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.
Kobe Bryant Transcended Basketball
Rest in peace to one of the greatest to ever pick up a basketball.
To some, he may have been just a basketball player, but to millions more, he was invincible– a man who could hit two clutch free throws, limping on a torn Achilles, a man who could score 81 points in a single game, a man who, while being the best at it, showed us there was more to life than just basketball. Kobe Bryant was a hero.
Sure, I was undersized and never anything special, but it didn’t matter. When the bell rang and school was over, the first place I wanted to be was the basketball court. I wanted to reenact the moves I saw my hero, Kobe, make the night before on ESPN.
I’d have to heave the ball with all my strength just for it to reach the hoop from where Kobe hit the impeccable game-winner over Dwyane Wade in December of 2009, but when the ball finally went in, I felt like Kobe Bryant. I was shooting from the edge of a driveway in Charlestown, Rhode Island, but I felt like I was in front of thousands at the Staples Center. I could escape the stresses of middle school, the low self-esteem of my anxious 12-year-old self and, for just a moment, feel like I was invincible, because Kobe Bryant was invincible. Kobe Bryant was Super-Man.
This story is likely similar to millions of other kids who looked up to Kobe and found solace on the basketball court.
He was an assassin– 33,643 career points, 18 all-star selections, five NBA championships, an MVP award and countless more accolades. He was one of the rare competitors who could strike absolute fear in his opponents. Regardless of the score, a lead was never safe if Kobe was on the court. Unparalleled balletic footwork, a brain that seemed designed for basketball, an unshakable love for the fourth quarter, it all made Kobe the most entertaining player to watch.
Moments like when Kobe scored 62 points in three quarters in a 112-90 route over the Dallas Mavericks in 2005 made fans fall in love with his game. Kobe sat out the fourth quarter, and, as legend goes, when offered a chance to go back in to reach 70, he told coach Brian Shaw, “Nah, I’ll get it another time.”
How about when he scored 60 points in his final game and gave life to the Staples Center, that of which it hadn’t seen in years? Or when Matt Barnes pump-faked the ball into his face and Kobe didn’t even flinch? The alley-oop to Shaq in Game 7 against the Trail Blazers in 2000? The countless game-winners, deep fadeaways, jawdropping dunks, are all ingrained in the memories of NBA fans whose lives were impacted by Kobe Bryant.
A loss like this forces us to stare in the face of our own mortality. How can he be gone? He was invincible.
Kobe may have been passed the prime of his playing days, but he was just entering the prime of life. With his wife Vanessa, he had four children– Gianna, Natalia, Bianca, and their newborn Capri, who was only just born, in June 2019.
Ethan Miller/Getty Images
Above all else, though, Kobe was a father. After taking a break from basketball post-retirement, he rekindled love with the game once again, vicariously through his daughter Gianna. The two could be seen attending NBA games across the country; he often tutored her from the sidelines in the art of the game. At his Mamba Sports Academy, he did the same for other young girls who found love for basketball.
For his short film, Dear Basketball, Kobe won the Oscar for Best Animated Short Film, setting up what could have been an illustrious second-act: “What I love is storytelling,” he told Sports Illustrated in 2018. “I love the idea of creative content whether it’s mythology or animation, written or film, that can inspire people and give them something tangible they can use in their own lives.”
Tragically we will never get to see that second-act come to fruition. Kobe Bryant died yesterday, in a helicopter crash alongside his daughter Gianna and seven others. It’s one of the most devastating losses in NBA history.
This is not the ending Kobe Bryant was supposed to get.
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Lamar Odom Pays Tribute To Kobe: ‘If Not For You, I’d Probably Be Sniffing A Line’
Odom is honoring Kobe by getting back in the gym.
The basketball world continues to mourn the sudden loss of Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant, as his former teammates like Shaq and longtime rivals like Allen Iverson share their fondest memories of the Black Mamba. On Monday, Lamar Odom paid tribute to Kobe by simply getting back in the gym.
As seen in the video posted to Odom’s IG account, the former Lakers forward wrote Kobe would be so proud to see him handling the tragic loss the way he is, rather than turning to drugs as he might have done in the past.
The full caption of Odom’s tribute video reads:
“Like my brother @kobebryant would say “put that work in to be great”. So in honor of you big brother I’ll be putting that work in everyday to get back to @thebig3 💪🏿💪🏿💪🏿 Thank you Baby Doll @getuptoparr for getting me to the gym. Bean would have been proud of me today after such a tragic day yesterday me getting my ass to the gym. Without you here considering what I’m going thru I’d prolly be somewhere sniffing a line”
Odom also posted a heartfelt message on Sunday, comparing the loss of Kobe to the devastation he felt when his own son died. Check out that post below, and click here to see how other NBA stars and celebrities are reacting to the tragic news.
