Kyrie Irving left arena after hearing Kobe Bryant news, did not return
The NBA community was hit hard on Sunday by the news that Kobe Bryant and his daughter died in a helicopter crash, and Kyrie Irving felt he could not play a game under the circumstances.
There were several NBA games that went on as scheduled, and that included the Brooklyn Nets’ game against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden. Irving, who was close with Bryant, reportedly left the arena due to personal reasons and did not return.
Nets' Kyrie Irving will miss Sunday's game against New York due to personal reasons. Irving and Kobe Bryant shared a close friendship.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) January 26, 2020
Kyrie Irving was close with Kobe Bryant and will not play today against the Knicks. He arrived at MSG but left.
— Stefan Bondy (@SBondyNYDN) January 26, 2020
Many felt the NBA should have cancelled all of its games on Sunday following the tragedy, but there are a lot of moving parts and that would be extremely difficult to do.
We saw some incredible tributes from teams that did play on Sunday, and there will undoubtedly be many more. Kobe was one of the most iconic players in NBA history and still very involved with the game at the time of his death.
The crash in California on Sunday killed five people, including Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter. The two were on their way to Kobe’s Mamba Academy in Thousand Oaks.
More Larry Brown Sports coverage of Kobe Bryant’s death:
Other victims of the helicopter crash:
– John Altobelli, junior college baseball coach, also died in helicopter crash
– Christina Mauser, girls’ basketball coach, among the helicopter crash victims
Tributes to Kobe:
– Dallas Mavericks retire Kobe Bryant’s No. 24 jersey
– Video: Raptors, Spurs start game with amazing tribute to Kobe Bryant
– Shaq posts heartfelt tribute to Kobe Bryant
– Michael Jordan releases statement on death of ‘little brother’ Kobe Bryant
– Video: Doc Rivers breaks down crying talking about Kobe Bryant
– Phil Jackson calls Kobe Bryant ‘a chosen one’ in statement on his death
– NBA commissioner Adam Silver issues statement on death of Kobe Bryant
– Video: Dwyane Wade posts emotional message reacting to Kobe Bryant’s death
– Kendrick Perkins extends olive branch to Kevin Durant after Kobe Bryant’s death
– Video: Emotional Mike Breen sums up NBA world’s emotions about Kobe Bryant’s death
– Trae Young’s huge game was full of Kobe Bryant-related statistical coincidences
– Media errors, rumors, poor judgment run rampant in reporting of Kobe Bryant news
– Kobe Bryant checked in on Shaq’s son Shareef morning of helicopter crash
– No, Rick Fox did not die in helicopter crash that killed Kobe, Gianna Bryant
– Lakers fans start memorial to Kobe Bryant outside Staples Center
– Kobe Bryant’s last tweet was congratulating LeBron James on passing him
– Sports world stunned over Kobe Bryant news
– Kobe Bryant dies in helicopter crash – dead at 41