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Kobe Bryant's poignant final tweet just hours before dying in helicopter crash

Last updated 6 months ago | By Mirror

Kobe Bryant spent his entire 20-year career with the LA Lakers (Image: COURTESY)

NBA superstar Kobe Bryant published a tragic final tweet just hours before he died in a helicopter crash in California.

The retired LA Lakers legend recently saw his NBA points scoring record broken by fellow Lakers player LeBron James.

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The Philadelphia 76ers beat the Los Angeles Lakers 108-91 on Saturday, in a game that saw him pass Kobe Bryant for third on the NBA's all-time scoring list

Bryant, 41, paid tribute to James' sporting feat on Twitter in a poignant post that was published just hours before he died.

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He wrote: "Continuing to move the game forward @KingJames. Much respect my brother #33644".

On Instagram he posted a picture of him and LeBron, which included the caption: "On to #2 @kingjames! Keep growing the game and charting the path for the next."

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Details surrounding the death of Bryant are still unclear and investigation has been launched into the incident.

TMZ reported earlier that Bryant was travelling in his private helicopter when it crashed in Calabasas on Sunday morning. 

The chopper is said to have been on fire after going down, as emergency services battled in vain to save those on board. 

Nine people have been confirmed dead as a result of the crash, including Bryant's daughter Gianna, 13.

Bryant's wife Vanessa is not believed to have been involved in the accident.

The pair share three other daughters, Natalia and Bianca and their newborn Capri.

Bryant, 41, regularly used his Sikorsky S-76 helicopter to travel to and from matches at the Staples Center for years, it is beluieved

The son of former NBA player Joe Bryant, he started his career for the Lakers in 1996 after becoming the first guard to be drafted straight out of high school by the Hornets, who immediately traded him.

He grew up in Philadelphia, and had attended Lower Merion High School in the state of Pennsylvania.

There he developed a reputation as a leading star of the future, and was soon making headlines as a rookie in the NBA.

Bryant won the 1997 Slam Dunk contest, and was named an All-Star in his second season.

Forming a formidable relationship with Shaquille O'Neal on the court, Bryant helped the Lakers win three back-to-back NBA championships from 2000-2002.