Basketball: Kobe Bryant's daughter Gianna among the dead in crash - reports

The 13-year-old daughter of legendary NBA basketball player Kobe Bryant has also died in the helicopter crash in California, TMZ reports.

Bryant, 41, is survived by wife Vanessa and four daughters - Gianna, Natalia and Bianca and newborn Capri.

The news broke early Monday (NZ time) that Bryant had died, after the horror helicopter crash in Calabasas.

TMZ now reports his 13-year-old daughter Gianna is among the five victims of the crash.

"Kobe Bryant was on his way to a basketball game with his daughter Gianna, when the helicopter crashed," ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski said on Twitter, citing sources.

'Legend on and off the court'

Bryant had been smitten with the birth of youngest daughter Capri in June. He told Extra TV in September she had been their "best baby".

"She sleeps like six hours," he said. "She's an absolute sweetheart.

"The big girls around the house help tremendously."

Bryant's other children include 16-year-old Natalia, 13-year-old Gianna and two-year-old Bianka.

Tributes are flowing on social media. One said Bryant embodied everything good about basketball and "what it means to be a father" off the court.

US TV host Jimmy Kimmel tweeted he was impressed by how deeply involved Bryant was with his four daughters.

"He was great, charismatic & among the hardest-working athletes ever," he said.

"We will never forget you, Kobe."

Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson said he was in disbelief.

"Kobe Bryant was a fierce competitor, who represented excellence and persistence to my generation," Johnson wrote on Twitter.

"My heart goes out to the family and to the families of all those who died in the horrific tragedy.

"A reminder to all of us that life is precious."

Others have described Bryant as a "hero".

A moment of silence was held before the Denver Nuggets v Houston Rockets NBA match, which has just tipped off early in Colorado. 

Other games staged symbolic tributes that included deliberate 24-second shot clock violations and eight-second backcourt calls - both were Bryant's playing numbers during his career.