Kobe Bryant death: 'This is a very difficult time for all of us' – Lakers thankful for support

The Los Angeles Lakers released its first statement since Kobe Bryant's tragic death on Sunday.

Los Angeles Lakers great Kobe Bryant   -  Getty Images

The Los Angeles Lakers said it is a "very difficult time for all of us" as the NBA franchise expressed its gratitude for the outpouring of support following the tragic death of Kobe Bryant.

Lakers great Bryant, 41, and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna were killed in a helicopter crash on Sunday, along with seven others in Calabasas, California.

READ | Remembering Black Mamba: How Kobe Bryant became an NBA legend

Tuesday's NBA showdown between city rivals the Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers at Staples Center has been postponed as the world mourns the death of the five-time champion and 2008 MVP.

The Lakers released their first statement on Monday since the tragedy and it read: "In consultation with the NBA League office, the game scheduled between the Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers for Tuesday, January 28 will be postponed and scheduled for a future date.

"The Los Angeles Lakers would like to thank all of you for the tremendous outpouring of support and condolences. This is a very difficult time for all of us.

"We continue to support the Bryant family and will share more information as it is available."

Bryant, who entered the league with the Lakers in 1996, is regarded as one of the all-time greats following a career spanning 20 years in Los Angeles before retiring in 2016.

An 18-time All-Star and two-time Finals MVP, Bryant won a pair of Olympic gold medals, helping United States to glory in 2008 and 2012.

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