The Los Angeles Lakers are still healing after the death of Kobe Bryant. Wednesday, head coach Frank Vogel spoke out about how Bryant’s death has impacted the team, saying it has “brought us closer together.”
The 46-year-old Vogel was the only member of the Lakers available to the media. The team has not played a game since Bryant’s death. The Lakers were scheduled to take on the Los Angeles Clippers on Tuesday, but the league cancelled the contest.
Vogel began his statement by offering his condolences to Bryant’s family. Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna were among the nine people who died in a helicopter crash Sunday. Vogel also sent his condolences to the family and friends of the other victims.
Frank Vogel’s opening statement on Sunday’s tragedy pic.twitter.com/i3Hg21NRne
— Harrison D. Sanford (@HarrisonSanford) January 29, 2020
Vogel said things have been “very emotional” over the past few days, both at home and with the Lakers. He added that it has been “a saddening time for all of us.”
Vogel also noted that Bryant’s death has brought the Lakers closer together.
— NBA TV (@NBATV) January 29, 2020
When asked whether the Lakers would dedicate the rest of the season to Bryant, Vogel said the team wanted to “represent what Kobe was about.”
Frank Vogel: “We want to represent what Kobe was about more than anything.”
— Bill Oram (@billoram) January 29, 2020
Lakers players were not available to the media Wednesday. Vogel said the players will eventually talk to the media, but only when they are ready. Some Lakers players privately shared their thoughts on Bryant’s death during an organizational luncheon Tuesday. LeBron James was reportedly one of the first people to speak at that luncheon, according to The Athletic.
The Lakers will resume play Friday. The team will take on the Portland Trail Blazers at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
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