Kobe Bryant’s shock passing left the sporting world heartbroken yesterday.
The 41-year-old global superstar tragically died in a helicopter crash in California with fans and friends alike left to try process the shocking news.
The NBA however, chose to go ahead with yesterday’s scheduled matches in the wake of the news and have come in for heavy criticism for doing so.
Several clips doing the rounds online have shown that players were visibly shaken ahead of, during, and after the games.
As an outspoken advocate for mental health, the NBA’s decision to go ahead with the games despite the fact that players were in no fit state to play just seems like a massive error in judgement.
- Tiger Woods reacts to Kobe Bryant’s death
- Remembering Kobe Bryant’s incredible NBA records
- Dallas Maverick’s to retire Kobe’s 24 number jersey
A clip of Tyson Chandler in tears on the bench went viral on Twitter, as the criticism of the NBA grew ever louder.
However, it wasn’t just players that were thrown in the deep end last night as LA Clippers coach, Doc Rivers, broke down in an interview before his team’s match up with the Orlando Magic.
“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,” he said, choking back tears.
While there were some fans that argued that Kobe wouldn’t have wanted the games to be cancelled, the prevailing opinion online was that the NBA should have called the fixtures off.
You have to feel for the players who were made to go out and play and they can hardly be blamed for not being at their best.
The fact that they were even able to play at all, considering that an icon and role model had just passed away, is remarkable.
Now, tributes continue to pour in for Kobe from across the globe with world-renowned names from all walks of life paying their respects.
It truly is a very sad day for sport.
Rest in peace, Mamba.