The game scheduled for Tuesday night between the Los Angeles Lakers and LA Clippers has been postponed to a later date.
The Los Angeles Lakers suffered a terrible loss on Sunday with the death of Kobe Bryant. Bryant, along with eight other people, including his 13-year old daughter Gianna, perished in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California.
There has been plenty of mourning and grieving in the time since. The NBA had some touching tributes, as teams took 24-second shot clock violations and 8-second backcourt violations to honor Bryant; the same numbers he wore and had retired by the Lakers.
Speaking of retired numbers, the No. 24 is going up into more rafters than just the STAPLES Center. On Sunday, Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks, announced that no Maverick would ever wear the No. 24 again either, as they will also retire the number in his honor.
It was a touching gesture from an organization that was a rival to Bryant and the Lakers for years.
The Lakers were set to return to the court on Tuesday, their first game back at STAPLES Center since January 15th as they were on their Grammy road trip.
They were set to face off against their co-tenants, the LA Clippers, but that game will now be played at another time. According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, the NBA, Lakers and Clippers held hours of discussions before the league made a decision and the Clippers honored the Lakers’ request to postpone the game.
The NBA shared a statement about the decision to postpone the game until a later date.
“The decision was made out of respect for the Lakers organization, which is deeply grieving the tragic loss of Lakers legend Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna and seven other people in a helicopter crash on Sunday,” the NBA said in a statement.
There has been a number of photos and videos shared of people mourning the loss of Bryant outside the STAPLES Center. The team reportedly found out about the news during their flight back from Philadelphia, as staff members received text messages and Frank Vogel told the players on the team.
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The Lakers canceled practice on Monday, as the organization, as a whole, was attempting to deal with the aftermath of what happened. Ramona Shelburne reported that it was just not possible for the Lakers to put in the necessary work to play a game on Tuesday.
The team released a statement of their own on the situation.
“The Los Angeles Lakers would like to thank all of you for the tremendous outpouring of support and condolences,” the team said in a statement released on Monday. “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.”
Dave McMenamin of ESPN reported that the Lakers brought in grief counselors to the facility that can provide assistance in either group or one-on-one sessions.
This has been a very difficult time for everyone. Prayers go out to all of the family, friends and anyone impacted by this tragedy.