How can we start a basketball column of any sort without mentioning the anniversary of Kobe Bryant’s passing? One of the greatest basketball players ever, taken from us too soon in a tragic accident. Usually we will fill this space with a recap of the night before in NBA action, but I thought this was more fitting.
I’ll always have an odd connection to this day, as I was actually on the air for the local radio station I work for part-time. The news of Kobe’s passing was the first time I have ever had to deliver that kind of news to an audience, and it was an experience that has stuck with me. It might seem like a simple task, but to me it was daunting that I was going to be the first to tell some that a legend, who once seemed invincible, was no longer with us.
As a basketball fan, it is impossible to ignore Bryant’s greatness. I, like many others my age, grew up yelling ‘Kobe’ as I tossed balls of paper at garbage cans, or actual balls at hoops. I admired the steely determination of the Black Mamba. Now, like many of us today, I mourn the passing of a great basketball player.
Rest in peace, Kobe…
Here are the game notes for Tuesday, Jan. 26.
Note: Updated injury reports for every game can be found on VSiN.com right here
L.A. Clippers (-2.5) at Atlanta Hawks
The seven-game winning streak is at risk tonight for Los Angeles as they will be without Kawhi Leonard, Paul George and Patrick Beverley in Atlanta. Leonard and George are out due to COVID-19 protocols, and Beverley is dealing with knee soreness. It’s an obvious blow for a Clippers team that had been playing some of their best basketball, posting a 17.2 net rating during this win streak while only going 3-3-1 ATS.