“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 league in a statement.
Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna were among nine people who died Sunday in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, Calif. Bryant was 41. NBA games continued on as planned on Sunday, with players from around the league paying tribute to Bryant before, during and after their respective games.
News of Bryant’s death sent a wave of shock through the sports world. Countless Laker greats were among those who honored Bryant. Magic Johnson called Bryant “the greatest Laker of all-time.” Shaquille O’Neal said that there were “no words to express the pain” he was feeling. Phil Jackson said that Bryant “transcended the norm,” and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar said he was “much more than an athlete.”
The Lakers last played Saturday night in a loss to the 76ers. In that game, LeBron James surpassed Bryant for third on the NBA’s all-time scoring list. Afterward, James expressed his appreciation of Bryant and said, “I’m happy just to be in any conversation with Kobe Bean Bryant, one of the all-time greatest basketball players to ever play, one of the all-time greatest Lakers. The man has two jerseys hanging up in Staples Center. It’s just crazy.”
Bryant congratulated James on Twitter and wrote: “Continuing to move the game forward @KingJames . Much respect my brother #33644”
The Clippers were among the teams that played Sunday, defeating the Magic in Orlando 112-97.
The Lakers’ first scheduled game after Bryant’s death was Tuesday. The Lakers are set to play next on Friday when they host the Trail Blazers. Tipoff is set for 10:30 p.m. ET.
The league said Tuesday’s game will be rescheduled at a later date.
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