Kobe Bryant Dead: Donald Trump Speaks out on 'Terrible News' About 'Basketball Great'

President Donald Trump quickly responded to the news of Los Angeles Lakers great Kobe Bryant's death. The basketball legend died Sunday after his private helicopter crashed in Calabasas, California. Bryant's 13-year-old daughter, Gianna Marie Onore, was also killed in the crash, his representatives told TMZ Sports. Bryant was 41.

"Reports are that basketball great Kobe Bryant and three others have been killed in a helicopter crash in California," Trump tweeted Sunday. "That is terrible news!"

Bryant's helicopter went down just before 10 a.m. local time. There were at least three other people with Bryant in the helicopter and there were no survivors. After the helicopter crashed, it caused a small brushfire, which emergency personnel needed to contain before getting to the wreckage.

Sources told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski Bryant and Gianna were headed to a basketball game, along with another player and parent. The game was being held at the Mamba Academy in nearby Thousand Oaks, TMZ reports.

Bryant's death came the day after Lakers forward LeBron James passed him on the NBA all-time scoring list. Bryant is now No. 4 on the list, with 33,643 points. He spent his entire 20-year career with the Lakers, who retired both numbers 8 and 25 after he retired in 2016.

"It's another guy that I looked up to when I was in grade school and high school," James told the media Saturday night, reports ESPN. "Seeing him come straight out of high school, he is someone that I used as inspiration. It was like, wow."

"Seeing a kid, 17 years old, come into the NBA and trying to make an impact on a franchise, I used it as motivation," James continued. "He helped me before he even knew of me because of what he was able to do. So, just to be able to, at this point of my career, to share the same jersey that he wore, be with this historical franchise and just represent the purple and gold, it's very humbling and it's dope. Kobe's a legend, that's for damn sure."

Bryant won five NBA championships with the Lakers and has two Olympic gold medals. He was named NBA regular season MVP in 2008 and has two NBA Finals MVP awards.


Bryant is survived by his wife, Vanessa, and three other daughters, Natalie, 17, Bianka, 3, and 7-month-old Capri.

Photo credit: Getty Images