Kobe Bryant was an NBA champion and one of the greatest players the world has ever seen. He started off as an 18-year-old rookie and rose to fame like no other. He played 20 years for the Los Angeles Lakers with 18 of them as an all-star and winning five NBA championships. He was the NBA's Most Valuable Player in the 2007-2008 season. He ranks fourth on the NBA's all-time scoring list and has scored 81 points in a single game, the second-most ever. He died at age 41 on Sunday as a victim of a helicopter crash along with his daughter, 13-year-old Gianna.
His death comes as a shock to the world and the National Basketball Association which he helped gain importance and spread its reach all over the world. The cause of the crash is still not known and an investigation by the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board is underway. The accident occurred when they were traveling to the Mamba Academy in Thousand Oaks, California, for basketball practice. They were among nine people who have been reportedly confirmed dead in the accident, including another player and parent. They were traveling in a Sikorsky S-76B helicopter built-in 1991 when they crashed under foggy conditions in the hills above Calabasas. In total, eight passengers and one pilot were the tragic victims in the crash.
Orange Coast College head baseball coach John Altobelli, his wife Keri and daughter Alyssa were among the victims.
"For 20 seasons, Kobe showed us what is possible when remarkable talent blends with absolute devotion to winning," NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said "... But he will remember most for inspiring people around the world to pick up a basketball and compete to the very best of their ability. He was generous with the wisdom he acquired and saw it as his mission to share it with future generations of players, taking special delight in passing down his love of the game to Gianna."
The world witnessed a great loss with the death of the talented and incredible player who passed on his love for the game to his daughter, who dreamt about carrying on the legacy which will remain unfulfilled.