Chargers, Sports Community Reacts to Kobe Bryant's Death

Jason B. Hirschhorn

On Sunday, former Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant died in a helicopter accident in Calabasas, California. He was 41 years old. Bryant's 13-year-old daughter Gianna and several others also lost their lives in the tragedy. The Los Angeles County Sheriff's department confirmed the news.

Bryant rode helicopters throughout his playing career, using them to commute from his home in Orange County to the Staples Center for Lakers games. According to TMZ, Bryant and his daughter were traveling to a basketball practice at the Mamba Academy in Thousand Oaks, California.

Bryant played 20 years in the NBA, all with the Lakers. He appeared in 18 all-star games, won two scoring titles and an MVP award, and helped the franchise win five championships. Los Angeles retired No. 8 and No. 24, the two uniform numbers he wore during his career, in his honor after his retirement.

The news of Bryant's passing sent shock waves through the sports community. Many, including several members of the Los Angeles Chargers, expressed their sadness and sympathies on social media.

-- Jason B. Hirschhorn is an award-winning sports journalist and Pro Football Writers of America member. Follow him on Twitter: @by_JBH

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