It’s been a year since Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna and seven others died in a helicopter crash in Southern California.
They were on their way to a basketball tournament on a Sunday morning. Bryant, Gigi — that’s what most called his daughter — and everyone else aboard the helicopter were killed instantly in the crash, officials said.
The Associated Press has moved thousands of photos of Bryant, who won five championships in his 20 NBA seasons, all with the Los Angeles Lakers. He was a Grammy winner. He was a best-selling author of children’s books. He will soon be officially enshrined as a member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
Here is Bryant’s NBA life, depicted in photo form:
2004: Bryant’s legacy was marred by the allegation that he raped a 19-year-old Colorado hotel worker. A civil suit was eventually brought, Bryant issued an apology through his attorney and the case was later dropped when the accuser refused to testify.
2005: Bryant had the best offensive season of his career in 2005-06, leading the NBA by averaging 35.4 points per game.
2006: Games against the Boston Celtics always brought out the best in Bryant; the Celtics and Lakers have been rivals for decades.
2007: Bryant was always an intense competitor. Here, celebrating a basket in a playoff game against Phoenix, he showed how much more the postseason meant.
2008: Bryant dove into the stands in an effort to save a loose ball in Dallas. No play was insignificant to him.
2009: Bryant led the Lakers to the fourth championship of his career, the first since he and O’Neal won three straight in the early 2000s.
2010: The fifth and final championship of Bryant’s NBA career. As the final seconds of those NBA Finals ticked away, Bryant leaped onto the scorer’s table and, as confetti fell and some stuck to his soaked uniform, he held five fingers high. The meaning was clear.