President Obama, Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson Honor Kobe Bryant After Tragic Death
(AllHipHop News) President Barack Obama paid tribute to the late basketball superstar Kobe Bryant, who died in a helicopter crash earlier today.
Bryant, 41, and his daughter Gianna were confirmed dead in the crash, which claimed the lives of three other people on Sunday morning (January 26th) in Calabasas, California.
Federal Aviation Administration officials confirmed Bryant was a passenger in his own Sikorsky S-76 helicopter, which crashed under “unknown circumstances.”
Kobe Bryant’s daughter Gianna was also killed in the accident. He is survived by Vanessa, and their three children Natalia, Bianca, and baby Capri.
Kobe Bryant is considered among the five greatest basketball players of all time.
Bryant skipped college after becoming a sports phenomenon at Lower Merion High in Pennsylvania and joined the Lakers, aged 17, in 1996 after a deal with the Charlotte Hornets, who selected him in the NBA Draft.
Bryant made his professional debut in the Lakers’ 1996-97 season opener against Minnesota, becoming the youngest player ever to appear in an NBA game.
The 18-time NBA All-Star won five championships with the Lakers.
In 2008, Bryant was named the NBA’s Most Valuable Player and he was also a two-time Olympic gold medalist as a member of the USA Men’s Basketball.
He retired in 2016.
Bryant then turned his attentions to Hollywood and won an Academy Award in 2018 for his short film "Dear Basketball."
On Saturday, fellow Lakers star LeBron James surpassed Kobe Bryant to take the #3 spot on the NBA's All-Time Scoring List following a loss to the 76ers.
Lebron James paid tribute to Bryant with special Nike shoes during the game and Kobe Bryant was extremely gracious to LeBron in a congratulatory Tweet.