Kobe Bryant, the former Los Angeles Lakers superstar and one of the greatest players in National Basketball Association history, died in a helicopter crash on Sunday, Jan. 26, 2020. He was 41 years old.
Mr. Bryant, who commuted to Lakers games from his Orange County home by helicopter during his playing career, was among the dead after a copter with eight others on the flight manifest caught fire after crashing into the hills of Calabasas, Calif.
Gianna “Gigi” Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter, was also killed in the crash. Gianna was a budding basketball star herself, and Mr. Bryant often shared photos and videos of her with millions of followers on social media. He called her “Mambacita”—a nod to the nickname he once gave himself, “Black Mamba.”
One of the greatest basketball stars of all time, Kobe Bryant was an NBA legend who lifted the trophy five times throughout his illustrious 20-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers. He also won two Olympic gold medals with the US basketball team and even an Oscar following his retirement.
Following Kobe Bryant’s tragic death, we take a look back at some of rare photos of Bryant when he was young in the 1980s and 1990s.