Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant died in a helicopter crash in California on Sunday, according to two people with knowledge of the situation. Mr. Bryant, a five-time NBA champion and a two-time Olympic gold medalist, was 41.
The smooth shooting guard, who patterned his game after Michael Jordan, entered the NBA straight out of high school in 1996. By his second season, he had earned his first of 18 all-star selections. By his fourth season, he had teamed with Shaquille O’Neal to win the first of three consecutive championships.
Although his partnership with O’Neal didn’t last, Mr. Bryant went on to greater heights after their 2004 parting. He won two scoring titles in the years that followed, and he famously scored 81 points against the Toronto Raptors in 2006, the second-highest single-game total in NBA history. Mr. Bryant’s 2008 pairing with Pau Gasol produced two more championships in 2009 and 2010, with Mr. Bryant winning Finals MVP honors both times.
Kobe will be missed. LA Lakers MVP will be missed..