In a weekend filled with tributes to Kobe Bryant, the NBA just announced another one: Starting this year, the NBA All-Star Game MVP trophy will be named after the late Los Angeles Lakers legend.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver announced the change in a press conference on Saturday, and shared some thoughts on Bryant and the late David Stern:
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver on Kobe Bryant: "He and David (Stern) interestingly had a lot in common. They were determined to win. They could be difficult at times because they prioritized winning. Oftentimes, they didn't have the niceties because they were about winning."— Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) February 16, 2020
Adam Silver in Kobe: “In his post playing career, we got to be particularly close.”— Kyle Goon (@kylegoon) February 16, 2020
“His loss is unspeakable.”
"The Kobe Bryant MVP Award"— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) February 16, 2020
Here is what the award will look like:
Calling the trophy the Kobe Bryant MVP Award is a fitting honor for Bryant, who won the All-Star MVP award four times during his career and took the game as seriously as anyone ever has, memorably getting his nose broken at one point because of his balls-to-the-wall effort during the 2012 game.
Bryant finished his career with more total points in the game (191) than anyone other than Lakers forward LeBron James, and had more career appearances than anyone other than James and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, according to Basketball-Reference.
As alluded to above, Bryant having this trophy named after him won’t be the only way he’s remembered during the 2020 weekend. The game will begin with a tribute to Bryant from singer Jennifer Hudson before the players are introduced, and both Team LeBron and Team Giannis will wear jersey patches with nine stars on them to remember the nine victims of the helicopter crash that took Bryant’s life: Bryant, his daughter Gianna, John, Keri and Alyssa Altobelli, Sarah and Payton Chester, Christina Mauser and pilot Ara Zobayan.
In addition, Team LeBron will wear Gianna’s No. 2 — something James chose because of his own daughter, Zhuri — while Team Giannis will all wear Kobe’s No. 24.
Here is a look at what the jerseys will look like for Team LeBron:
TNT will begin coverage of the 2020 NBA All-Star game on Sunday, Feb. 16 at 5:00 p.m. PST, with the first winner of the Kobe Bryant MVP Award vote being announced after the game is over.
This is a developing story that will be updated with more information.
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