Kobe Bryant dead: Dallas Mavericks to retire number 24 jersey

The Dallas Mavericks paid the ultimate tribute to Kobe Bryant, who tragically died in a helicopter crash.

The Dallas Mavericks will retire the number 24 jersey in honour of Kobe Bryant after the Los Angeles Lakers great's sudden death. 

Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna died following a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California on Sunday, NBA commissioner Adam Silver confirmed.

A five-time NBA champion with the Lakers, 2008 MVP Bryant is regarded as one of the all-time greats following 20 years in Los Angeles, where the 41-year-old has two jerseys retired at Staples Center.

The Mavericks - the Lakers' Western Conference rivals - paid the ultimate tribute to 18-time All-Star Bryant.

"We are shocked and saddened by the devastating news of the passing of Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna," Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said in a statement.

"Kobe was an ambassador for our game, a decorated legend and a global icon. Above all, he was a loving and dedicated father.

"Kobe's legacy transcends basketball, and our organisation has decided that the number 24 will never again be worn by a Dallas Maverick.

"Our hearts go out to all the lives lost and the families impacted by this terrible tragedy. We send our thoughts and prayers to Vanessa and the family, the Lakers organisation and Kobe Bryant fans everywhere."

Bryant and the Lakers enjoyed some memorable clashes with the Mavericks in the west.

The Mavericks claimed their only championship in 2011 after sweeping Bryant's Lakers in the Western Conference semi-finals.

Bryant averaged 23.3 points, 3.0 rebounds and 2.5 assists for the Lakers in that series.