Kobe Bryant speaks to the media in El Segundo, California. File/ AFP
NBA legend Kobe Bryant died on Sunday when a helicopter he was riding in crashed and burst into flames in thick fog, killing all nine people on board including his teenage daughter and plunging legions of fans around the world into mourning.
Bryant, 41, was traveling with his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven other passengers and crew when their Sikorsky S-76 helicopter slammed into a rugged hillside in Calabasas, west of Los Angeles. There were no survivors.
Bryant, a five-time NBA champion and two-time Olympic gold medalist, is widely regarded as one of the greatest basketball players in history, an iconic figure who became one of the faces of his sport during a glittering two-decade career with the Los Angeles Lakers.
Dozens of firefighters and paramedics battled across steep terrain to reach the flaming wreckage at the crash site but found no survivors, officials said.
The National Transportation Safety Board said an 18-strong team of investigators would be sent to California to probe the causes of the crash.
Bryant's death sent shockwaves throughout the world, with basketball stars stunned by the news.
"Laker Nation, the game of basketball & our city, will never be the same without Kobe," former Los Angeles Lakers star Magic Johnson wrote on Twitter.
Chicago Bulls legend Michael Jordan said Bryant was "like a little brother" to him.
"Words can't describe the pain I'm feeling," Jordan said. "We used to talk often and I will miss those conversations very much."
The National Basketball Association (NBA) and the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) on Tuesday announced that the Atlanta Hawks and the 2021 NBA champions Milwaukee Bucks will play two pre-season games in October.
Sports in 2020 was in an unending state of mourning. There were so many this year. It was as if every week, sometimes days, another luminary fell, bringing a cascade of condolence and remembrance.
Star man Trae Young made his mark on Abu Dhabi, finishing with 31 points on Saturday to secure a morale-boosting win for the team as both sides now head back to the US to continue preparations for the new season.
Facing seventh-seeded Ons Jabeur of Tunisia, the unseeded American was broken eight times on Court Philippe Chatrier and lost 6-3, 6-1. Jabeur won 15 of 16 points on Pera’s second serve.
A draw in the final round proved enough for Grandmaster (GM) Aravindh Chithambaram of India to become one of only two players to win back-to-back championships in the history of the Dubai Open Chess Tournament.
His Highness Sheikh Mansoor Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Dubai Sports Council, graced the Vice President’s Jiu-Jitsu Cup with his presence as he crowned the champions of the tournament. The highly anticipated event was held over the weekend at the Shabab Al-Ahli Club in Dubai, captivating a large