Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson took the time to address the tragic news of Kobe Bryant's death ahead of Brooklyn's game against the Knicks at Madison Square Garden on Sunday.
And he couldn't hold back his emotions.
It's an extremely tough subject to talk about, and Atkinson was choking back tears as he spoke for the organization.
"We'd like to express our sincerest condolences to the Bryant family and everybody affected by the tragedy," head coach Kenny Atkinson said while choking back tears. "As an organizaiton, we're devastated. Our players are devastated. We have a player that was very close to Kobe, our thoughts and prayers are with him also. Just a tough time for the NBA and all of us."
The player Atkinson is talking about is Kyrie Irving, who reportedly left MSG after hearing about the news. Irving and Bryant were very close, with Bryant being a mentor to the point guard since he entered the league.
Bryant died at age 41 following a helicopter crash in Calabasas, Calif. on Sunday morning. According to officials, nine people were killed in the crash, with multiple reports saying Bryant's 13-year-old daugther, Gianna, were among them as well.