Japanese sports stars paid tribute to NBA legend Kobe Bryant on Monday after he was killed along with his teenage daughter in a helicopter crash.

The 41-year-old, who played for the Los Angeles Lakers throughout a glittering career spanning two decades, died after the private aircraft came down in California on Sunday morning, according to U.S. media reports.

Yuta Watanabe, who plays for the Memphis Grizzlies in the NBA, and former Samurai Blue star Keisuke Honda, were among those from the Japanese sporting world to pay tribute on social media.