In a shocking turn of events, basketball star Kobe Bryant has been reported dead in a helicopter crash in California this evening.
The 41 year-old former Lakers star was involved in a helicopter accident in Calabasas on Sunday morning Pacific time, alongside his thirteen year-old daughter Gianna.
TMZ Sports first reported that Bryant was one of the passengers involved in the crash, which reports state killed nine in total.
Kobe Bryant reported dead
BREAKING: Kobe Bryant Has Died In A Helicopter Crash https://t.co/zmzFezbfal
— TMZ Sports (@TMZ_Sports) January 26, 2020
The news comes just a day after LeBron James passed Bryant in the all-time NBA scorers list.
Bryant played his full 20-year NBA career with the Lakers, and won five NBA championships.
He won 18 All-Stars and was a 15-time member of the All-NBA team, leading the championship in scoring for two seasons of his career.
LeBron reflects on his favorite Kobe memories and the impact the Mamba has had on his life 🤝 pic.twitter.com/UDBYdttSli
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) January 26, 2020
He retired from the Lakers in 2016, where he gave an emotional speech in leaving the Staples Center.
"I'm more proud, not of the championships, but of the down years," Bryant said.
"We didn't run. We got through all that stuff and won our Championships and we did it the right way.
"All I can do is thank you guys for all the years of support. Thank you all for the motivation and inspiration."
Bryant is the son of former NBA star Joe Bryant, starting his career at the Charlotte Hornets who drafted him out of high school and immediately traded him to the Lakers.
Bryant became the youngest player in NBA history to reach 30,000 career points at 34 years old, before becoming the all-time leading Lakers scorer in 2010.
Sports stars from around the world tweeted their memories and respect to Bryant on Sunday evening.
We miss you already Kobe ❤️❤️🙏🏼🙏🏼
— Tom Brady (@TomBrady) January 26, 2020
— Tony Parker (@tonyparker) January 26, 2020
More to follow.