Basketball legend Kobe Bryant has died in a helicopter crash in California, according to reports by US media.

He was 41.

American media outlets TMZ and Variety are reporting Bryant was a passenger on board a helicopter that crashed in the Los Angeles County suburb of Calabasas.

The LA County Sheriff says five people have died in a helicopter crash, but it does not identify the victims.

First responders put out the flames of the crash site, the sheriff’s department said, posting a picture of a fire truck and smoke emerging from the brush in a ravine.

Bryant was known to use a helicopter for travel dating to his days as a star player for the Los Angeles Lakers, when he commuted to games in a Sikorsky S-76 chopper, TMZ said.

Bryant played 20 years in the NBA. His entire playing career was at the Los Angeles Lakers.

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He won five NBA championships ahd an 18-time All Star and won the league’s Most Valuable Player award in 2008.

He also won gold at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics with the USA basketball team.

Bryant retired from the NBA in 2016.

-RNZ/Reuters