The Lakers organization on Monday broke its silence on the death of Kobe Bryant, one day after the legendary NBA player, his daughter and seven others were killed in a helicopter crash in Calabasas.
The first statement came after the NBA postponed the team’s next game on Tuesday night, against the Los Angeles Clippers.
“In consultation with the NBA League office, the game scheduled between the Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers for Tuesday, January 28 will be postponed and scheduled for a future date,” the statement read.
It continued: “The Los Angeles Lakers would like to thank all of you for the tremendous outpouring of support and condolences. This is a very difficult time for all of us. We continue to support the Bryant family and will share more information as it is available.”
The team has not been active on social media since news of Bryant’s death broke on Sunday.
Bryant, 41, was an L.A. icon who became one of the greatest basketball players ever. He helped lead the team to five championships during his two-decade tenure as a Laker, including three consecutive titles in 2000, 2001 and 2002, as well as back-to-back championships in 2009 and 2010.
The 18-time All-Star was the MVP in 2008 and twice led the league in scoring. He was also selected 12 times to the NBA’s All-Defensive teams.
He was the league’s third-leading scorer when he retired in 2016, holding that spot until Saturday night — less than 16 hours before his untimely death — when the Lakers’ LeBron James scored his 33,644th point during a game in Bryant’s hometown of Philadelphia.
Bryant’s last tweet and Instagram post paid homage to James.
The Lakers retired both of Bryant’s jersey numbers — 8 and 24 — in December 2017.
He’s expected to be posthumously elected to the basketball Hall of Fame and inducted this summer.
Correction: A previous post had an incorrect date. This post had been updated.