Adam Silver explains the All-Star Game tribute for Kobe Bryant, Gianna
NBA commissioner Adam Silver implemented swift and big changes to the All-Star Game in the wake of Kobe Bryant’s passing, including a nod the Los Angeles Lakers great and his daughter, two of nine passengers that died in a helicopter crash on Jan. 26.
The new NBA All-Star Game will follow part of a modified format, borrowing from The Basketball Tournament, as Silver described during his many conversations with Oklahoma City Thunder guard and NBPA president Chris Paul.
Among those changes are to add 24 points in the fourth quarter and have Team LeBron represent Gianna with No. 2 in their uniforms and Team Giannis represent Kobe with the No. 24.
“It’s celebratory but emotional,” Silver told K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago. “This is what makes these great athletes such special people too. I think what we forget sometimes as fans is that this is a very public mourning period. But at any given time, in a league of 450 players, dozens of coaches, hundreds of league executives, somebody is invariably going through some sort of personal tragedy — most often not known to the public.
“Yet our players and teams continue to compete. It’s in some ways why these athletes are so inspirational to people. And Kobe in particular because Kobe was all about competition, maybe more than any player I’ve known in the league. Not to take anything away from the greatest players ever, but his off-the-floor work ethic was beyond belief to other players in some cases.”
Bryant left a huge imprint on the NBA. His death affected more than just his fellow players, but coaches, front office executives, and the millions of fans who were touched by his legendary 20-year career.
This All-Star game will be a tribute to him, one the players union was happy to oblige to in the wake of this tragedy.