“These guys are not ready to play basketball right now."
The NBA has decided to postpone Tuesday night's game between the Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers in the aftermath of Kobe Bryant's death. According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, Lakers players, coaches and the organization as a whole are just not ready to play right now.
At this time, all other games scheduled for tonight and tomorrow will tipoff as planned.
There were eight games played on Sunday immediately after reports of the helicopter crash surfaced. The teams that played honored Kobe with moments of silence that lasted 24 seconds, and some teams kicked off the game with 24-second shot clock violations or 8-second backcourt violations, as a further nod to Kobe's uniform numbers.
Brooklyn Nets point guard Kyrie Irving, who is one of the many NBA stars who had a strong relationship with Kobe, opted not to play in Sunday's game against the New York Knicks. Irving left Madison Square Garden immediately after learning of the tragic news.
The league's official statement regarding Tuesday's Lakers-Clippers game reads:
"The National Basketball Association game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the LA Clippers scheduled for Tuesday, January 28 at Staples Center has been postponed. 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."
Ticket prices to Tuesday's Lakers-Clippers game skyrocketed on Monday afternoon, with the cheapest seats selling for over $1,000 on sites like Ticketmaster.