Tall Blacks guard Tai Webster was among the first professional basketball players to pay tribute to the 41-year-old.
Bryant, who retired in 2016, was the league MVP in 2008 and a two-time National Basketball Association scoring champion.
Kobe Bryant is unquestionably considered one of the greatest basketball players of all-time. He retired in 2016.
The sporting legend had famously used private helicopter travel for many years, and commuted from his home in Newport Beach, California to the STAPLES Center in Los Angeles to play matches. The popular sneaker inspired a celebration, called Mamba Day, held on August 24, the combination of Bryant's two on-court numbers, 8 and 24.
5 people are confirmed dead, according to TMZ, who also reports that Kobe's wife, Vanessa Bryant, wasn't one of the passengers on board. I had so much respect for him as a competitor. A then-17-year-old Kobe made a decision to skip playing college basketball and declare himself eligible for the 1996 Draft. Bryant surprised the audience when he stepped onto the stage to accept the 2018 Oscar for Best Animated Short Film.
Bryant's colleagues in the sports world took to Twitter, many in disbelief, to express condolences over his tragic death.
"We didn't run. We got through all that stuff and won our Championships and we did it the right way".
This story will be updated as more information becomes available. He is a 5x champion, 18x all-star, 2008 NBA MVP, 2x Olympic gold medalist, 2x scoring champion, and has continued to be an open voice in the NBA.