SALT LAKE CITY — Kobe Bryant, one of the most celebrated basketball players ever, who led the Los Angeles Lakers to five NBA championships, died in a helicopter crash Sunday morning in Calabasas, California, according to multiple sources with knowledge of the situation.

The helicopter had nine people on board, including Bryant’s daughter Gianna, 13. There were no survivors.

The crash, which occurred shortly before 10 a.m., ignited a brush fire and made it difficult for firefighters and emergency personnel to get to the aircraft, according to a watch commander for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

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Bryant’s legendary career, which came to a close in 2016, was in the spotlight once again Saturday night as the Lakers’ LeBron James surpassed Bryant for third place on the NBA’s all-time scoring list.

Following the game against the Philadelphia 76ers, James spoke at length about how much of an influence Bryant was on him before joining the NBA.

Hours before news of the crash was reported, Bryant took to Twitter to congratulate James.

News of Bryant’s death quickly spread throughout the NBA community, causing an outpouring of support for Bryant’s family and expressions of sadness over the tragedy of the NBA losing one of its most revered figures.

“We are shocked and saddened to learn about today’s tragedy involving Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna,” the Miller Family and Utah Jazz said in a statement. “From the time he entered the league, Kobe was a generational talent and one of the most competitive players in the game. The impact he had on our sport will not be forgotten.”

With eight games scheduled for Sunday’s slate of NBA action it was announced that locker rooms would be closed pre-game as news of Bryant’s passing sent shockwaves through the league. Multiple coaches and players were in tears at different times during Sunday’s televised games.

In homage to Bryant, who wore both jersey numbers 24 and 8 at different times in his career, the San Antonio Spurs and Toronto Raptors opened their Sunday matchup by committing 24-second shot-clock violations. Multiple teams followed suit later in the day, taking both 24-second violations as well as 8-second back-court violations, and holding 24-second moments of silence before games.

NBA TV, which was scheduled to broadcast games on Sunday, instead dedicated the entirety of the day to updating developments surrounding Bryant’s passing, providing continuing coverage, and allowing multiple teammates and those close to Bryant to share their condolences on the air.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver released a statement Sunday afternoon.

“For 20 seasons, Kobe showed us what is possible when remarkable talent blends with an absolute devotion to winning ... He will be remembered most for inspiring people around the world to pick up a basketball and compete to the very best of their ability,” the statement read. “We send our heartfelt condolences to his wife, Vanessa, and their family, the Lakers organization and the entire sports world.”

Known often as the Black Mamba, Bryant, an 18-time NBA All-Star, 11-time All-NBA first-team member, two-time Olympic gold medalist, two-time NBA Finals MVP and two-time NBA scoring champion, has been credited with inspiring multiple generations of basketball players.

Born in Philadelphia on Aug. 23, 1978, Bryant attended Lower Merion High School in the suburbs of Philadelphia, where, as a senior, he was named Naismith High School Player of the Year, and was a McDonald’s All-American.

Bryant was drafted 13th overall out of high school in 1996 by the Charlotte Hornets and was later traded to the Los Angeles Lakers before the 1996-97 season began. Though his playing time and opportunities were limited through the first two seasons in the NBA, Bryant won the Slam Dunk Contest in 1997, becoming the youngest player ever to win at 18, and was a starter in his first NBA All-Star appearance in his second season despite being the Lakers’ sixth-man.

Bryant’s second season ended with a Western Conference semifinals loss to the Utah Jazz. The Jazz would go on to reach the NBA Finals and ultimately lose to the Michael Jordan-led Chicago Bulls.

“Words can’t describe the pain I am feeling,” Jordan said in a statement. “I loved Kobe — he was like a little brother to me. ... He was a fierce competitor, one of the greats of the game and a creative force.”

In his third season, Bryant was inserted into the Lakers’ starting unit permanently and became one of the most feared guards in the league. Though the Lakers were swept in the 1998 Western Conference semifinals by the San Antonio Spurs, the next season marked Bryant’s rise to super-stardom.

Phil Jackson took over as the Lakers’ head coach in 1999 and under his guidance, Bryant led the Lakers to three consecutive championships in 2000, 2001 and 2002 alongside Shaquille O’Neal.

After coming up short in the 2003 playoffs, the 2003-04 season was blanketed in controversy after Bryant was arrested for sexual assault in the offseason. The charges were later dropped as the parties settled in a civil suit.

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Alongside former Jazz legend Karl Malone, O’Neal, Bryant and the Lakers reached another NBA Finals in 2004 but came up short against the Detroit Pistons.

Though Bryant and O’Neal’s run as a legendary duo ended in 2004, Bryant went on to win two scoring titles, score a career-high 81 against the Toronto Raptors in 2006, and win two more championships in 2009 and 2010 after partnering with Pau Gasol.

Injury plagued the end of Bryant’s career, but his intense work ethic, laser focus and relentless competitive nature became known as the “mamba mentality,” which is a term used throughout the league still.

In his final NBA game, Bryant scored 60 points against the Utah Jazz in one of the most memorable career finales in NBA history.

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In retirement Bryant and his daughter Gianna had frequented WNBA and Lakers games and Bryant often spoke of his pride in his daughter’s own basketball prowess. On the morning of the crash Bryant and his daughter were on their way to a basketball tournament that was subsequently cancelled after the tragic news was reported.

The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame is set announce its 2020 class finalists during NBA All-Star weekend in February, among which will be Bryant, in his first eligible year. Inductees will be announced in April.

Contributing: Richard Winton and Dan Woike, Los Angeles Times

Correction: An earlier version incorrectly spelled the name of Kobe Bryant’s daughter who was killed in the crash as “Giana.” Her name is spelled Gianna.

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