryant's connection to Lower Merion high school, where he played basketball prior to joining the NBA has raised the profile of our high school and our district throughout the world".

Johnson went on in another tweet to remember Bryant as a "friend, a legend, husband, father, son, brother, Oscar victor, and greatest Laker of all-time".

Kobe Bryant's 13-Year-Old Daughter Died in Helicopter Crash
According to the Los Angeles Times, the tragedy occurred around 10 a.m. Another player and parent were reportedly in the plane. Bryant visits the New York Stock Exchange in 2016.

Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa confirmed that its head baseball coach, John Altobelli, was killed in the crash.

The trade cut short what looked like an extended dynasty in Los Angeles as Bryant remained with the Lakers for the rest of his career.

While the Staples Center was surrounded by barricades for the Grammy Awards, determined fans navigated the security barriers to pay their respects.

Colin Storm was in his living room in Calabasas when he heard what sounded to him like a low-flying airplane or helicopter. "But then we heard some sputtering and then a boom". According to L.A. County Fire Chief Daryl Osby, the crash was reported at 9:47 a.m. where Las Virgenes Road and Willow Glen Street meet.

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