Jim Nantz opens Farmers Insurance Open coverage with news of Kobe Bryant’s passing

There is very sad news coming out of California today as TMZ first reported that Kobe Bryant was among five killed in a helicopter crash.

Jim Nantz began the final round coverage of the Farmers Insurance Open by sharing the sad news.

 

Bryant was third on the all-time NBA scoring list until Saturday night, when LeBron James passed him.

Via TMZ:

Kobe Bryant died in a helicoper crash in Calabasas Sunday morning … TMZ Sports has confirmed.

Kobe was traveling with at least 3 other people in his private helicopter when it went down. A fire broke out. Emergency personnel responded, but nobody on board survived. 5 people are confirmed dead. We’re told Vanessa Bryant was not among those on board.

Eyewitnesses also tell us that they heard the helicopter’s engine sputtering before it went down. As you can see, flames and smoke covered much of the scene from the wreck. The official cause of the crash is currently under investigation.

Kobe has famously used a helicopter to travel for years — dating back to when he played for the Lakers. He was known for commuting from Newport Beach, CA to the STAPLES Center in DTLA in his Sikorsky S-76 chopper.

KB is survived by his wife Vanessa, and their four daughters — Gianna, Natalia and Bianca and their newborn Capri. Kobe and Vanessa got married in 2001 after meeting in 1999.

Kobe has recently been spotted out at NBA games with his daughter Gianna — a rising star basketball player herself. Their youngest daughter, Capri, was just born in June 2019.

Nantz and Dottie Pepper reported that Joe LaCava knew about the news and may have told Tiger.