ATLANTA - The Atlanta Hawks are dealing with the loss of one of the NBA's greatest players. Former Lakers star Kobe Bryant, along with six other people including his daughter Gianna, died in a helicopter crash Sunday in California.
"It's hard. Our locker room is shaken, the NBA is shaken, the community is shaken, everyone is," said Atlanta head coach Lloyd Pierce.
No Hawks players spoke before the game, which was played as scheduled at 6 p.m. against the Washington Wizards.
"Today's tough. As a competitor in our sport, it's really tough to navigate through today," said Pierce.
Point guard Trae Young, who was close with Bryant as well as Bryant's daughter Gianna, seemed especially emotional before the game. After taking some shots on the court, Young found his mother sitting nearby, and shared a long hug.
Hawks point guard Trae Young hugs his mother before Sunday night's game. Young was close with Kobe Bryant and Bryant's daughter Gianna
"It's a reminder, a perspective, as to why, and to what," said Pierce, "what's most important. The now is most important. The who. Who do you need to say hello to, who do you need to reach out to. The perspective of all this is tough. Kobe is untouchable in a lot of those guys' eyes."