NBA legend Kobe Bryant died in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California, on Sunday. The former Los Angeles Laker, nicknamed “Black Mamba,” was 41.

His 13-year-old daughter Gianna was among the helicopter’s eight other passengers, who were all confirmed dead.

In a press conference on Sunday afternoon, Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department authorities refused to name the victims in the crash until the county coroner identifies them and officials notify next of kin.

The Federal Aviation Administration confirmed a S-76 helicopter crashed “under unknown circumstances.” The FAA said it will investigate the crash, as will the National Transportation Safety Board.

Bryant, who was married to wife Vanessa for more than 18 years, was also father to Natalia, Bianca, and Capri.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement that the “NBA family is devastated by the tragic passing” of Bryant and his daughter.

“For 20 seasons, Kobe showed us what is possible when remarkable talent blends with an absolute devotion to winning,” Silver said in a statement. “He was one of the most extraordinary players in the history of our game … But he will be remembered most for inspiring people around the world to pick up a basketball and compete to the very best of their ability. He was generous with the wisdom he acquired and saw it as his mission to share it with future generations of players, taking special delight in passing down his love of the game to Gianna.”

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver issued the following statement today regarding the passing of Kobe Bryant

— NBA (@NBA) January 26, 2020

Bryant entered the league in 1996 right after he graduated from high school and played for the Lakers for 20 seasons. He was a five-time NBA champion, helping the Lakers win titles in 2000, 2001, 2002, 2009 and 2010.

The 18-time NBA All Star was named league MVP in 2008. He also won two Olympic gold medals for men’s basketball.

Bryant, who retired from the Lakers in 2016, is No. 4 on the NBA’s all-time points leaders, with 33,643 points. Bryant tweeted his congratulations to Laker LeBron James on Saturday, after James’ total points passed Bryant’s, putting James in the No. 3 spot. It was Bryant’s last tweet.

Continuing to move the game forward @KingJames. Much respect my brother 💪🏾 #33644

— Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) January 26, 2020

In 2018, Bryant became the first NBA player in history to win an Academy Award for his animated short “Dear Basketball.”

He faced backlash in 2003 after he was accused of raping a 19-year-old hotel employee in Colorado. He admitted to having a sexual encounter with the woman, but denied the accusation that it was rape. The young woman declined to testify in court, and the case was dropped. They later settled a civil suit she filed in 2005.

Bryant was remembered on Sunday as a “father, husband, creative genius, and ambassador for the game he loved” by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti on Twitter, where fans and those who knew him expressed their sadness and paid tribute to him.

“Kobe will live forever in the heart of Los Angeles, and will be remembered through the ages as one of our greatest heroes,” Garcetti said in a tweet.

Kobe Bryant was a giant who inspired, amazed, and thrilled people everywhere with his incomparable skill on the court — and awed us with his intellect and humility as a father, husband, creative genius, and ambassador for the game he loved.

— Mayor Eric Garcetti (@MayorOfLA) January 26, 2020

There’s no words to express the pain Im going through with this tragedy of loosing my neice Gigi & my brother @kobebryant I love u and u will be missed. My condolences goes out to the Bryant family and the families of the other passengers on board. IM SICK RIGHT NOW

— SHAQ (@SHAQ) January 26, 2020

Kobe and I shared so many special conversations about life and basketball. We had so much in common off the court. I used to love talking to him about Lakers basketball, being fathers and husbands and how much we loved Italy. I will miss those conversations and him so much.

— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) January 26, 2020

Beyond devastated… my big brother… I can’t, I just can’t believe it

— Pau Gasol (@paugasol) January 26, 2020

Can’t be true. Just can’t be. Truly truly horrific.Rest In Peace Kobe.

— JJ Watt (@JJWatt) January 26, 2020

Damn. RIP Mamba. May your memory be a blessing

— Mark Cuban (@mcuban) January 26, 2020

I’m stunned. Words can’t even come close to describing it. Just an incredibly sad and tragic day.

— Scottie Pippen (@ScottiePippen) January 26, 2020

Hundreds of mourning fans gathered in Calabasas, near the scene of the crash; outside Staples Center, the home arena of the Lakers, where the Grammys are taking place Sunday night; and in front of a mural of the athlete on Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles.

Kobe Bryant fans are in absolute tears

— Steve Saldivar (@stevesaldivar) January 26, 2020

Sniffling fans line up in a parking lot a mile from the crash site to get a view of the still shouldering helicopter wreck in Calabasas. Fans wear jerseys with Bryant’s number 24. Some hold flower bouquets for make shift memorials. On scene for @washingtonpost

— Miranda Green (@mirandacgreen) January 26, 2020

People are snapping pictures and leaving candles, flowers and Nike shoes in front of a #KobeBryant mural outside of Shoe Palace on Melrose

— Brittny Mejia (@brittny_mejia) January 26, 2020 RELATED… Friends, Fans Pay Tribute To Kobe Bryant After Superstar's Death At 41 Grieving Fans Mourn Lakers Star At Staples Center, AKA 'The House Kobe Built' Shaq Pays Tribute After Kobe Bryant's Shocking Death: 'I Love You Brother' Download Calling all HuffPost superfans! Sign up for membership to become a founding member and help shape HuffPost’s next chapter Join HuffPost

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