Commissioner Adam Silver announced on Saturday that the NBA will rename its All-Star Game MVP award for Kobe Bryant following the tragic passing of the former Los Angeles Lakers superstar. The inaugural NBA All-Star Game Kobe Bryant MVP Award will be handed out on Sunday with Lakers’ stars LeBron James and Anthony Davis among those vying for the award.
In a storied and accomplished career, Bryant often set himself apart from the other stars in the league by performing at the highest level during the NBA’s annual February exhibition featuring the brightest talents in the league. In fact, Bryant tied Bob Pettit for the most MVP awards in the game’s history with four in his 20-year career. Bryant was also named to 18 total All-Star games during his domination of the league as a Laker.
The renaming of the MVP award is among several measures the league is taking to honor one of its greatest players ever during the weekend showcase. The two teams participating will have jerseys commemorating Bryant, an idol of most players participating. Team Giannis is set to wear jerseys with the number 24, which Bryant wore during the latter half of his career, and Team LeBron will wear #2 jerseys to honor Bryant’s daughter, Gianna, who also passed away.
The jerseys will also feature nine stars for all victims of the helicopter crash that took Kobe and Gigi’s lives.