UPDATE | Mike D'Antoni: 'There won't be many like Kobe'

Kobe Bryant began his NBA career wearing the number 8 in respect to former Marshall star and current Houston Rockets coach Mike D'Antoni who coached Kobe's dad while he was a kid in Italy. Photo: MGN/Zuma Press
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UPDATE 1/26/19 @ 8:20 p.m.
Hours after news broke that NBA legend Kobe Bryant was among nine people killed in a helicopter crash in California, Houston Rockets coach, and Marshall star Mike D'Antoni is sharing his thoughts on the tragedy.

D'Antoni coached Kobe's dad while Bryant was a kid in Italy.

Bryant began his NBA career wearing the number 8 in respect to D'Antoni.

"Obviously our hearts and prayers go out to his family, Vanessa and the kids...just an unbelievable tragedy," D'Antoni said after Houston's game Sunday. "He's one of the greatest players ever, an unbelievable competitor, earned every accolade he got. He just kept coming at you. There won't be many like him, that's for sure."

D'Antoni described the mood in the locker room Sunday as somber as the news shook the whole team.

Reports say Bryant's 13-year-old daughter Gianna was also killed in the crash.

Bryant was 41-years-old.


ORIGINAL STORY 1/26/20 @ 3:28 p.m.
One of the best basketball players of all time died Sunday in a helicopter crash as Kobe Bryant was one of 5 people to perish near Calabasas, California.

The accident happened less than 24 hours after Kobe was passed by LeBron James for 3rd place on the NBA's all-time scoring list. Kobe's last tweet was "Congratulations James on the achievement."

Reports say he was on board with at least three other people at the time the private helicopter went down. The Los Angeles County Fire Department say there were no survivors.

NBC News has confirmed one of the other victims was Bryant's 13-year-old daughter, Gianna.

Emergency crews responded after a helicopter crashed and sparked a small brush fire Sunday in Southern California, authorities said.

The crash occurred in Calabasas, said Art Marrujo, a dispatch supervisor with the Los Angeles County Fire Department.

Kobe Bryant began his NBA career wearing the number 8 in respect to former Marshall star and current Houston Rockets coach Mike D'Antoni who coached Kobe's dad while he was a kid in Italy.