Update: 4:44 p.m. — According to Los Angeles County authorities, nine people, eight passengers and the pilot, died in the helicopter crash that killed Kobe Bryant and daughter Gianna, 13.
Los Angeles Lakers superstar and five-time NBA champion Kobe Bryant died in a helicopter crash in California on Sunday morning, the Los Angeles Times and multiple media outlets confirmed. Four others, according to the Times, died in the crash and have yet to be identified. Bryant was 41 years old.
As news of Bryant's death broke Sunday afternoon, Dallas took to social media to mourn.
Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban was reflective, while several Mavs players remained in disbelief after the crash.
We can never forget how precious life is. How those who are special to you and never let them forget how deeply you love them— Mark Cuban (@mcuban) January 26, 2020
To all of my friends, thank you. Each of you have shared part of yourself with me and made my life better. I have tried to do the same. If you were here I would hug you like I just hugged my family. It hurts that it takes a tragedy to remind us of our mortality.#hugyourfriends— Mark Cuban (@mcuban) January 26, 2020
NO PLEASE— Luka Doncic (@luka7doncic) January 26, 2020
Please tell me this kobe news is fake please— Jalen Brunson (@jalenbrunson1) January 26, 2020
WFAA sports reporter Mike Leslie remembered Bryant at his on-the-court best, the night he scored 81 points against the Raptors.
One of my most crystallized sports memories was being a Sr. in HS in ‘06, & coming downstairs for breakfast to see on SportsCenter that Kobe Bryant had scored 81 pts the night before. I was stunned, and sat there gleefully watching every last highlight, watching history. #RIPKobe— Mike Leslie (@MikeLeslieWFAA) January 26, 2020
Political leaders from across the ideological spectrum paid tribute to Bryant as well.
I’m in disbelief. Kobe Bryant was a fierce competitor who represented excellence and persistence to my generation.— Mayor Eric Johnson (@Johnson4Dallas) January 26, 2020
My heart goes out to his family and to the families of all those who died in this horrific tragedy. A reminder to the rest of us that life is precious. https://t.co/iiVpxqagPO
Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.