Basketball legend Kobe Bryant killed in air crash

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Late basketball legend Kobe Bryant in action during his playing days

NBA legend Kobe Bryant died Sunday in a helicopter crash in suburban Los Angeles, celebrity website TMZ reported, in an confirmed by police that saw five killed.

Los Angeles County Sheriff’s officials said there were survivors from the morning crash on a hillside in Calabasas, west of Los Angeles.

The helicopter described as a Sikorsky S-76, Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Allen Kenitzer said.

TMZ the first US outlet to report that Bryant among the fatalities. The NBA icon’s later confirmed by ESPN and Variety citing unidentified sources.

The crash came only hours after the 41-year- Los Angeles Lakers star passed by current Lakers star LeBron James for third on the all- NBA scoring list in a game at Philadelphia.

Bryant was a five- NBA champion in a career that began in 1996 and lasted until his retirement in 2016.

He also was a two- Olympic gold medalist, helping spark the US squad of NBA stars to titles in 2008 at Beijing and 2012 at London. (AFP/Channels)