Remembering Longtime Los Angeles Basketball Great Kobe Bryant

The famed athlete, nicknamed the Black Mamba, was 41 years old.

Basketball lost a legend on Sunday. Kobe Bryant, longtime star of the Los Angeles Lakers, died along with eight other passengers, including his teenage daughter Gianna, in a helicopter crash in Calabasas.

Bryant rocketed to stardom not long after joining the Los Angeles Lakers in 1996 at the age of 18. During his 20-year career with the Lakers, Bryant was an 18-time All-Star, 15-time member of the All-NBA Team, 12-time member of the All-Defensive Team and the 2008 NBA Most Valuable Player. He also ranks fourth in the league for both all-time regular season scoring and post-season scoring.

According to the Los Angeles Times, “In a manner befitting both his sophisticated background and the city where he spent his adult life, the 41-year-old had transitioned from athletic stardom to a post-basketball career that included an Oscar for the animated short Dear Basketball, a series of children’s books that became New York Times bestsellers and a growing business empire.

“Kobe was a legend on the court and just getting started in what would have been just as meaningful a second act,” former President Obama said in a statement.

You can read the full Los Angeles Times obituary here.

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