Sportswear giant Nike has issued a statement following the shocking death of NBA legend Kobe Bryant on Sunday.

The former Los Angeles Lakers guard died in a helicopter accident on the way to a basketball game at Mamba Sports Academy in California. It is reported that along with his 13-year old daughter Gianna, seven other passengers were also killed in the crash.

"Along with millions of athletes and fans throughout the world, we are devastated by today's tragic news," Nike's statement begins.

"We extend our deepest sympathies to those closest to Kobe, especially his family and friends. He was one of the greatest athletes of his generation and has had an immeasurable impact on the world of sport and the community of basketball. He was a beloved member of the Nike family. We will miss him greatly. Mamba forever."

Tributes to Bryant have been pouring in across social media.