Kobe Bryant Would Regularly Take His Helicopter to Staples Center to Avoid Traffic

Kobe Bryant passed away in a helicopter crash on Sunday morning, leaving many fans wondering why he was in the air. The NBA legend had a long history of using helicopters whenever possible, as older reports show. According to NBC Los Angeles, it was the brutal L.A. traffic that kept him flying when he could.

Bryant was in a Sikorsky S-76 flying from Orange County on Sunday morning, according to a report by The Los Angels Times. The aircraft encountered foggy conditions over Calabasas, and crashed between Virgenes Road and Agoura Road. There were no homes nearby and no roads impacted.

The crash ignited brush in the area, which made it harder for first responders to reach the site. When they did, the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department said that all on-board were dead. That included Bryant, three passengers and the pilot.

The crash may be even more tragic considering how commonplace a helicopter ride was for Bryant. In a 2010 profile with GQ Magazine, Bryant confirmed that he traveled by air as much as possible, especially for local events.

"He takes a private helicopter from Orange County, where he lives with his wife and two children, to every home game. It's a nice dash of glitz, a touch of showbiz that goes well with the Hollywood sign in the hazy distance," interviewer J.R. Moehringer

However, Bryant did not rely on helicopter rides to show off. He explained that the flights went a long way in preserving his physical fitness, as they spared him potentially hours-long waits in the L.A. traffic. After years of accumulated injuries and conditions, including chronic agita at the time, a long car ride would leave Bryant exhausted.

"If you make $23 million a year with your body, taking a helicopter to work is actually quite practical," Moehringer noted.

Sadly, Bryant may have been trying to share this energy-saving technique with his daughter at the time of the crash. According to TMZ and other scattered reports on social media, Brant's 13-year-old daughter Gianna was among those killed in Sunday's crash. ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski tweeted that Bryant was taking her to her own basketball game when it happened.


"Kobe's daughter Gianna Maria Onore -- aka GiGi -- was also on board the helicopter and died in the crash ... reps for Kobe tell TMZ Sports. She was 13," read TMZ's report. "We're told they were on their way to the Mamba Academy for a basketball practice when the crash occurred. The Academy is in nearby Thousand Oaks."

Bryant was 41 years old. The world of sports and entertainment are mourning him as the news continues to trickle in.