There has also been confirmation that Bryant's daughter Gianna Maria Onore was among those killed.
After the ball was tipped, the Toronto Raptors controlled possession and made a decision to run out the shot clock without attempting a shot in order to honor the legacy of the National Basketball Association great who wore number 24 for the latter part of his career.
Bryant's 13-year-old daughter Gianna was also on board the helicopter, according to TMZ and ESPN. But in the midst of the heartwrenching news, players have begun to take the time to pay tribute to the legacy he left behind.
The sombre mood of the opening possessions likely reflected those of the players involved, many of whom shared personal connections to Bryant, as he served for 20 years as the face of the Los Angeles Lakers and basketball in California.
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Since the clock ran out, enthusiasts in San Antonio chanted Kobe's name.
The Grizzlies and Suns followed suit.
Bryant retired in 2016 as a former MVP (2008) and two-time National Basketball Association scoring champion.
"Continuing to move the game forward @KingJames", Bryant wrote on Twitter, in congratulations to James' accomplishment.
Bryant was only 41 years old when he passed.
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