KSL UNRIVALED

Lakers, Clippers Game Played As Scheduled Could Have Been Cathartic

Jan 28, 2020, 9:46 AM | Updated: 9:46 am
: Los Angeles Lakers fans mourn the death of retired NBA star Kobe Bryant outside the Staples Cente...
: Los Angeles Lakers fans mourn the death of retired NBA star Kobe Bryant outside the Staples Center prior to the 62nd Annual Grammy Awards on January 26, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. Bryant, 41, died today in a helicopter crash in near Calabasas, California. (Photo by Rachel Luna/Getty Images)
(Photo by Rachel Luna/Getty Images)

LOS ANGELES – The sports world was shaken up by the sudden death of NBA legend Kobe Bryant and there was one game that would have brought out all of the emotions. Tuesday evening, Bryant’s former team, the Los Angeles Lakers were scheduled to play the Los Angeles Clippers. However, that game has been postponed.

KSL Sports’ Alex Kirry saw the game was on the schedule and felt a sense of hope to move forward.

“I thought that was amazing, it is a bad timing and good timing in a weird way,” Kirry said. “To see that Staples Center lit up in Lakers and Clippers colors with Kobe Bryant’s jersey in the rafters would be amazing. They decided to postpone the game after Kobe’s death and the teams are trying to deal with it going forward.”

There are a lot of emotions associated with the passing of Bryant who meant so much to the current and former players in the league, and especially those on the Lakers. Sometimes these types of games can be therapeutic for those on the court and also the fans.

Other times these games and situations can just be too much for players to handle. For example, Kyrie Irving of the Brooklyn Nets was so distraught when he heard the news he got up and left Madison Square Garden and did not play Sunday against the New York Knicks.

The two of them were extremely close.

Now imagine what LeBron James is going through. Just the day before he surpassed Bryant as No. 3 all-time in scoring with the former Laker great in attendance.

The two also shared a phone call Saturday night – James had no idea that would be their last conversation.

It is understandable that James and others on the Lakers and Clippers who were close with Bryant, former teammates or just respected the man for what he has achieved in the NBA aren’t up to play a game so soon after the tragedy.

Playing Could Start The Healing

If the game were to be played it would have been a one of a kind atmosphere. Tickets were already going for record highs on the secondary market with StubHub promising to donate those upticks in prices to the Kobe and Vanessa Bryant Family Foundation.

People wanted to be at the game on Tuesday but it was just too much and James likely had a lot to do with the reasoning for the postponement of the game.

View this post on Instagram

I’m Not Ready but here I go. Man I sitting here trying to write something for this post but every time I try I begin crying again just thinking about you, niece Gigi and the friendship/bond/brotherhood we had! I literally just heard your voice Sunday morning before I left Philly to head back to LA. Didn’t think for one bit in a million years that would be the last conversation we’d have. WTF!! I’m heartbroken and devastated my brother!! 😢😢😢😢💔. Man I love you big bro. My heart goes to Vanessa and the kids. I promise you I’ll continue your legacy man! You mean so much to us all here especially #LakerNation💜💛 and it’s my responsibility to put this shit on my back and keep it going!! Please give me the strength from the heavens above and watch over me! I got US here! There’s so much more I want to say but just can’t right now because I can’t get through it! Until we meet again my brother!! #Mamba4Life❤️🙏🏾 #Gigi4Life❤️🙏🏾

A post shared by LeBron James (@kingjames) on

KSL Sports’ Scott Mitchell referenced his NFL days and specifically Brett Favre who played a Monday Night Football game the day after his father passed away. Favre had one of the best performances ever for a Monday Night Football game with 399 passing yards and four touchdowns.

Now, it is different comparing what happened between the two situations, but perhaps the Lakers and Clippers game could have started the healing process.

“When Brett Favre’s dad passed away it was someone wh0 was so dear to him and someone that meant the world to him and been his coach his entire career. He knew that is what his dad would really want,” Mitchell said. “I get this understanding of ‘out of respect’ and ‘out of reverence’ for this person. These are those moments that when people pass away it is a big part of their life and you don’t want to minimize that.”

Going out and playing when someone passes can also be seen as a huge sign of respect because we all believe or would like to believe, that the person who passed on would want for us to do the thing the person loved.

“I just know with Brett Favre and having watched him play I gained a tremendous amount of respect for him because I can imagine that being hard [to play after his father passed]. You can see in him it was an opportunity to pay respect and celebrate,” Mitchell said. “I can guarantee anyone who would have asked Kobe Bryant would you want us to not play basketball tonight you know he wouldn’t say that. He would say, ‘please play.’ It is not being disrespectful… I actually think it is more respectful and play a bigger tribute by playing.”

There is no word on when the game will be played but it will not be hard to make this game up since both teams are in Los Angeles. One idea that could make a lot of sense and make this game stand out would be to play it during the All-Star break.

The NBA could make this game the only one on the schedule to give it a national spotlight on February 19. The Lakers don’t resume play until Feb. 21 and they are at home and the Clippers post-All-Star game is also at home and on February 22. That would cause little interference and still give these players a mid-season break.

Whenever the game is played it will be an amazing atmosphere honoring the late Kobe Bryant.


Tune into KSL’s Unrivaled every Monday through Friday, 7-9 p.m., or download the KSL NewsRadio app to subscribe to the podcast. 

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