NBA legend Kobe Bryant was killed in a helicopter crash Sunday afternoon. Nine others were killed in the crash, CNN reported.
There were no survivors, officials said.
The crash happened around 10 a.m. PST, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said.
Here are ten things to know about Kobe Bryant:
1. He only played with one team — the LA Lakers, Sports Illustrated reported. He was an 18-time All-Star and 11-time All-NBA first team. During his career, which spanned 20 years in the NBA, he scored 33,643 points.
2. He was third on the NBA all-time scoring list until hours before his death. On Saturday night, LeBron James needed 18 points to leapfrog over Bryant, and he did so with a layup in the third quarter in the game between the Lakers and the Philadelphia 76ers, according to SI.
LeBron James gets to the bucket to move up to 3rd on the all-time scoring list! pic.twitter.com/almofNRKrg
— NBA (@NBA) January 26, 2020
LeBron passes Kobe Bryant for 3rd on the NBA’s all-time scoring list 💪 pic.twitter.com/5Q4aI346e8
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) January 26, 2020
Despite being passed in the record books, Bryant had nothing but good words for James after the milestone, posting to Twitter, “much respect.”
Continuing to move the game forward @KingJames. Much respect my brother 💪🏾 #33644
— Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) January 26, 2020
Before the game, Bryant told USA Today: “You should be happy for the person that comes after you to be able to surpass things that you’ve done. It’s kind of juvenile to think or to behave any other way.”
3. Bryant won an Oscar. A poem he wrote was turned into a film. “Dear Basketball” won the Oscar for best animated short in 2018, The New York Times reported. Bryant described his movie as “the emotional journey of having a dream, believing it’ll come true; it comes true, then the realization that you have to wake up from that dream and move on to another.”
The film had some big names in the movie industry behind it — Oscar-winning composer John Williams and former Disney animator Glen Keane, the Times reported.
4. Bryant’s legendary status has been cemented in Hollywood literally. He pressed his hands and feet into concrete for Grauman’s Chinese Theater in 2011. He was the first athlete to have the honor, KCBS reported.
5. Bryant took the helicopter frequently from Orange County to every home game in Los Angeles, GQ reported in 2010. He used it because he couldn’t sit in a car for the two-hour drive to the Staples Center. The helicopter “ensures that he gets to the Staples Centre feeling fresh, that his body is warm and loose and fluid as mercury when he steps onto the court,” according to GQ.
This 2010 @GQMagazine profile of Bryant begins with him boarding his helicopter to a game. I remember thinking this was someone who had risen to the point where a whole machine swept away the earthly difficulties between him and what he did best. https://t.co/n7SvLnf0uv pic.twitter.com/qaTtuo0fHl
— Jacob Ward (@byjacobward) January 26, 2020
6. In 2017, the Lakers retired both of Bryant’s jersey numbers No. 8 and No. 24 during a game against Golden State. Before the ceremony, the team showed “Dear Basketball.”
7. The Godfather!
Speaks fluent Italian, having spent eight childhood years in Italy.
8. Take That Shaq!
In 2006, his daughter Gianna Maria-Onoro was born six minutes before the daughter of Bryant’s former teammate, Shaquille O’Neal.
At the age of 17, he was the first guard to be drafted directly out of high school.
10. There Must Have Been A Better Name Choice
Surprisingly, Kobe Bryant’s middle name is Bean. More than likely, Bean has to do with his basketball-playing father’s nickname, which was Jellybean.