NBA honours Kobe Bryant by renaming all-star award - RTHK
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NBA honours Kobe Bryant by renaming all-star award

2020-02-16 HKT 10:09
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  • The renamed award will take the name of the late NBA legend Kobe Bryant. Photo: AP
    The renamed award will take the name of the late NBA legend Kobe Bryant. Photo: AP
NBA commissioner Adam Silver announced on Saturday that the All-Star Game MVP award will now be called the Kobe Bryant Award as players lined up to pay tribute to the late NBA icon.

"Kobe Bryant is synonymous with NBA all-star and embodies the spirit of this global celebration of our game," Silver said. "He always relished the opportunity to compete with the best of the best and perform at the highest level for millions of fans around the world."

Bryant and his daughter, Gigi, were buried in a private funeral service in southern California last week after they were among nine people who perished in a horrific helicopter crash on January 26.

The uniforms for Sunday's all-star game in Chicago will also honour Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter with LeBron James' team wearing the No 2 for the basketball-playing Gigi and Giannis Antetokounmpo's team wearing No 24 in a tribute to Bryant.

Antetokounmpo described the four-time All-Star Game MVP Bryant as the "Michael Jordan of our generation."

"A guy that mentored me in the last few years of my career, a guy that was always there for me," Antetokounmpo said. "In the regular season, the playoffs, a guy that told me that whenever I need something, I could just reach out to him, and he was literally always there. If I needed something, he would text me back, call me.

"Growing up, he was my idol. He was one of those guys that gave back to the game so much, gave back to the players. A lot of people when they're so great, they don't do that."

A public memorial service for Bryant will be held on February 24 at Staples Centre arena in downtown Los Angeles. (AFP)