‘The city is bleeding’: Tributes flow for basketball legend Kobe Bryant and teen daughter_1

Distraught athletes, fans, politicians and celebrities have paid emotional tributes to NBA All-Star Kobe Bryant in the hours after he and his 13-year-old daughter were killed in a helicopter crash.

Former Lakers president Magic Johnson couldn't stop "crying all morning" after news broke that the legendary Lakers player was one of nine people on board a private helicopter which went down at about 10am on Sunday (local time), sparking a fire.

"It's hard to accept. Kobe was a leader of our game, a mentor to both male and female players," Johnson said.

-with AAP/agencies