NBA star LeBron James’ L.A. home vandalized with racial slur

UNTV News   •   June 1, 2017   •   2927

FILE PHOTO — May 19, 2017; Boston, MA, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) directs players against the Boston Celtics during the second half in game two of the Eastern conference finals of the NBA Playoffs at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports/File Photo

Basketball superstar LeBron James’ Los Angeles home was vandalized with a racial slur, police said on Wednesday, a day before the Cleveland Cavaliers player was set to take the court in the first game of the NBA finals.

The graffiti was spray-painted on the front gate of James’ house. Investigators are looking for any possible suspect involved, Los Angeles police spokeswoman Norma Eisenman said.

Eisenman declined to specify the racial slur used. It was reported to police shortly after dawn on Wednesday and has since been painted over, she said.

“No matter how much money you have, no matter how famous you are, no matter how many people admire you, being black in America is tough,” James, a three-time NBA champion, told reporters when asked about the incident at a news conference in Oakland, California, where he is preparing for the NBA Finals.

“And we’ve got a long way to go for us as a society and for us as African-Americans until we feel equal in America,” he added.

James was not at his west Los Angeles residence at the time of the vandalism, Eisenman said by phone.

James, 32, is the National Basketball Association’s most prolific playoff scorer and has been named the league’s Most Valuable Player four times. The Cavaliers are scheduled to face off on Thursday against the Golden State Warriors in Oakland.

Mary Kay Wulf, who lives a couple houses away from James, told a group of reporters that she was appalled by the vandalism.

“I hope that they find the people who have done it and they label it for what it was – a hate crime – and punish them,” Wulf said.

Police are investigating the graffiti as an act of vandalism and have not determined whether to treat it as a hate crime, another Los Angeles police spokeswoman, Irma Mota, said by phone.

(Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis and Alan Devall in Los Angeles; Editing by Alistair Bell and Leslie Adler)

Pilot in Kobe Bryant helicopter crash may have become disoriented in heavy fog – NTSB

UNTV News   •   June 18, 2020

The pilot of a helicopter that crashed in foothills near Los Angeles, killing basketball great Kobe Bryant, his daughter, and all seven others on board, likely became disoriented in the fog, federal investigators said on Wednesday (June 17).

The National Transportation Safety Board report said pilot Ara Zobayan told air traffic controllers that his helicopter was climbing, when in fact it was descending shortly before slamming into a hillside outside the community of Calabasas on Jan. 26.

The NTSB said that pilots can become confused over an aircraft’s attitude and acceleration when they cannot see the sky or landscape around them, causing “spacial disorientation.”

“Without outside references or attention to the helicopter’s attitude display, the actual pitch and bank angles have the potential to be misperceived,” the NTSB said.

The findings came in a “public docket” released by the NTSB as it investigates the crash. The agency has not yet released its final report. (Reuters)

(Production: Omar Younis)

Emergency workers remove what appear to be human remains from Kobe Bryant crash site

Robie de Guzman   •   January 28, 2020

Weather conditions appear likely to come under the scrutiny of investigators probing the helicopter crash that killed former NBA superstar Kobe Bryant, his daughter and seven others near Los Angeles on Sunday (January 26), when overcast skies and fog grounded other aircraft.

Bryant’s Sikorsky S-76 chopper slammed into a steep hillside outside the town of Calabasas, California, about 40 miles (65 km) northwest of downtown Los Angeles, igniting a brush fire and spreading debris over a quarter-acre (1,000 square meters) of grassy terrain.

Hours later, Los Angeles County authorities said all nine people aboard the helicopter died in the crash.

On Monday (January 27), emergency workers began removing what appeared to be human remains from the crash site.

The deaths of Bryant, 41, and his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, were confirmed by the National Basketball Association, as expressions of disbelief and grief poured in from fans, fellow athletes and politicians.

Bryant and his entourage were reported by local media to have been on their way to a sports academy in the nearby city of Thousand Oaks, where he was to have coached his daughter’s basketball team in a youth tournament.

Investigators from the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board began arriving in the area on Sunday to launch separate crash investigations. (Reuters)

(Production: Omar Younis)

Actor Kevin Hart injured in Los Angeles car accident

Jeck Deocampo   •   September 2, 2019

Actor Kevin Hart suffered major injuries in a car accident in Los Angeles early on Sunday morning (September 1), the California Highway Patrol (CHP) said.

Hart, 40, was being driven in a 1970 Plymouth Barracuda shortly after midnight on Mulholland Highway when the driver lost control of the car and it tumbled down an embankment, the CHP said in a statement.

CHP did not elaborate on the nature of Hart’s injuries, but TMZ reported that he injured his back.

The driver, Jared Black, also suffered major injuries in the accident, the CHP said. He was not under the influence of alcohol at the time, the CHP added.

Hart, who is known for his stand-up comedy and comic roles in movies including “Ride Along,” was able to leave the scene of the crash with a second passenger, who was not badly hurt, and head to his home nearby to get medical attention, the CHP said.

Hart was eventually taken to Northridge Hospital Medical Center and the driver was taken to another hospital. (Production: Kia Johnson)

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