“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 NBA said in a statement in announcing the move on Monday. “The game will be rescheduled at a later date.”
Bryant had played for the Lakers for two decades, winning five championships with the team. When he retired four years ago, he was the NBA’s third all-time leading scorer and achieved a number of other accolades.
On Sunday night, NBA commissioner Adam Silver confirmed the deaths of Bryant, 41, and his daughter, Gianna. They died in a helicopter crash near Calabasas, California, on Sunday.
Los Angeles police Sgt. Yvette Tuning, the commander of the Los Angeles Police Department’s Air Support Division Watch, said that the crash occurred in foggy weather conditions. She told The New York Times that police helicopters don’t usually fly in such weather.
“But yesterday when I came to work I immediately saw it as I came down into the valley, that it was just socked in,” she said. “So I already knew [LAPD Air Support] weren’t going to be flying unless it burned off quick. And it did not burn off quick.”
Another LAPD spokesperson, Josh Rubenstein, told the Los Angeles Times that the LAPD’s helicopters were grounded at the time. “The weather situation did not meet our minimum standards for flying,” he said.
Sheriff’s officials told reporters on Sunday that nine people in all died in the crash.