Kobe Bryant passed away at the age of 41 in a helicopter crash on Sunday outside Los Angeles, sending shock waves across the world. The helicopter is reported to have gone down near Calabasas, California due to foggy conditions as the basketball legend was travelling to his youth basketball academy where his daughter Gianna was going to play. Gianna, 13, also died in the crash along with seven others travelling in the helicopter.
One of the greatest to play the game of all time, Bryant spent 20 seasons with Los Angeles Lakers before retiring following the 2015-16 season. Bryant, who gave himself the nickname Black Mamba, won five NBA championships for the Lakers along with collecting several accolades.
He was the NBA’s Most Valuable Player in 2007-08, a 15-time All-NBA selection, 18-time All-Star, and 12-time All-Defensive team member. He was twice named MVP of the NBA Finals and was the All-Star Game MVP four times.
In 2006, Bryant scored 81 points against the Toronto Raptors which became the second-highest total in NBA history, behind only Wilt Chamberlain’s famed 100-point game in 1962. In his final game in 2016, Bryant scored 60 points during a 101-96 victory over the Utah Jazz.
A largely beloved athlete across sports and around the world, the Mamba played a total of 1,346 games in his career, retiring in 2016 as the third-leading scorer in NBA history with 33,643 points. Bryant, who became the youngest to win the NBA Slam Dunk Contest at the age of 18, also has under his name two Olympic gold medals for the United States.
On Sunday, Lakers star LeBron James passed him on the all-time list when he scored 29 points against the Philadelphia 76ers. Bryant stands behind Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Karl Malone and James on the all-time list. Both numbers Bryant wore for the Lakers — 8 and 24 — were retired by the club.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines