The Golden State Warriors, who visit the 76ers on Tuesday, were at the beginning of practice Sunday when news of the Kobe Bryant tragedy hit.
“I don’t know if it is news that we can process,” coach Steve Kerr said Monday after the Warriors practiced at Drexel. “We were all in shock, we were shocked [Sunday] when we found out at the beginning of practice.'
And at that moment, practice concluded.
“Everybody stopped in their tracks and basically sat down on the floor and nobody said a word,” Kerr said. “There were no words to describe what everybody was feeling. Everybody just wandered off and went home. We didn’t know what to do.”
Now the Warriors and Sixers will have to play a game Tuesday with such raw emotions.
“It’s going to be emotional and difficult to play,” Kerr said. “We are in communication with the Sixers regarding ideas to commemorate Kobe’s life. We will figure that part out. It won’t make the game any easier. I am sure the fans here will be very emotional, given this is his backyard."
Draymond Green, the Warriors’ three-time all-star forward, had a good relationship with Bryant and he understood the tremendous impact Kobe had whether people knew him or not.
“This is one where even if you didn’t know Kobe, you are grieving,” Green said. “If you just watch Kobe and are a fan, you are grieving. If you are a fan of basketball, you are grieving. And if you knew him, you are crushed.”
Kerr said the Warriors would meet sometime Tuesday as a team to talk about Bryant and share their feelings. The Sixers were able to meet as a team on Monday before practice. Golden State wasn’t able to because the Warriors flew to Philadelphia and went directly to Drexel to practice.