The NBA's annual All-Star weekend continued on Saturday night. Seeing as though the event takes place a few weeks after the untimely passing of both Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna Bryant, it's only fitting that the organization paid tribute to the late NBA legend. On Saturday night, they did exactly that, courtesy of a moving performance from Queen Latifah.
"David Stern turned the NBA into what it is today," Hill began. "A league that uses the values of the game, like equality and respect, to bring people together."
"And like Kobe Bryant, David believed the power of our game to change lives..." he continued. "And while recognizing the tremendous loss we feel in our hearts, we know they would want us to keep our heads up and continue to play on. So, tonight, as we celebrate the game we all love, we'll reflect and rise together as one NBA family. Here to perform a song with that message in mind is my friend, the great Queen Latifah."
Latifah then sang a lovely rendition of Stevie Wonder's "Love's In Need of Love Today." During her performance, she changed a few of the lyrics in order to specifically honor Kobe.
"Give Love a shot / When you do say KOBE / 24 Hours 8 Days a week, trophies," she sang.
The game itself is also full of special ties to both Kobe and Gianna. Lakers star LeBron James and Milwaukee Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo, the captains of the event, will both don jerseys with Gianna and Kobe's numbers. Antetokounmpo will don Kobe's No. 24 while James is set to wear No. 2. Additionally, all of the players in the game will wear jerseys with Kobe and Gianna's numbers stitched into them as well as patches with stars that will honor the other victims in the helicopter accident, per PEOPLE.0comments
"We know that he's watching over us. It's our responsibility to just represent the purple & gold not only for him but for all the greats, everybody that's ever come through the Lake Show," James reportedly said about the All-Star game, according to sports journalist Mark Medina, adding that "It's a very, very sensitive subject."
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