UPDATED: This post was updated with TNT’s plans to air a tribute to Bryant.
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In a statement, the NBA league office said, “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 Sunday.”
The game will be rescheduled at a later date.
The former Lakers star was on a private helicopter with his 13 year-old daughter and multiple families, including a youth basketball coach and baseball coach, when it crashed in Calabasas on Sunday morning. All nine people aboard were killed.
Federal investigators are reviewing flight records and data from the helicopter’s operator to determine the cause of Sunday’s accident, as well as more information on why the chopper’s pilot had been approved to fly in such foggy conditions.
TNT, which was scheduled to air the Lakers-Clippers game, has announced it will instead air a one-hour pregame tribute to Bryant live from Staples Center at 7 p.m. ET. The tribute will feature the likes of Bryant’s longtime Lakers teammate Shaquille O’Neal, Ernie Johnson, Charles Barkley and Kenny Smith, who will be joined by special guests Dwyane Wade, Candace Parker, Steve Nash.
The pregame show was originally only scheduled to last half an hour, and was not due to be broadcast from Los Angeles. Additionally, TNT’s pregame, halftime and postgame coverage will all primarily focus on Bryant, per the network.
Tuesday night’s revised NBA lineup will showcase the Boston Celtics and the Miami Heat moving up to 8 p.m. TNT’s new franchise “NBA on TNT Tuesday Night” franchise, featuring studio analysts Wade, Parker, O’Neal and host Adam Lefkoe, was scheduled to debut Tuesday night, but has now been moved to Tuesday, Feb. 4.
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