The NBA Lakers Legend, who died tragically in a helicopter crash alongside his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna Maria-Onores Bryant and seven others, was honoured during the game with songs and touching tributes from stars.
The event was held at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois and opened with a performance from singer, Jennifer Hudson. The singer delivered a stunning performance of ‘Fall All We Know’ as pictures of Kobe and Gigi were displayed behind her.
Watch it below:
Before Jennifer Hudson’s heart-rending performance, basketball legend, Magic Johnson said a few things about Kobe and the late NBA Commissioner, David Stern, who died on 1 January.
He said: “We’ll never see another basketball player quite like Kobe, scoring 81 points in one game, scoring 60 points in his last game, and then, winning five NBA championships. But what I’m really proud about when we think about Kobe Bryant… he was passionate about being a great father, husband, filmmaker young man won an Oscar so we all are hurting.”
Rapper, Common, also came out to perform a song, first paying homage to Bryant and the city of Chicago where the game took place.
During the game’s all-important halftime show, Chance the Rapper performed alongside Quavo and DJ Khaled. He however closed out his performance with an emotional tribute to Bryant.
Finally, NBA Commissioner, Adam Silver announced that the Kia NBA All-Star Game MVP Award would be renamed to the Kobe Bryant award. Bryant was an 18-time All-Star and won four All-Stars during his illustrious career.
Basketball player, Kawhi Leonard won the first award with its new name as he lead team Lebron to victory.