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Fury as BBC mistakenly uses footage of LeBron James in Kobe Bryant tribute

Bryant, considered one of the greatest basketball players of all time, died in a helicopter crash on Sunday.

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The BBC has apologised after mistakenly using footage of basketball player LeBron James in a news segment about former NBA star Kobe Bryant (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

The BBC has apologised after mistakenly using footage of basketball player LeBron James in a news segment about former NBA star Kobe Bryant (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

The BBC has apologised after mistakenly using footage of basketball player LeBron James in a news segment about former NBA star Kobe Bryant (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

The BBC has apologised after mistakenly using footage of basketball player LeBron James in its coverage of the death of retired NBA star Kobe Bryant.

Former Los Angeles Lakers star Bryant, considered one of the greatest basketball players ever, was killed alongside his 13-year-old daughter and seven others when their helicopter crashed in southern California.

His death at the age of 41 has devastated fans around the world and large crowds gathered outside the Staples Centre, home of the Lakers, to pay tribute.

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Fans around the world are mourning the death of former NBA star Kobe Bryant (Ian West/PA)

Fans around the world are mourning the death of former NBA star Kobe Bryant (Ian West/PA)

PA Wire/PA Images

Fans around the world are mourning the death of former NBA star Kobe Bryant (Ian West/PA)

In its News At Ten programme, the BBC’s segment on Bryant mistakenly included footage of basketball superstar James, who also plays for the Lakers.

The broadcaster was heavily criticised for the error online.

One Twitter user said: “Who cut this????? BBC news using footage of Lebron James instead of Kobe Bryant in their obit!!!!! IT EVEN SAYS JAMES ON HIS SHIRT.”

Another wrote: “Can you explain why you showed footage of LeBron James rather than Kobe on the Bbc1 10pm news? Pathetic BBC!!!”

And another commented: “Absolute schoolboy error.”

Paul Royall, editor of BBC News at Six and Ten, apologised for the mistake and blamed “human error”.

He tweeted: “In tonight’s coverage of the death of Kobe Bryant on #BBCNewsTen we mistakenly used pictures of LeBron James in one section of the report.

“We apologise for this human error which fell below our usual standards on the programme.”

Bryant was a global superstar and one of the highest profile sporting figures in the US.

The five-time NBA champion and two-time Olympic champion died alongside his 13-year-old daughter Gianna when their helicopter crashed in the hills above Calabasas, near Los Angeles, on Sunday morning.

In total, nine people died in the incident. Bryant is survived by his wife, Vanessa, and their three daughters.

PA