Kobe Bean Bryant was a professional basketball player. Bryant was born in Philadelphia and he was the youngest of three children and only son of former NBA player Joe Bryant and Pamela Cox Bryant. He was also the maternal nephew of basketball player John “Chubby” Cox. His parents named him after the famous beef Kobe, Japan which they saw on a restaurant menu. His middle name Bean was derived from his father’s nickname “Jellybean”. Kobe Bean Bryant was raised a catholic. At the age of six, his father retired from the NBA and moved his family to Rieti Italy to continue playing professional basketball at a lower level. They later moved to Reggio Calabaria then to Pistoia and Reggio Emilia. Kobe became accustomed to his new lifestyle and learned to speak fluent Italian. Throughout his life, he was fond of Reggio Emilia which he considered a loving place as his best childhood memories were made there.
Bryant started playing basketball when he was aged three and the Lakers were his favorite team when growing up. His grandfather used to mail him videos of NBA games for Bryant to study. At an early age, Bryant also learned to play soccer with his favorite team being A.C Milan. While living in Reggio Emilia he began playing basketball in earnest. During summers, Kobe went back to the United States to play in a basketball summer league. A shooting guard, Bryant played his entire 20-season career in the NBA with the Los Angeles Lakers. He entered the NBA directly from high school and won five NBA championships. As a rookie, he earned himself a reputation as a high flyer and a fan favorite by winning the 1997 Slam Dunk contest. He was an 18-time All-star, 15-time member of the NBA team, 12-time member of the All-defensive team, and the 2008 NBA most valuable player. He is regarded as one of the greatest basketball players of all time, and he ranks fourth on the league’s all-time season scoring and the all-time postseason scoring list.
In November 1999, 21-year-old Bryant met 17-year-old Vanessa Laine while working as a background dancer on the Tha Eastsidaz music video “G’d up.” Bryant was in the building working on his debut music album. The two began dating and became engaged just six months later in May 2000. Vanessa was the mother of his four daughters.
Sexual Assault Case
In the summer of 2003, the sheriffs of Eagle, Colorado, arrested Bryant in connection with an investigation of a sexual assault complaint filed by a 19-year-old hotel employee. During this time, Bryant had checked into The Lodge and Spa in Eagle county in advance of undergoing knee surgery nearby. The accuser stated that Bryant raped her in his hotel room the night before Bryant was to have the procedure. Bryant admitted to an adulterous sexual encounter with his accuser but denied the sexual assault allegations. The accusations tarnished his reputation, and the public perception of him plummeted. His endorsements contracts with McDonald’s and Nutella were also terminated with his sales for replica jersey falling significantly. However, in September 2004, the assault case was dropped by prosecutors after the accuser decided not to testify at the trial. Bryant would later apologize to her for the incident, including his mea culpa. The accuser filed a separate civil lawsuit against Bryant, which the two sides settled privately.
TMZ was the first tabloid to post the story that stunned the world on Sunday, January 26, 2020, that Basketball legend Kobe Bryant had died in a California helicopter crash, at the age of 41. The tectonic news, which the celebrity-gossip website was first to report, swept the nation as other news organizations quickly confirmed the story. The speed at which TMZ reported the news outpaced that of officers who were seeking to notify the family members of victims.
“it would be extremely disrespectful to understand your loved one perished, and you learn about it from TMZ,” Villanueva said, “That is just wholly inappropriate.”
The helicopter that Kobe Bryant with eight other people: Bryant 13-year-old daughter, six family friends, and the pilot boarded was a Sikorsky S-76 manufactured in 1991. The helicopter departed from John Wayne Airport in Orange County, California, and it was traveling to a practice session at Bryant’s Mamba Academy in Thousand Oaks, where he was expected to coach.
Because of light rain and foggy weather that morning, the LAPD helicopters and most other air traffic were grounded. However, according to the Washington Post, Kobe Bryant pilot received clearance to fly in poor weather conditions, without relying on instruments to guide him. The helicopter crashed into the side of a mountain in Calabasas about 30 miles (48) km northwest of downtown Los Angeles and caught fire which also started a 1/4 acre bush fire. The helicopter had passed over Boyle Heights, near Dodger Stadium, and circled over Glendale during the flight. The fire was difficult to extinguish because of the presence of magnesium but the fire was extinguished by 10:00 a.m. None of the nine occupants survived. Witnesses reported hearing a helicopter struggling before crashing. Sikorsky, the helicopter’s manufacturer said in a tweet; “we extend our sincerest condolences to all those affected by today’s Sikorsky S-76B accident in Calabasas, California. We have been in contact with the NTSB and stand ready to provide assistance and support to the investigative authorities and our customer.”
According to Celebrity Net Worth, Bryant was worth $600 million. During his time as a Laker, he earned over $328 million in salary and around $350 from endorsements, bringing his total earnings during his career as an NBA player to $680 million.