• Former LA Lakers' forward Kobe Bryant has died. (AP)Source: AP
Retired basketball star Kobe Bryant dies in a helicopter crash in California.
27 Jan 2020 - 7:40 AM  UPDATED 27 Jan 2020 - 8:34 AM

Retired basketball star Kobe Bryant has died in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California on Monday.

Bryant was travelling in his private helicopter when it went down. Four other people were killed in the crash, including Bryant's 13-year-old daughter, Gianna.

They were reportedly en route to her basketball practice in Thousand Oaks.

Others on board the aircraft included another player and parent.

There were no survivors of the crash according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

Investigators are trying to determine the cause of the fatal crash. There was extensive fog in the Los Angeles area on Sunday morning

The 18-time NBA All-Star who won five championships and became one of the greatest basketball players of his generation during a 20-year career spent entirely with the Los Angeles Lakers, died in a helicopter crash Sunday. He was 41.

Bryant retired in 2016 as the third-leading scorer in NBA history, finishing two decades with the Lakers as a prolific scorer with a sublime all-around game and a relentless competitive ethic.

He held that spot in the league scoring ranks until Saturday night, when the Lakers' LeBron James passed him for third place during a game in Philadelphia, Bryant's hometown.

Bryant's own last tweet was praising LeBron James, who had just surpassed him on the NBA's all-time points scoring list. James is now the third behind Kareem Abdul Jabar and Karl Malone.

"Continuing to move the game forward @KingJames. Much respect my brother #33644," Bryant posted on Sunday, Australian time.

Bryant had one of the greatest careers in recent NBA history and became one of the game's most popular players as the face of the 16-time NBA champion Lakers franchise. He was the league MVP in 2008 and a two-time NBA scoring champion, and he earned 12 selections to the NBA's All-Defensive teams.

He teamed with Shaquille O'Neal in a combustible partnership to lead the Lakers to NBA titles in 2000, 2001 and 2002. He later teamed with Pau Gasol to win two more titles in 2009 and 2010.

Tributes flow

Sports stars from around the globe have begun paying tribute to the NBA great.

Six-time NFL Super Bowl champion Tom Brady was among the first to react on Twitter: "We miss you already Kobe", while retired NBA star Dwyane Wade wrote: "Nooooooooooo God please No!".

Philadelphia 76er Joel Embiid tweeted: "Man I don't even know where to start???? I started playing ball because of KOBE after watching the 2010 finals. I had never watched ball before that and that finals was the turning point of my life. I WANTED TO BE LIKE KOBE. I'm so FREAKING SAD right now!!!! RIP LEGEND."

Olympic sprint legend Usain Bolt simply tweeted. "Still can't believe @kobebryant."

Three time tennis Grand Slam winner Andy Murray said on Instagram: "This has hit me hard. Thinking of all his family, friends and colleagues."

Former England soccer great Gary Lineker wrote on Twitter: "Oh no. How awful. One of the greatest sportsmen of our lifetime. Utterly tragic", while current England forward Raheem Sterling wrote: "Rest easy Legend".

More to come.

-AAP