Bryant, an 18-time All-Star and five-time championship victor with the Los Angeles Lakers, is feared dead following the tragedy that saw five people killed when an aircraft went down near Calabasas, California. Firefighters responded to the scene and extinguished the flames before determining all five people aboard the helicopter had perished.
Bryant played his entire professional career with the Los Angeles Lakers and won five National Basketball Association championships. Still, as a two-time Finals NBA and as the fourth-highest scoring player in league history, there's no denying he was one of the greats.
Bryant finishes third on the all-time National Basketball Association scoring list. "Much respect my brother #33644", Bryant tweeted. The Los Angeles Clippers are scheduled to play in Orlando.
LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers has a moment on the sideline with former Laker Kobe Bryant in the second half during a game against the Dallas Mavericks at Staples Center on December 29, 2019 in Los Angeles, California.
James himself honoured Bryant during the game, inscribing "Mamba 4 Life" and "8/24 KB" on his sneakers.
Bryant had a high-flying game and was a gifted offensive player with an array of moves and shots that made him one of the toughest players to defend. He later teamed with Pau Gasol to win two more titles in 2009 and 2010.
Bryant's wife Vanessa was not among those aboard the chopper, according to reports.