Kobe Bryant: NBA slammed for refusing to cancel games despite tragic death of its biggest superstar
Although many Twitter users argued that Kobe Bryant would not have wanted the games to be canceled, many others pointed out that it was evident that several of the players were not in the right mindset to play
The National Basketball Association (NBA) is being criticized online for not canceling Sunday's game after the news of basketball legend Kobe Bryant's sudden death emerged. The NBA made the decision to ahead with the scheduled games on Sunday night despite Bryant's passing away. The NBA star was loved by most in the basketball world.
Multiple clips from last night's games showed basketball players and other members of the community devastated by Bryant's tragic death, with several breaking into tears. As videos of players being shellshocked by the tragic news emerged, many raised concerns about them not being in a fit state to play.
A clip showed Houston Rockets’ Tyson Chandler sitting on the sidelines with tears in his eyes as he continually shook his head in sorrow. A Twitter user shared the clip of the devastated player, writing, "Tyson Chandler clearly heartbroken. Not sure how these players are able to focus on the game."
LA Clippers basketball coach, Doc Rivers, also appeared extremely upset in a pre-game interview, where the 58-year-old tried to hold back tears when he talked about having to tell his team about Bryant's death.
Rovers, in the interview, said: "This is just shocking news for all of us – sorry I don’t have a lot of say… I just can’t. I have to go talk to a team and tell them to play a game."
Although many Twitter users argued that Bryant would not have wanted the games to be canceled, many others pointed out that it was evident that several of the players were not in the right mindset to play a game.
"The NBA should’ve canceled every single game today. how can you expect these players to play knowing their friend, teammate, mentor, & legend has just tragically passed? they’re literally on the bench in tears at what cost? they should not have to play. they are not okay," one basketball fan tweeted.
While another stated, "Really can’t get behind the notion that playing NBA games today was okay because “that was what Kobe would’ve wanted.” I just don’t buy that. He was a great competitor and prolly would want everyone to play. But this is devastating. Players weren’t ready. Should’ve canceled."
Several other social media users also slammed the NBA for their hypocrisy over the incident citing how the association is an advocate for mental health. The NBA even has a foundation called NBA Cares that says it is "committed to supporting the mental wellness of our fans, youth, and communities."
The Los Angeles Lakers legend, 41, died in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California on Sunday, January 26. The chopper was carrying his 13-year-old daughter Gianna Bryant, and seven others. None survived the fatal crash.