There are certain events that render sports largely irrelevant, to the point where simply playing games seems like an ill-fitting response to tragedy. The explosions, deaths, and injuries at Monday's Boston Marathon undoubtedly qualify. The city and its sports fans are focused on more important matters at this moment.
The NBA has recognized this situation and acted accordingly. As announced on Monday night, the league has canceled Tuesday night's game between the Boston Celtics and Indiana Pacers at TD Garden. Here's the full text:
The National Basketball Association game scheduled for Tuesday, April 16 between the Indiana Pacers and the Boston Celtics at TD Garden has been canceled. The game will not be rescheduled.
The NBA expresses its sympathy to all those affected by the tragedy in Boston earlier today.
This news follows the NHL's postponement of Monday night's Boston Bruins home game against the Ottawa Senators, also to be held at TD Garden.
Yet, while that game will be rescheduled, the NBA was able to drop their contest from the schedule due to the fact that both the Celtics (7th) and Pacers (3rd) are locked into their seeds for the playoffs. If that were not the case, the game likely would have been rescheduled to Thursday, the first of two scheduled off-days between the regular season and the start of the postseason on Saturday.
As noted by Howard Beck of The New York Times, this marks the first time that any team will play fewer than 82 games since the league expanded its schedule to 82 games for the 1967-68 season.
On Monday afternoon, the Celtics organization issued a short message on Twitter to the city:
The Celtics are a symbol of Boston's pride, and it's likely that their upcoming games will serve as a chance for the city to prove its unity and spirit in the wake of these terrible events. However, it is the correct decision to postpone this particular reclamation process, particularly with so many questions unanswered at this time.
Our thoughts are with everyone in and connected to Boston. For more updates and information on this story, please visit Yahoo! News.