kobe-bryant-dies-in-helicopter-crash-8211-us-media

Los Angeles Lakers Kobe Bryant plays a game in Los Angeles, on 21 May 2009.Image copyright
Reuters

US basketball legend Kobe Bryant has been killed in a helicopter crash in California, US media report.

Bryant was travelling in a private helicopter when it burst into flames above the city of Calabasas, according to the reports.

The LA County Sheriff’s department said that five people died in a helicopter crash in Calabasas on Sunday, with no survivors.

It did not immediately publish any names.

It said it received reports of the crash at about 10:00 local time (18:00 GMT).

Eyewitnesses told news site TMZ they heard the helicopter’s engine spluttering before it went down.

The cause of the crash is being investigated.

Five-time NBA champion Bryant, 41, played his entire 20-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers. He retired in April 2016.

Bryant’s achievements include being the 2008 NBA Most Valuable Player and two-time NBA Finals MVP. He was also two-time NBA scoring champion and a two-time Olympic champion.

He also won an Oscar for best short animated film in 2018 for Dear Basketball, a five-minute film based on a love letter to the sport he had written in 2015.

Media playback is unsupported on your device

Media captionKobe Bryant’s career in numbers