NBA Moves Forward With Sunday’s Games In Wake Of Kobe’s Death

In the wake of the tragic news that Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter have died in a helicopter crash, there was uncertainty over whether the NBA would move forward with tonight’s slate of games. Although the league hasn’t officially confirmed that all of Sunday’s games will be played, two of them are already underway and there’s no indication that any of the rest will be cancelled.

Tributary moments of silence were held during the day’s afternoon games in Denver and San Antonio. Another is planned in Atlanta for tonight’s Hawks/Wizards tilt, according to Sarah K. Spencer of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (Twitter link). The rest of Sunday’s games will almost certainly follow suit.

At the start of this afternoon’s contest between the Spurs and Raptors, the two teams exchanged 24-second shot clock violations in tribute to Bryant’s jersey, No. 24 (video link). Fans in San Antonio chanted “Kobe!” and gave a standing ovation.

The Lakers are not in action today.

Alex Kirschenbaum contributed to this post.

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36 thoughts on “NBA Moves Forward With Sunday’s Games In Wake Of Kobe’s Death

  1. mikey

    I really wish they cancelled the games. I can’t even stomach watching basketball right now. I couldn’t imagine what it’s like for the players. The tributes are nice. But they should’ve been cancelled for the magnitude of the day, if nothing else. I guess it’s easier said then done tho

    • 3loodhound

      A couple games were about to tip off when the news broke. Hard to turn away 15,000 people on a dime.

    • hiflew

      If you can’t handle it, then don’t watch. Not to sound harsh or anything, but you don’t have to watch. He was a great player and deserves the accolades and tributes he is receiving, but it’s not like a President died. Life has to go on.

      • mikey

        And I’m not. And I get that you don’t get why people would want the games to be cancelled. But he was the face of the nba for 2 decades. He was my personal hero, along with Tim Duncan. So yeah I’m heartbroken, and mourning someone who meant a lot to me. So I would just say try a little more sensitive to people’s feelings. I’m not in the right mindset to argue. But please try to understand other people next time you comment on something like someone’s death.

        • aloop

          Hate to be the second in but @hiflew has a point… it’s not 9/11 it’s not a President dying. Life should and will go on. And more legends will die (some, unfortunately too young, but hopefully most will live until they are old) and life will continue to go on. Because that’s what happens… the NBA can’t stop just because a retired player died as much of a legend as that player was.

          • harden-westbrook-mvps

            It would be like if John Elway or Emmitt Smith died tragically later this week and they wanted to cancel the Super Bowl. Crazy.

            • jump shot

              No, it wouldn’t, because the Super Bowl isnt a midseason game. Also, Emmit and Elway arent Kobe. While those 2 players may be in the debate for being the best of all time at their positions, neither are in that debate fot GOAT of all time. Tom Brady would be one “equivalent“. Cancel Super Bowl… wow, you really went extreme in attempting to make an analogy. If the NBA had done anything with the games due to this circumstance, it would’ve been re-scheduling them, rather than canceling them.
              Cancel the Super Bowl…. hahahaha

  2. windycitykid89

    Supposedly some of the games tonight will be cancelled. That’s the latest news I’ve heard. Don’t know which ones would be affected though

  3. sportsfan101

    Stupid. Just pure stupid. This should be a day to mourn not compete in a basketball game.

    • x%sure

      Mourning is for people who experienced loss; it’s more personal. It should not be imposed.

      • dynamite drop in monty

        I was trying to come up with a reply to this that shared this sentiment but couldn’t really find the right words. Well done.

  4. Dodgethis

    People die everyday. Retired players die all the time. What, because he was a Laker back in the day nobody should play today? The best way to honor someone is to continue doing what they loved.

    • amk3510

      I can’t believe some actually decided to type this. Imagine being this cluless. Its not about the team he played for you loser.

