In case you missed out, the 2020 NBA All-Star Game took place this weekend. There, the National Basketball Association and players honored Kobe Brant and his daughter Gianna in a variety of ways, from the jerseys to the points scored themselves…
Honoring Kobe And Gianna In The All-Star Game
Every year, the NBA All-Star Game draws in millions of viewers, allowing the best players to show off their skills. Unfortunately, this year, the tragic death of basketball great Kobe Bryant cast a pall over the event. Thankfully, instead of canceling the event, the NBA used the Tuesday game as an opportunity to remember Bryant his daughter Gianna Bryant, as well as the others who died in the helicopter crash: John Altobelli, Keri Altobelli, and daughter Alyssa Altobelli; Christina Mauser; Ara Zobayan, the pilot; Sarah Chester and her daughter, Payton.
It all started with the uniforms. The teams, lead by Lebron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo, wore uniforms with the number 2 on their jersey (Team Lebron), Gianna’s number. Meanwhile, Team Giannis had 24, Kobe’s number, on their jerseys. The players also wore a band on their arms honoring David Stern, the late NBA commissioner who passed on January 1. However, the changes did not end there…
More Alterations To The Game
The NBA made a few more changes to the 2020 All-Star Game, almost turning it into a celebration of life. For instance, at the end of each quarter, the scores reset to 0-0. Afterward, the winner of each half selected a Chicago-based charity to donate $100,000 to!
In the end, the fourth quarter went untimed. Instead, they played an “Elam Ending,” created by Nick Elam, a leadership professor at Ball State University, in which the teams continue playing until a target score is reached. This time, the target score was determined by adding Kobe’s number 24, to the leading team’s score. Team LeBron had been trailing 133-124 heading into the final quarter, with the target score set at 157. However, Team LeBron managed to pull a win out of the bag, thanks to an Anthony Davis free throw. Meanwhile, the MVP title went to Kawhi Leonard, seen above.
In Memory Of Kobe
Bryant was sorely missed at the 2020 All-Star Game. Fans and colleagues alike will always remember him as one of the most incredible, talented athletes across the board. He himself won four MVP titles, and also earned a host of other records: most games started, most consecutive selections, and most steals, among many others.
Apparently, according to Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today, some of these new changes, like adding Kobe’s number for the final score, were thought of before Bryant died. The league saw it as a great way to honor Kobe, an innovator himself, and who pushed the boundaries of the game. Of course, after his tragic passing, the NBA sought even more ways to remember the iconic player and his young daughter.