Basketball was still played Sunday without Kobe Bryant.
After the tragedy that touched just about everyone, the Lakers legend and his daughter, along with three others, being killed in a Southern California helicopter crash, the NBA kept churning. The bodies were still on the court even if the minds were elsewhere.
Before the Clippers’ game in Orlando, Doc Rivers had trouble getting through his media session.
“He had that DNA that very few athletes can ever have. The Tigers Woods, the Michael Jordans,” Rivers told reporters. “It’s funny, I was getting to know him more since he retired. This is a tough one. I don’t … we have to go play. The news is just devastating for [wife] Vanessa and his family.”
“He had that DNA that very few athletes can ever have.”
Doc Rivers on Kobe Bryant. pic.twitter.com/kSS7sjKaI1
— NBA TV (@NBATV) January 26, 2020
In San Antonio, the Spurs and Raptors started the game by exchanging 24-second clock violations — a tribute to the legendary No. 24.
Remarkable moment to start the Raptors-Spurs game. pic.twitter.com/thmt9ZU1Ra
— Timothy Burke (@bubbaprog) January 26, 2020
In Denver, the Rockets and Nuggets had to face off at a time both would have preferred grieving. Tyson Chandler was on the bench in tears:
— Alykhan Bijani (@Rockets_Insider) January 26, 2020
The news traveled to Israel, too, where Amar’e Stoudemire was informed and had difficulty putting his thoughts into words:
amare stoudemire In total shock When he hears about Kobe Bryant from the sideline reporter during a big derby game in Israel. Watch: pic.twitter.com/l0uZyU3Qg6
— BLUSHTAIN (@BBS_4You) January 26, 2020