Giannis Antetokounmpo and LeBron James lead All-Star teams in honouring Kobe and Gianna Bryant

·

The NBA’s All-Stars will be playing this year with Kobe Bryant and Gianna Bryant in their minds and on their jerseys.

So, coming soon: No. 24 Giannis Antetokounmpo, and No. 2, LeBron James.

As part of what will be a long series of tributes to Bryant and his daughter Gianna, the NBA announced Friday that every player on Team Giannis will wear 24 on their jerseys at this year’s All-Star Game and every player on Team LeBron will wear 2.

Kobe Bryant spent the last 10 seasons of his career in a No. 24 jersey. Gianna Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter and an outstanding young player, wore No. 2 on her jersey.

All players taking part in All-Star weekend – including the Rising Stars game Feb. 14 and the Saturday night events such as the 3-point contest, slam dunk contest and skills competition – will wear a patch with nine stars to commemorate the nine victims of Sunday’s helicopter crash in Calabasas, California.

The patches for Feb. 14 and Feb. 15 will also bear the numbers 2 and 24. The patches for the All-Star Game will be slightly different, showing only the nine stars since players will already be wearing the numbers.

The decision means that almost every All-Star is assured of wearing a different number than usual. The only All-Star who regularly wears 2 or 24 is Kawhi Leonard, who dons No. 2 for the Los Angeles Clippers.

Antetokounmpo and James, the captains for the Feb. 16 game in Chicago, will pick their teams this coming Thursday.

“It’s been a rough week because of Kobe,” said first-time All-Star Bam Adebayo of the Miami Heat – who never met Bryant, but was a huge fan and was hoping to meet him at All-Star this year. “Just going through that, it’s been rough.”

The plan for the jersey numbers is the second known Bryant-related tribute scheduled for this year’s All-Star Game. The NBA has changed the format and will add 24 – Bryant’s last number – to whatever the leading team score is after three quarters to set a target score. The first team to hit that target score wins the game.

The patches will pay tribute to John, Keri and Alyssa Altobelli; Sarah and Payton Chester, Christina Mauser and Ara Zobayan, in addition to the Bryants. The group was on its way to a basketball tournament where Gianna Bryant was scheduled to be playing when the helicopter they were traveling in crashed. There were no survivors.

Jersey-related tributes have been many in the days since the crash. Connecticut’s women’s basketball team displayed a No. 2 jersey for Gianna Bryant – she was a big UConn fan and hoped to play there one day – on its bench for a game earlier this week against the U.S. national team. Hockey star Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals took the ice this week in a No. 24 jersey as a Bryant tribute; Ovechkin usually wears No. 8, the number Bryant used in his first 10 years with the Lakers.

A number of NBA players have announced that they will no longer wear 8 or 24 in tribute. All-Star Joel Embiid of Philadelphia decided played in a No. 24 jersey instead of his usual No. 21 earlier this week, his way of showing respect to Bryant. Atlanta All-Star Trae Young, who idolized Bryant, started a game in a No. 8 jersey on Sunday before switching back to his usual No. 11.

Bryant is the No. 4 scorer in NBA history and was an 18-time All-Star after a 20-year career, all with the Los Angeles Lakers. He started 15 of those All-Star Games, a record that will be passed this year when James starts his 16th.

Bryant – still the youngest All-Star in league history – was All-Star MVP four times, tying Bob Pettit for the most ever. Bryant’s 38 career All-Star steals are another game record.

Sourced via 6ABC.

Advertisement

Share:

KEEP UP TO DATE WITH TGH

By subscribing you accept our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Advertisement

Latest News

Thousands gather at Melbourne’s Fed Square to mark 50 years since Cyprus invasion

Over 2000 patrons flocked to Melbourne’s Federation Square in recognition of the 50th anniversary of the Turkish invasion of Cyprus.

Australian radio tycoon Bill Caralis passes away

One of Australia's most well-known radio tycoons Bill Caralis passed away on Friday, July 19. Read more here.

Newcastle Jets agree transfer fee for Stamatelopoulos to European Club

The Newcastle Jets has confirmed the departure of striker Apostolos Stamatelopoulos to a European Club for an undisclosed fee.

Greek Storytime brings families together in Victoria’s Northcote

Kat Theophanous, joined PRONIA at Northcote Library for the launch of a new Greek Family Storytime program. 

Sydney Olympic win puts Rockdale Ilinden’s premiership hopes on ice

It took a 95th minute winner from Sydney Olympic’s Teng Kuol that sunk the hearts of Rockdale Ilinden in their gusty 2-1 victory.

You May Also Like

42nd Cretan Federation Convention unites Cretans from around Australia and NZ

The 42nd Annual Convention by the Cretan Federation of Australia and New Zealand took place in Queensland from January 3 to January 8.

Top 10 districts to live in Athens and Thessaloniki

The best areas of Athens to live in have been presented, following a nationwide survey based on safety and other factors.

Thanasi Kokkinakis on career setbacks and coming back stronger in 2023

Greek Australian tennis star Thanasi Kokkinakis sat down with Mark Soderstorm for a personal chat about his journey in tennis.