The 2020 NBA All-Star Game is shaping up to be a non-stop tribute to the late Kobe Bryant, who died in a helicopter crash on Jan. 26. In the latest tribute, broadcaster TNT announced the fourth quarter will be completely commercial-free to not interrupt the NBA's new format fo the game. The NBA All-Star Game kicks off at 8 p.m. ET on Sunday, live from Chicago's United Center.
"Presenting the fourth quarter completely free of any commercial breaks creates a unique opportunity to showcase the new All-Star Game format, provide the best fan experience, and align with the league's overarching plans to pay tribute to Kobe Bryant this weekend," Craig Barry, executive vice president and chief content officer, Turner Sports, said in a statement Thursday, reports Variety.
This will be the first time in the All-Star Game's history there will be no ads during a quarter.
The NBA has already announced a set of rule changes for the NBA All-Star Game, including specific tributes to Bryant throughout. The first three quarters will play out like a traditional basketball game, but then the game clock will be turned off and a "final target score" is set. The target is a combination of the leading team's score plus 24, representing the number Bryant wore for his last 10 seasons in the NBA. The first team to reach that score is crowned the winner.
The league is also donating more than $1 million to Chicago non-profit organizations through NBA Cares. Each team is playing for a Chicago-based charity.
The team to score the most points in each of the first three quarters will win a $100,000 donation to the charity they are playing for. The winning team will score a $200,000 donation to its charity. If the first or second quarter ends in a tie, the $100,000 award is added to the next quarter's award. If the third quarter ends in a tie, the $100,000 is added to the game-winning team.
If one of the teams can score the most points in each quarter and hits the final target score first, $500,000 goes to the winning team's charity and $100,000 goes to the losing team's charity.
This season's team captains are Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James and Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo. The starting line-up for Team LeBron includes James, Anthony Davis, Kawhi Leonard, Luka Doncic and James Harden. Team Giannis' starters are Joel Embiid, Pascal Siakam, Kemba Walker, Trae Young and Antetokounmpo.0comments
Bryant died on Jan. 26 in a helicopter crash, along with his 13-year-old daughter Gianna Bryant and seven others. A Celebration of Life memorial is scheduled for Monday, Feb. 24 at the Staples Center.
Photo credit: Randy Belice /NBAE via Getty Images