NBA: Lakers Legend Kobe Bryant confirmed dead in a helicopter crash

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Bryant was travelling in his private jet Sunday morning with at least three other people when a fire broke out at around 10 am. 

Officials with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department responded to reports of the crash near Las Virgenes Rd and Willow Glen St in Calabasas. 

TMZ reported that emergency services responded, but everyone on board was confirmed dead - sources say Vanessa Bryant was not among those on board. 

Although the exact cause of the crash has not been confirmed, eyewitnesses report hearing the helicopter's engine sputtering before it went down. Bryant is known for using his private Sikorsky S-76 chopper to travel, dating back to his Lakers career when he would fly between Newport Beach, CA to the STAPLES Center in Downtown LA.

The 41-year-old All-Star is survived by wife Vanessa Bryant and their four daughters, Gianna, Natalia, Bianca and their newborn Capri. 

The Philadelphia native spent the entirety of his 20-year career with the LA Lakers and is recognised for winning five NBA Championships, two NBA Finals MVP titles and 18 All-Star titles. Following his retirement in 2016, the Lakers famously retired both of Kobe's jerseys, number 8 and 24 as he became the only player in team history to receive such an honour.

Bryant's death has come as a shock to the world of basketball and beyond as his talents and personality reached much farther than the court. He won an Oscar for his short film, "Dear Basketball," in 2018 and also released his book 'The Mamba Mentality: How I Play'. 

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But right now, the world has fallen silent as they remember one of the greatest basketball players of all time. 

This is a breaking story and Give Me Sport NBA will keep you updated with any developments. 

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