Ronda Rousey Trolls WWE Fans After Missing Royal Rumble
Rousey didn't return at the Rumble, but she could be back any day now.
WWE's annual Royal Rumble event opens the door for surprise returns from wrestling legends and injured superstars on the road to Wrestlemania, and the 2020 Rumble was no different. For example, Hall of Famer Edge made his in-ring return for the first time in nine years, as did Naomi, who had been out for months due to injury.
One WWE superstar that was rumored to return but was nowhere to be found during the 30-woman Royal Rumble, was none other than Ronda Rousey. After the 30th and final Royal Rumble entrant was announced as NXT star Shayna Baszler, Rousey took to twitter to troll all the WWE fans who thought they were going to hear Joan Jett's "Bad Reputation" on Sunday night.
Charlotte Flair went on to win the Women's Royal Rumble, but it remains to be seen which title holder she'll challenge at Wrestlemania 36. Becky Lynch retained the Raw Women's Championship against Asuka at the Rumble, while SmackDown Live Women's champ Bayley defeated Lacey Evans.
If Flair opts for Bayley, which makes sense considering their both on the SmackDown roster, WWE could pick up the Ronda Rousey-Becky Lynch feud right where it left off. Lynch defeated both Flair and Rousey in a Triple Threat Match during the main event of Wrestlemania 35, but fans are still waiting for the Rousey-Lynch singles match.
Rousey broke her hand during that bout last April, and has not been seen on WWE television since, although rumors suggest she could be back in the fold any day now.
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Allen Iverson Shares Memorable Kobe Bryant Story From Their Rookie Season
“It’s one memory of him that I can’t stop thinking about…”
Kobe Bryant’s death has rocked the basketball world to it’s core, and it just seems so surreal that the 41-year old Laker legend is no longer with us. It’s nearly impossible to put the magnitude of his loss into words.
24 hours since the tragic crash which claimed the life of Kobe, his daughter, and seven others, countless NBA stars, both past and present, as well as fans, celebrities and members of the media, have shared their fondest memories about the Black Mamba. Among them, Allen Iverson, who shared a heartfelt statement on instagram on Monday.
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Iverson’s post contains one of his favorite Kobe stories, which took place during their rookie season in 1996.
“It’s one memory of him that I can’t stop thinking about. It was our rookie season and my first trip to LA for a game against the Lakers. He came to my hotel, picked me up and took me to a restaurant. When we returned before he left, he asked me, “What are you going to do tonight?” My reply was, “I’m going to the club, what are you going to do?” He said, “I’m going to the gym.”
That is who he always was, a true student of the game of basketball and also the game of life. He prepared relentlessly. There is something we can all learn from the “Mamba” mentality and from the way my brother lived his life. He will always have my respect as a competitor, as a friend, as a brother.”
Check out AI’s tribute post below.
Kobe Bryant’s Final Game Will Re-Air On ESPN Tonight: Details
Kobe's 60-point game will air tonight at 9pm ET.
Kobe Bryant's 20-year run in the NBA was filled with iconic moments, countless awards, a fistful of championship rings, epic scoring performances and so much more. Even in his final game with the Lakers Kobe outdid himself, scoring 60 points in a 101-96 victory over the Utah Jazz at Staples Center.
In celebration of Kobe Bryant's illustrious career, ESPN has announced that the final game will re-air tonight at 9pm ET.
Harry How/Getty Images
Kobe's final game came on April 13, 2016 and it was an absolute spectacle, a fitting conclusion to the Black Mamba's basketball career. The future Hall of Famer put up 60 points on 50 shots in front of a star-studded crowd that included a plethora of NBA legends and celebrities. However, as Bryant explained after the game, the best part was being able to put on a show for his kids.
“The coolest thing is that my kids actually saw me play like I used to play,” Bryant said. “It was like, ‘Whoa, Dad!’ I said, ‘Yeah, I used to do that.’ They were like, ‘Really?’ I was like, ‘Dude, YouTube it.’ ”
Relive the magic tonight at 9pm ET on ESPN.
Kobe Bryant & Gianna Bryant Mural Appears In Los Angeles Following Their Deaths
Rest in peace, Kobe and Gianna Bryant.
41-year-old basketball legend Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna are among two fatalities in a tragic helicopter crash that happened this weekend. Despite his sports career having been complete, Kobe Bryant was really just starting his life. Last year, he won an Academy Award for his short film Dear Basketball. He had also released a book in 2018, working on film and television ventures on the side. His passing is a tough one to process for Los Angeles natives, basketball fans, and anybody that connected with the heroic athlete. It shouldn’t come as a surprise to anybody that, not even twenty-four hours following the deaths of Kobe and Gianna, a mural has appeared in LA to pay tribute to them.
David McNew/Getty Images
As reported by ABC News, a mural in Mid City mural honors the lives of both Kobe and Gianna Bryant. The artist used an image of the father-daughter duo to paint them onto a wall, writing the following touching statement next to them: “Kobe & Gigi forever. Daddy’s Girl.”
