Kobe Bryant – Cause of death: Aviation Accident
When the Black Mamba died, the world became a little bit darker. A 20-year veteran of the Los Angeles Lakers, Kobe Bryant was one of the NBA’s greatest shooting guards of all time. A five-time NBA champion, a two-time NBA Finals MVP, and an 18-time NBA All-Star, Bryant usually comes up in comparison to Michael Jordan. Bryant was also a filmmaker and an Academy Award winner, winning in 2018 for his short animated film “Dear Basketball.” Bryant died at age 41 in a helicopter crash with his daughter Gianna and seven others. In 2020, the NBA All-Star Game MVP Award was renamed the NBA All-Star Game Kobe Bryant MVP Award in Bryant’s honor.
Recruited directly from high school, Bryant was a first-round draft pick for the Charlotte Hornets in 1996, going 13th overall. After being traded to the Lakers post-draft, Bryant became a quick favorite. He was the winner of the All-Star Weekend’s Slam Dunk Contest during his rookie season and became an All-Star the following year. He is the record holder for the second-most points scored in a single game at 81 and the first guard in league history to play 20 or more seasons. He played his final two seasons with a torn Achilles tendon. Bryant was also a two-time Olympian and a one-time FIBA America gold medalist.