LOS ANGELES — TMZ is reporting that former Lakers NBA basketball star Kobe Bryant has died following a plane crash Sunday at the age of 41.
FOX4’s sister station KTLA reports the helicopter crash happened on a hillside in the Calabasas area.
There were no survivors in the crash, according to the Los Angeles County Fire Department. It was unclear if family members were on the helicopter.
TMZ reports Bryant has used a helicopter to travel for years, dating back to when he played for the Lakers.
Bryant retired in 2016 as the third-leading scorer in NBA history, finishing two decades with the Lakers as a prolific scorer with a sublime all-around game and a relentless competitive ethic. He held that spot in the league scoring ranks until Saturday night, when the Lakers’ LeBron James passed him for third place during a game in Philadelphia, Bryant’s hometown.
Five people were killed the crash on a hillside in Calabasas, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said. There were no survivors, the Los Angeles County Fire Department said.
The sheriff’s department received reports of the downed aircraft just after 1 p.m. ET, officials said in a tweet.
Bryant had one of the greatest careers in recent NBA history and became one of the game’s most popular players as the face of the 16-time NBA champion Lakers franchise. He was the league MVP in 2008 and a two-time NBA scoring champion, and he earned 12 selections to the NBA’s All-Defensive teams.
He teamed with Shaquille O’Neal in a combustible partnership to lead the Lakers to NBA titles in 2000, 2001 and 2002. He later teamed with Pau Gasol to win two more titles in 2009 and 2010.
Calabasas is a city of 23,000 people about 30 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles.
This is a developing story and will be updated as details become available.
#Update Downed aircraft is a helicopter. Flames extinguished. #Malibu deputies at crash site looking for survivors, 4200 blk Las Virgenes Rd #Calabasas #LASD pic.twitter.com/eixLhGhLyE
— LA County Sheriffs (@LASDHQ) January 26, 2020
Man not Kobe… Prayers to his family and friends! #RIPMamba