So many of Bryant’s former teammates, his fans, and more have been remembering the legendary hooper across the internet. It was reported today that Bryant would be awarded as a first-ballot Hall of Famer in the upcoming year’s ceremony. The Dallas Mavericks have retired his No. 24 jersey and various other teams paid tribute to the star during their games last night.
Rest in peace, Kobe and Gianna.
Stephen A. Smith Claps Back At Joe Rogan: Conor McGregor Responds
Stephen A. Smith posts video in response to recent criticism.
ESPN's Stephen A. Smith pissed off a lot of MMA fans earlier this month when he bashed UFC veteran Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone following his 40-second loss to Conor McGregor in the main event of UFC 246. During his post-fight assessment, Smith described how "disgusted" he was with Cowboy's "atrocious performance."
Joe Rogan, who was standing next to Smith when the comments were made, wholeheartedly disagreed with Smith's take as well, and he expanded upon his feelings on the “JRE MMA Show” podcast. In short, Rogan stated that Smith's commentary was bad for the sport.
Smith issued his response to the criticism on Saturday, as seen in the video embedded below.
Says Smith, “You’re wrong on this one, my man.” He continued, "First of all as it pertains to ESPN, check the numbers, the subscribers to ESPN+, the level of attention that it got, the traffic that it generated in the digital and beyond...Not good for the sport? I think that’s good for the sport.”
Not long after Smith posted that video, Conor McGregor weighed in. And although McGregor agrees that he didn't "show enough" during his return to the octagon, he made it clear that he's siding with Rogan. Furthermore, McGregor thinks SAS needs to apologize to Cowboy for the disrespect.
McGregor's full response:
"The call you discuss here is A+. I didn’t show enough. I’m not paid by the hour though. Joe’s comments however, come from you saying the opposition fighter quit. Broken nose/orbital bone say different. Fighting is vicious. Those who make the walk deserve full respect! Apologise."
Rogan has not yet addressed Smith's video, but it wouldn't be a surprise if SAS makes an appearance on The Joe Rogan Experience in the near future.
WWE Royal Rumble: Edge Returns, Brock Lesnar Sets Record & More
Who will Edge feud with on the road to Wrestlemania?
WWE kicked off the road to Wrestlemania on Sunday at Minute Maid Park in Houston, Texas, and there is plenty for wrestling fans to be excited about. For one, WWE legend Edge is officially back.
The R-Rated Superstar made his shocking return as the No. 21 entrant in the Royal Rumble event, marking his first real in-ring action in over nine years.
Edge delivered several spears during the Rumble before finally being eliminated by Roman Reigns in the final moments of the match. It remains to be seen which superstar Edge will feud with moving forward, but fans can expect the big payoff to come at Wrestlemania 36 in Tampa in April.
Earlier in the Royal Rumble, WWE Champion Brock Lesnar set a record by eliminating 13 people in a row up until NXT's Keith Lee entered the fold. Shortly thereafter, Drew McIntyre got into the mix and sent Lesnar over the top rope with a well-timed Claymore Kick. McIntyre stared down Lesnar after the fact and later went on to win the Royal Rumble, which will surely set up a clash between The Scottish Psychopath and The Beast Incarnate at Wrestlemania.
Elsewhere on the card, Charlotte Flair won the 30-woman Royal Rumble, "The Fiend" Bray Wyatt defeated Daniel Bryan in a brutal Strap Match, and Becky Lynch retained the Raw Women's Championship against Asuka.
Check out some more highlights from the 2020 Royal Rumble below.
Kobe Bryant To Be Honored As First-Ballot Hall Of Famer This Year: Report
"Kobe will be honored the way he should be."
There was never any doubt that Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant would be a first-ballot Hall of Famer, but things will obviously be handled much differently this year in wake of Bryant's tragic death.
According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame has decided to forego the normal election process, announcing Kobe as the first inductee of the 2020 class. The rest of this year's Hall of Fame class, which will surely include Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett among others, will be announced in April.
Bryant, 41, spent each of his 20 NBA seasons with the Lakers, starting with his rookie campaign in 1996. During his illustrious career, Bryant earned 18 All-Star nods, four All-Star MVPs, two NBA Finals MVPs, league MVP in 2007-2008, and he captured five NBA championships. He averaged 25.4 points, 5.3 rebounds and 4.7 assists per game during his 20 seasons, and ranks fourth on the NBA's all-time scoring list.
In addition to all of his on-court achievements, Bryant also experienced a tremendous amount of success in his post-NBA life, including an Oscar for his short animated film, "Dear Basketball." Most of all, Kobe's closest friends remember him as a loving father and husband who cherished his family more than any of his other accolades.
Click here to see how Bryant's peers, fans, and others are mourning the loss and celebrating his life.