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NBA postpones Lakers game after Kobe Bryant's death

ISTANBUL -- Tuesday's National Basketball Association (NBA) game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the LA Clippers has been postponed after Kobe Bryant's death.

The game scheduled for tonight has been postponed, NBA said in a statement Monday evening.

"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 on Sunday," the statement said.

The game will be rescheduled at a later date.

Former Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna were among nine people killed in a helicopter crash on Sunday outside Los Angeles.

"The Los Angeles Lakers would like to thank all of you for the tremendous outpouring of support and condolences. This is a very difficult time for all of us. We continue to support the Bryant family and will share more information as it is available," Lakers said.

Just before Bryant's death, Lakers superstar and close friend of Kobe Bryant, LeBron James passed the late star for third on the NBA's all-time scoring list.

"I’m not ready but here I go. Man I sitting here trying to write something for this post but every time I try I begin crying again just thinking about you, niece Gigi and the friendship/bond/brotherhood we had! I literally just heard your voice Sunday morning before I left Philly to head back to LA. Didn’t think for one bit in a million years that would be the last conversation we’d have," NBA star LeBron James said in his Instagram account.

'Heartbroken, devastated'

"I’m heartbroken and devastated my brother!! Man I love you big bro. My heart goes to Vanessa and the kids. I promise you I’ll continue your legacy man! You mean so much to us all here especially #LakerNation and it’s my responsibility to put this shit on my back and keep it going!! Please give me the strength from the heavens above and watch over me! I got US here! There’s so much more I want to say but just can’t right now because I can’t get through it! Until we meet again my brother!!," he wrote.

Meanwhile, the Dallas Mavericks are retiring their number 24 jersey in honor of Bryant.

“We are shocked and saddened by the devastating news of the passing of Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna," Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said in a statement on the team's official website on Monday.

"Kobe was an ambassador for our game, a decorated legend and a global icon. Above all, he was a loving and dedicated father."

Kobe wore the number 24 and number 8 jerseys during his two decades with the Los Angeles Lakers. (Anadolu)

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