MSNBC presenter Alison Morris was covering the helicopter crash in the hills of Calabasas, California, which Bryant and his 13 year-old daughter Gianna died in alongside seven others on Sunday.
Viewer took to social media after hearing the anchor’s slip of the tongue, claiming she had made a racial slur.
However Ms Morris denied this and posted a message on Twitter apologising for the mispronunciation.
“Earlier today, while reporting on the tragic news of Kobe Bryant’s passing, I unfortunately stuttered on air, combining the names of the Knicks and the Lakers to say “Nakers”, she wrote.
“Please know I did not & would NEVER use a racist term.
“I apologise for the confusion this caused.”
Some Twitter users were not swayed by her statement and said she should come clean about her comments.
One user said: “Nah you said the whole thing, own up to it”.
Another added: “Ma’am you did not say Nakers”
However other social media users came out in support of the TV presenter and agreed that it was an honest mistake.
“I’m not about to argue with yall about this,” one said.
“She said “Nakers” not N—–s. I’m all for putting people in their place (especially racists!), but right is right.”
Former anchor Derek McGinty came out in her defence and said: “I believe her…it did sound like ‘n*****s’ but cmon…no announcer in her right mind would say such a thing on purpose!
“I think we need to go back to the old idea of giving folks the benefit of the doubt. And frankly we all need it from time to time.”
The former LA Lakers star was travelling in his private helicopter when it crashed in in a remote field.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver tweeted: “The NBA family is devastated by the tragic passing of Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna.”
Considered one of the greatest basketball players of all-time, Bryant was a global star who spent all 20 years of his NBA career with the Los Angeles Lakers, who drafted him straight out of high school in 1996,.
He was the franchise’s all-time leading point scorers.
During his time in Los Angeles, Bryant won five NBA championships, including three in a row between 2000-2002. He was named an NBA all-star 18 times during his career, and was twice NBA Finals MVP.
He retired in 2016, finishing his career with 33,643 regular season points, ranking him fourth on the NBA’s all-time list, behind only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Karl Malone and LeBron James, the latter having only surpassed his mark on Saturday night.