Bryant, along with one of his four daughters, Gianna, were killed when the former National Basketball Association star's helicopter crashed in Calabasas in California.
The Brazil worldwide also paid his respects on Twitter, along with several other football superstars after the tragic event that saw Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna among nine people to lose their lives. TMZ cited a family representative as the source.
Bryant went on to win two more titles in 2009 and 2010, and retired in 2016.
Others aboard the ill-fated helicopter, in addition to the pilot, included a teammate from Bryant's daughter's basketball team, Alyssa Altobelli, and the girl's parents John and Keri Altobelli.
"He was one of the most extraordinary players in the history of our game, with accomplishments that are legendary", Silver said, as tributes poured in from players, politicians and entertainers. Bryant, who was only 41, died in a helicopter crash outside of Los Angeles.
The federation says "it's a small but heartfelt and deserved gesture to honor the life and memory of Kobe Bryant, an absolute champion who always had Italy in his heart". He held that spot in the league scoring ranks until Saturday night, when the Lakers' LeBron James passed him for third place during a game in Philadelphia, Bryant's hometown.
The NBA legend was on his helicopter when the incident happened, with the tragedy plunging the fraternity of sports into mourning as tributes keep pouring in for the dimmed stars.
Besides Gianna, they had three other daughters: Natalia, Bianca and Capri, who was born in June 2019.
The basketball superstar won five NBA titles during a 20-year playing career spent entirely with the Los Angeles Lakers.
Bryant was due to be inducted into the NBA Hall of Fame this year. "Much respect my brother".
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