LA, January 27: Kobe Bryant's sudden death comes a "monumental loss for the entire basketball community," the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) said in a statement.
The NBA confirmed Los Angeles Lakers legend Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna died on Sunday, reportedly when a helicopter they were travelling in crashed in Calabasas, California around 10am local time.
Nine people - eight passengers and the pilot - were believed to have been killed in the incident, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department announced. There were no survivors.
Tributes have poured in for Bryant, a five-time NBA champion who spent his entire 20-year professional career with the Lakers before retiring in 2016.
He won All-Star selection 18 times and was named Finals MVP twice, in 2009 and 2010.
"We are stunned and devastated by the news of the sudden passing of Kobe Bryant," the NBPA's statement read.
"Words cannot express his impact on our Players, the NBA and the game of basketball.
"This is a monumental loss for the entire basketball community and our hearts are quite simply broken. We send love and prayers out to his wife Vanessa and the entire family."
NBPA Statement on the passing of Kobe Bryant pic.twitter.com/iWDBcV7c2N— NBPA (@TheNBPA) January 26, 2020
The Sheriff's Department said its investigation into the crash was ongoing.
NBA games continued on Sunday, with the Toronto Raptors and San Antonio Spurs both taking 24-second violations to begin their AT&T Center encounter in acknowledgement of the shirt number Bryant wore for much of his illustrious career.