Kobe Bryant: Basketball legend killed in helicopter crash

Monday, January 27, 2020

Tributes have been paid to basketball legend Kobe Bryant who was killed alongside his 13-year-old daughter in a helicopter crash yesterday.

Widely considered one of the best basketball players of all time and one of the highest profile sporting figures in the US, Bryant's death at the age of 41 was mourned around the world.

Large crowds gathered outside the Staples Centre, home of Bryant’s former team, the Los Angeles Lakers.

The five time NBA champion spent his entire 20 year career playing for the LA team before retiring in 2016.

His teenage daughter Gianna and seven others were killed in the crash in southern California.

Thirteen-year-old Gianna also died in the tragedy

US president Donald Trump tweeted: “Kobe Bryant, despite being one of the truly great basketball players of all time, was just getting started in life.

“He loved his family so much, and had such strong passion for the future. The loss of his beautiful daughter, Gianna, makes this moment even more devastating.”

The tragedy loomed over the Grammys, taking place in downtown LA, where host Alicia Keys said the ceremony was cloaked in sadness.

She told the audience: “America and the whole wide world lost a hero.”

Fans gather at the Staples Centre to pay tribute

Meanwhile in the UK, the BBC has apologised after mistakenly using footage of fellow Lakers player LeBron James in its coverage of the incident in its News At Ten programme.

The broadcaster faced a backlash on Twitter with one post saying: “Who cut this????? BBC news using footage of Lebron James instead of Kobe Bryant in their obit!!!!! IT EVEN SAYS JAMES ON HIS SHIRT.”

Paul Royall, editor of BBC News at Six and Ten, apologised for the mistake and blamed “human error”.

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