NBA All-Star Uniforms Will Honor Kobe Bryant and Daughter Gianna with No. 24 and No. 2 Jerseys
The 2020 NBA All-Star Weekend is set for February 14-16 in Chicago, Illinois
The NBA announced on Friday that jerseys for the 2020 All-Star Game will feature a special tribute to basketball legend Kobe Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, and seven other victims of the Jan. 26 helicopter crash in Calabasas, California.
The game will feature two teams, one represented by LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers and the other by Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks. All members of Team LeBron will wear No. 2 on their jerseys, in memory of Gianna, who wore the number as a member of the Mamba Sports Academy. In turn, Team Giannis players will wear No. 24 in honor of Bryant, who wore the number in the latter half of his career.
To pay tribute to the other victims, both teams will wear patches with nine stars to represent all who were lost in the crash, including John Altobelli, Keri Altobelli, Alyssa Altobelli, Sarah Chester, Payton Chester, Christina Mauser and pilot Ara Zobayan.
The jerseys and patches will make their on-court debut at the All-Star Game on Feb. 16 at 8 p.m. ET.
Players not participating in the All-Star Game will also be commemorating the victims throughout the weekend, the NBA said. Participants in the Rising Stars and All-Star Saturday Night challenges will wear the nine-star patches that also feature both Bryant and Gianna’s numbers.
Rosters for Team LeBron and Team Giannis will be revealed on TNT on Thursday, Feb. 6 at 7 p.m. ET, the league included in their statement.
The jerseys aren’t the only changes coming to the annual game in the wake of Bryant’s death.
On Thursday, NBA officials announced changes to the All-Star Game itself that places a focus on charity.
Each quarter will play out as a sort of mini-game, with the score resetting back to 0-0 at the start of the second and third quarters. The team with the most points in each quarter — again, played out like its own game with the score resetting to zero — will win $100,000 for its chosen charity.
This format changes in the fourth quarter, though, when the scores of each of the last three quarters get tallied up. Instead of setting a time limit, a target score is set that each team has to get to in order to win. The target score is decided by adding 24 points — in honor of Bryant — to the winning score after three quarters.
For example, if Team LeBron has a winning score of 100 at the start of the fourth quarter, 124 points will become the target score for either team to win. If Team Giannis only has 90 points at the start of the fourth, they will need to score 34 points to reach 124.
The winning team will earn another $200,000 for its charity.
Friday night will mark the first time James and the Lakers take the court following Bryant’s death. The team is facing the visiting Portland Trailblazers, and they are expected to honor Bryant and the victims of the crash during the game. Funeral services for Bryant and his daughter have not yet been announced by the family.