NBA legend and die-hard Eagles fan Kobe Bryant died in a tragic helicopter crash in California on Sunday. Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, and seven others were on board the helicopter. There were no survivors.
"The Eagles are shocked and saddened to learn of the tragic passing of Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna," the team said in a statement. "He was a champion for the ages, a fearless competitor, and an outstanding ambassador for our city. Our hearts go out to all of today's victims and their families."
Bryant played his high school basketball at Lower Merion, just outside of Philadelphia, before a legendary career in the NBA with the Los Angeles Lakers. Bryant won five NBA titles and two Olympic gold medals. He was an 18-time NBA All-Star, two-time Finals MVP, and a recipient of the league's MVP award as well. Bryant is eligible for the Hall of Fame for the first time in 2020.
Bryant finished his career third in NBA history in points scored. Coincidentally, LeBron James passed Bryant for third place on the all-time points scored list Saturday night in Philadelphia.
Before the 2017 clash with the Rams, Bryant spoke to the team as it stayed on the West Coast in between games with Seattle and Los Angeles. When the Eagles won the Super Bowl later that season, Bryant's wife, Vanessa, posted a video of him euphorically celebrating the victory while holding his daughter, Bianka.