Lakers-Clippers game postponed in wake of Bryant death

Jan 27, 2020; Miami, Florida, USA; Miami Heat forward Derrick Jones Jr. (5) wears sneakers with a written tribute to Kobe Bryant who was killed in a helicopter crash on Jan 26, 2020 prior to the game against the Orlando Magic at American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

(Reuters) – The Los Angeles Lakers game against the Los Angeles Clippers scheduled for Tuesday at Staples Center has been postponed following the death of Kobe Bryant, the NBA said on Monday.

Bryant, who won five NBA titles in a 20-year career with the Lakers, and his 13-year-old daughter were among nine people who died on Sunday when the helicopter they were in crashed into a hillside outside the town of Calabasas, California.

The game will be rescheduled for 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.

NBA games went on as planned on Sunday and teams honored the memory of Bryant with 24-second shot clock violations and in some cases 8-second backcourt violations — matching the jersey numbers the Lakers great wore during his career.

Bryant’s death sent shockwaves through the NBA, which he helped propel to international prominence, and tributes to him poured in from across the globe as athletes, celebrities and politicians reacted to the news.

“The Los Angeles Lakers would like to thank all of you for the tremendous outpouring of support and condolences,” the Lakers said in a statement.

“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.”

Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto; Editing by Ken Ferris & Shri Navaratnam

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