NBA Criticised For Not Cancelling Games After News Of Kobe’s Death

by : Niamh Shackleton on : 27 Jan 2020 09:04
NBA Heavily Criticised For Not Cancelling Games After News Of Kobe's DeathNBA Heavily Criticised For Not Cancelling Games After News Of Kobe's DeathPA images

The National Basketball Association (NBA) has come under fire after not cancelling last night’s games following the sudden death of Kobe Bryant. 


Despite the tragic news of Bryant’s passing yesterday – someone who was a huge star in the basketball world and loved by many – the NBA made the decision to go ahead with scheduled games.

In several clips, you see many basketball players and other members of the basketball community devastated by the death of Bryant, and arguably not in a fit state to play.

Kobe Bryant deathKobe Bryant deathPA images

One player you see in a bad way is the Houston Rockets’ Tyson Chandler, who sits on the sidelines with tears in his eyes while shaking his head sorrowfully.


A twitter user tweeted the clip of the devastated player saying:

Tyson Chandler clearly heartbroken. Not sure how these players are able to focus on the game.

Someone else who was extremely upset was LA Clippers basketball coach, Doc Rivers.

In an pre-game interview, you see the 58-year-old choking up when talking about having to tell the team about Bryant’s passing.

In the interview, Rivers says: 

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.


While some fans argued that Kobe wouldn’t have wanted the games to be cancelled, it’s obvious in many cases players weren’t ready to play or in the right mindset to do so.

One basketball fan tweeted: 

the NBA should’ve cancelled 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.

Another Twitter user agreed saying: 

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 cancelled.

A significant reason why the NBA has come under fire is because the organisation is an advocate for mental health, and it’s pretty obvious many people weren’t in a good state of mental health following the tragic death of Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter.

The basketball association even has a foundation called NBA Cares that says it is ‘committed to supporting the mental wellness of our fans, youth and communities’.

Kobe Bryant Gianna BryantKobe Bryant Gianna BryantPA Images

Following Bryant’s passing, the NBA has changed its Twitter header to a tribute to the late basketball star.


NBA Commissioner Adam Silver released a statement yesterday addressing Bryant’s death, describing the NBA family as ‘devastated’ and speaking of how generous Bryant was.

If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677.

Niamh Shackleton

Niamh Shackleton is a pint sized person and journalist at UNILAD. After studying Multimedia Journalism at the University of Salford, she did a year at Caters News Agency as a features writer in Birmingham before deciding that Manchester is (arguably) one of the best places in the world, and therefore moved back up north. She's also UNILAD's unofficial crazy animal lady.

Topics: Celebrity, basketball, Doc Rivers, Gianna Bryant, houston rockets, Kobe Bryant, LA Clippers, Mental Health, NBA, Tyson Chandler