      • dynamite drop in monty

        His statement is brash and insensitive but he’s right. Could have been scribed more tactfully but I tend to agree, it’s a practical and logistical error to even comprehend canceling an entire slate of games.

      • hiflew

        He may have been a bit blunt in his wording, although you were probably far worse, but his point is valid. If you cancel games for Kobe’s passing, then where is the line? How good of a player do you have to be to stop the league? Do you postpone games every time a Hall of Fame player dies? A great player died. Have moments of silence throughout the league, but life goes on.

        • amk3510

          Wheres the line, really? Its Kobe Bryant. Anyone as famous and impactful on our culture as him should warrent a cancellation of games for just 1 night. Why don’t you take a live look at Staples Center right now. Take a look at the players crying on the court right now. Kobe means a little more than being a “great player” smh

          • aloop

            The Staples Center is hosting the Grammys right now. Clippers are in Orlando and the Lakers landed in Arizona later. So, there are no players at the Staples Center right now.

      • x%sure

        I can imagine someone would react that morbidly.
        No cancels
        There’s nowhere to draw the line

    • steve

      Hes right you know. Plus no one is bigger than the game. People die everyday and the world goes on. Welcome to reality.

  5. wellyou'rewrong

    It’s absolutely tragic but news broke in the afternoon and to cancel games that last minute is so hard logistically.

    And, yes it is hard to draw the line for future deaths (were games even canceled for Wilt,etc? They werent even for David Stern) And for how long? A day or two? Or a week? He (and no others mind you) will get something at all star weekend anyway.

    Tough but everything cant stop.

  6. George Ruth

    The NBA has done the correct thing & having the games scheduled to be played & I guarantee anyone who disagrees with the NBA’S decision should realize that Kobe Bryant wouldn’t have wanted the League to postpone the games today because of his tragic passing & the team that would have been granted to postpone their game if they had one scheduled would have been the Lakers.

    R.I.P. KB

  7. x%sure

    The “parties” comment did show up in a deleted comment reported by the “notify me…” checkbox.

    I cannot put this comment under my other comment because there’s no “reply” button under my comment. I assume that is true for others too in this latest version of comment-section rules. (?)

    • x%sure

      Ironically, the comment about the “parties” comment also got axxed. Those had insults & so forth. The mods have been busy.
      Also the “reply” buttons have returned, but the flag button is missing.
      Might as well delete both of these posts too.

  8. jorge78

    Really people!!?? PRESIDENT JOHN F. KENNEDY wasn’t just murdered! 3,000 innocent people weren’t just murdered in a senseless act of terrorism! A retired sports person just died in a tragic accident. Sad, I know. I feel your pain, but Kobe would be the first person to tell you: keep moving on and keep making money and stay away from honey traps in hotels…..

  9. jump shot

    There are some ignorant people on this site. I suspect many of them played JV their junior year of high school (if they even anymore played after sitting the bench on the freshman team).
    Now they have a keyboard voice and think they really know basketball.
    Jump Shot out.

  10. dave frost nhlpa

    When Kennedy was assassinated,NFL still played.
    That’s the benchmark. Be above JFK. 9/11 was too unsafe to fly.
    Some may find it therapeutic to watch games.
    Why take that from them.

    • El Don

      What does JFK or 9/11 have to do with basketball, or anything, for that matter?

  11. This is the right move.

    1. It would be an absolute logistical nightmare to cancel a full Sunday slate of games with only a few hours’ notice.

    2. Not to be harsh, but it sets a bad precedent / is a slippery slope. So if you cancel games when Kobe dies, do you do it when Shaq dies? What about Tim Duncan? What about when Bill Russell dies at the age of 95 or MJ when he’s 67?

  12. Pablo Boner

    While I can understand some fans and players not wanting to watch or play in these games, going through with them as scheduled is a tribute to Kobe. He loved basketball so much that he would’ve wanted the games to be played.

  13. steve

    Yeah i wouldn’t care if the president died. Any president for that matter Cant reply or else i wouldve.

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