The game between the Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers that was originally scheduled for Jan. 28 but was postponed following the death of Lakers legend Kobe Bryant has been rescheduled for April 9 at Staples Center, the league announced on Friday. The game will tip off at 10:30 p.m. ET and will be televised on TNT.
In order to make the scheduling adjustment work the NBA also had to shift around a trio of other games. The league moved the game between the Warriors and Lakers that was previously scheduled for April 9 to April 7. It also moved the contest between the Bulls and Lakers, previously scheduled for April 7, to April 8. Lastly, the game between the Clippers and Bulls, previously scheduled to take place on April 8, will instead be on April 6.
Postponing the original game was the Lakers’ idea, and the Clippers were completely on board, as the organization — and the city at large — needed more time to grieve. Bryant’s tragic death shook the entire NBA world to its core, but the Lakers organization was hit especially hard as Bryant spent the entirety of his well-decorated 20-year career with the Lakers and had formed many lasting relationships with members of the organization. He also provided Lakers fans with a lifetime of memories.
Instead of on Jan. 28 against the Clippers, the Lakers played their first home game following Bryant’s death three days later on Jan. 31. Prior to that game, LeBron Jamesat Staples Center and pledged to carry on Bryant’s legacy. He also said that he viewed the evening as a chance to celebrate all that Bryant did for the Lakers over the course of two decades, as opposed to a time to mourn his passing.
“I look at this as a celebration tonight,” James said at the time. “This is a celebration of the 20 years of the blood, the sweat, the tears, the broken down body…the determination to be as great as he could be. Tonight we celebrate the kid that came here at 18 years of age, retired at 38 and became probably the best dad that we’ve seen over the last three years. Tonight is a celebration.
“Kobe is a brother to me. From the time I was in high school watching him from afar, to getting in this league at 18 and watching him up close, all the battles that we had throughout my career, the one thing that we always shared was that determination to just want to win, to just want to be great. The fact that I’m here now means so much to me. I want to continue, along with my teammates, his legacy. Not only for this year, but for as long as we can play this game of basketball that we love, because that’s what Kobe Bryant would want. So in the words of Kobe Bryant. Mamba out. But in the words of us, not forgotten. Live on, brother.”
As James alluded to, Bryant left an indelible mark on the Lakers organization, as he played more games in the Purple-and-Gold than anyone else in franchise history. He is the Lakers’ all-time leader in points, minutes and steals, and he became the first — and only — player in NBA history to have multiple jerseys retired by a single franchise when the Lakers raised both No. 8 and No. 24 to the rafters in 2017.