Raptors and Spurs fans chant Kobe Bryant’s name after NBA icon’s death

The game between the Toronto Raptors and the San Antonio Spurs began with fans paying tribute to NBA legend Kobe Bryant.

Bryant, 41, lost his life on Sunday morning after being involved in a helicopter crash in Calabasas.

He was travelling with four other people on board his private chopper before a fire broke out.

The emergency services were quick to the scene but nobody on board survived.

At the game, both sets of fans chanted ‘Kobe’ while the two sides ran down the 24-second shot clock on their first two possessions of the match in reference to the iconic number 24 which Bryant wore throughout his career.

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Players and fans were seen wiping away tears.

The National Basketball Players Association released a statement, which read: “We are stunned and devastated by the news of the sudden passing of Kobe Bryant.

“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.

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“We send love and prayers out to his wife Vanessa and the entire family.”

The Orlando Magic said: “The Orlando Magic is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Kobe Bryant

”Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Bryant family, the L.A. Lakers and the other victims of today’s tragedy and their families.

“We will observe a moment of silence before tonight’s game.”

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Bryant is considered one of the greatest basketball players of all time, having spent his entire career with the Los Angeles Lakers.

He was an 18-time All-Star and was named in the All-NBA Team on 15 occasions.

Bryant was the NBA’s Most Valuable Player in 2005 and racked up 1,346 regular season career appearances between 1996 and 2016.

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