NBA legend Kobe Bryant has died in a helicopter crash aged just 41.
According to TMZ, the LA Lakers icon was travelling with three others in a private aircraft when it came down in Calabasas near LA, California.
It is understood up to FIVE people have died in the crash, with nobody on board surviving.
An investigation into the incident – which happened on Sunday morning – is underway.
According to reports, the helicopter went up in a ball of fire after hitting the ground.
He is survived by his wife Vanessa and their four daughters, who are thought to have not been on board.
His shock death sparked an outpouring of grief from the basketball world.
Dallas Mavericks star Luka Doncic tweeting: “NO PLEASE, I’m shaking this can’t be true please.”
Cleveland Cavaliers forward Kevin Love said: “Please no. Please God no. It can’t be true.”
Tristan Thompson added: “I hope this isn’t true man!!! Not Kobe.”
Bryant starred for two decades for the Los Angeles Lakers, amassing a historic five championships while making 18 All-Star Games.
Bryant was drafted straight to the NBA from high school — where he won the Pennsylvania state championship in 1996.
He was picked up by the Charlotte Hornets before being traded to the Lakers.
Bryant, who stepped away from the game in 2016, spent his first 10 seasons wearing No 8 and his final 10 in No 24, with The Lakers retiring both jerseys.
Forming a formidable partnership with Shaquille O’Neal on court, the 41-year-old led the LA side to three back-to-back NBA championships from 2000-2002.
Source: The Sun
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