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'The closest thing we've seen to Michael Jordan' – Kobe Bryant remembered by Breakers owner

Breakers owner Matt Walsh has remembered the legacy of NBA legend Kobe Bryant, following his tragic death earlier today.

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Matt Walsh spoke about the legacy Bryant's left on basketball after his tragic death. Source: 1 NEWS

Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna, and seven others were killed when their helicopter crashed in Los Angeles this morning, he was 41.

The 18-time NBA All-Star was one of the most decorated players in the history of basketball, winning five championships with the Los Angeles Lakers, as well as a father of four and successful businessman off the court.

His 33,643 points sees him fourth on the NBA's all-time point scoring charts.

Speaking to 1 NEWS today, Walsh, a veteran of the American basketball system, paid tribute to Bryant, affectionately known as the Black Mamba.

"He's one of the icons of the game," Walsh said.

"He was one of the first guys who came out of high school to the NBA and had that kind of success.

"An all-time leading scorer, the Mamba, he's known for his competitiveness. He was different to everyone else.

"I think he's the closest thing we've seen to Michael Jordan, and he carried himself that way in every part of his life.

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Some fans of the Los Angeles Lakers’ icon gathered at basketball courts across the country. Source: 1 NEWS

"We saw that post-career, how he was with his kids, coaching teams. He started the Mamba Academy, he had such an impact on the game, and I think you're seeing that from the outpouring of love and support from all the former players.

"Guys that may not have been teammates, but even guys that played against him, guys that hoped to play against him.

"He's a true icon of the game. I still can't believe it."