Nine individuals died in a helicopter crash Sunday in Southern California, including his daughter Gianna, and her teammate, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.
“The NBA family is overwhelmed by the unfortunate passing of Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna," Silver said.
“For 20 seasons, Kobe showed us what is possible when extraordinary star mixes with unconditional devotion to winning. He was one of the most amazing players in the history of our game with legendary achievements: five NBA championships, an NBA MVP award, 18 NBA All-Star selections, and two Olympic gold medals. But he will be identified most for encouraging characters throughout the world to pick up a basketball and fight to the very best of their ability. He was handsome with the wisdom he received and saw it as his mission to share it with future generations of players, taking special delight in passing down his love of the game to Gianna.
“We send our deep condolences to his wife, Vanessa, and their family, the Lakers organization and the entire sports world.”
Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said in an afternoon news conference the helicopter's traveler show designated nine people were on board. There were no survivors.
“It is completely unsuitable right now to recognize anyone by name,” Villanueva said.
Firefighters had to douse a quarter-acre brush fire, said fire Capt. Tony Brenda.
News of the disaster shocked the basketball association in which Bryant had authenticated himself as a legend and all-time great.
On Saturday night, the two-time NBA Finals MVP and two-time Olympic gold medalist praised LeBron James on transferring him for third place on the all-time scoring list.
Hours later, he was gone.
Here's what is known thus far about the death of Kobe Bryant.