Kobe Bryant: NBA to honour basketball great in All-Star Game


Kobe Bryant: NBA to honour basketball great in All-Star Game

Kobe Bryant spent his entire 20-year career with the LA Lakers

The NBA will honour Kobe Bryant in next month’s All-Star Game in Chicago.

Bryant, 41, and his daughter Gianna were among nine people killed in a helicopter crash on Sunday.

The NBA has announced a new format for the game that will “increase the level of competition, provide additional excitement and make the outcome of every quarter count for charity”.

A new fourth-quarter format will honour LA Lakers great and five-time NBA champion Bryant.

The new format

Both teams – captained by LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo – will play for Chicago-based community organisations.They will compete to win each of the first three quarters, each of which will start at 0-0 and last 12 minutes.The community organisation selected by the winner of each quarter will receive $100,000 (£76,441.50).At the start of the fourth quarter, the game clock will be turned off and a Final Target Score will be set.This will be determined by the leading team’s total cumulative score and adding 24 points – Kobe Bryant’s jersey number.For example, if the cumulative score at the end of the third quarter is 100-95, the Final Target Score would be 124. The fourth quarter will be untimed and the first team to reach the Final Target Score wins.The winning team will win $200,000 (£152,849) for its chosen community organisation.

The 69th NBA All-Star Game will take place at Chicago’s United Center on Sunday 16 February.

Lakers presidents and golfers pay tribute

Lakers president and controlling owner Jeanie Buss has made her first public statement since Byrant’s death, describing him as “family”.

“We are grateful to have you in our lives and we will always be here for you,” she wrote on Instagram.

“To the families that also lost loved ones on Sunday, the entire Laker family mourns with you. Laker Nation – we are one family grieving the loss of people we all loved dearly. We will mourn together, cry together but we will also heal together, love together and win together. We love you.”

On Thursday, a number of golfers paid tribute to Bryant during the first round of the Phoenix Open.

American Justin Thomas wore Bryant’s high school jersey, while Tony Finau’s shoes were in the Lakers’ purple and yellow, with the numbers eight and 24 on them.

Justin Thomas wearing a Bryant jersey at the Phoenix Open

Tony Finau’s golf shoes

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