Chris Paul was not with the Oklahoma City Thunder for their Monday game against the Dallas Mavericks.
He was officially listed as out for “personal reasons” a day after the shocking death of NBA icon Kobe Bryant at age 41 in a helicopter crash.
Head coach Billy Donovan declined to expound on Paul’s absence other than to let reporters know that he’s fine.
“I’d like to keep our conversations private,” Donovan said, per The Oklahoman. "That’s kind of between Chris and I. But he’s doing fine. It’s a personal day for him.”
Paul, Kobe’s relationship
Paul, 34, played in the NBA with Bryant for 11 seasons. They were teammates together on Team USA.
The two were rivals as Paul played five seasons for the crosstown Clippers while Bryant was still in the league, but they were friends away from the court.
Irving missed a game on Sunday
Paul isn’t the only player to take a break from basketball after Bryant’s death.
Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving, who has a close relationship with Bryant and modeled his game after his basketball mentor, reportedly left Madison Square Garden on Sunday when news broke of Bryant’s death shortly before tip-off against the New York Knicks.
He did not play in the game as the team officially cited “personal reasons.”
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