Obviously, the loss hit the players — Kobe and LeBron James were friends, plus he had been a mentor to Anthony Davis, Kyle Kuzma, and many others — but also the team support staff and entire organization. Kobe was a 20-year Laker employee who was the face of a franchise and who had ties not just in the locker room but also on the business side and throughout the company. On Monday, the Lakers reportedly brought grief counselors into the office to help employees cope with the loss.
Considering all that, the NBA announced that it will postpone the Clippers/Lakers game that had been scheduled for Tuesday night at Staples Center. From the media release:
“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 game will be rescheduled at a later date.”
It was the right move by the league.
Lakers players, coaches and officials and entire organization have been deeply grieving loss of Kobe Bryant. “These guys are not ready to play basketball right now,” one source close to Lakers and Clippers players said today. https://t.co/bsDgCGoxeU
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) January 27, 2020
The Lakers’ next scheduled game is Friday night at home against Portland.
No makeup date is scheduled, but there are limited opportunities on the NBA schedule — and that of Staples Center, which also is home to the NHL’s Kings plus hosts concerts and events — to add a game. It could be April before this game is made up. That late in the season the game could have serious seeding implications in the West for one or both teams.
That, however, is secondary right now.