The 2020 NBA All-Star jerseys were first leaked last month, days before Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna Bryant died in a helicopter crash on Jan. 26. Now, the NBA has confirmed a major tweak for the uniforms to honor their memory. All players will wear either Bryant's number 24 or Gianna's number 2, as well as a patch to honor all nine lives lost in the crash.
JUST IN: Final design of Team LeBron & Team Giannis jerseys for @NBA All-Star Game. LeBron’s team all wearing #2 for Gianna Bryant, Giannis’ team wearing #24 for Kobe. Memorial patches for 9 who passed in helicopter crash, band in memory of former commissioner David Stern. pic.twitter.com/5TncENo5CU— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) February 12, 2020
The final design for the jerseys feature LeBron James' team of Western Conference stars wearing 2, the number Gianna woe in her youth basketball games. Giannis Antetokounmpo's team of Eastern Conference stars will wear 24, the number Bryant wore for the final 10 seasons of his NBA career.
On the front, players will wear a black circle for nine stars, corresponding to all nine victims of the cash. Aside from Byant and Gianna, the other victims were John Altobelli, Kerri Altobelli, Alyssa Altobelli, Sarah Chester, Payton Chester, Christina Mauser and pilot Ara Zobayan.
Players will also wear the black band in memory of former NBA Commissioner David Stern. Stern died on Jan. 1 after suffering a brain hemorrhage in December. He was 77 years old. After his death, every team in the league began wearing black bands on their jerseys for the rest of the season.
The official jerseys are similar to the leaked images that surfaced on Jan. 23, three days before Bryant's death. Both the leaked version and final version feature a version of the NBA logo in a six-point star, like the one on the Chicago flag.
On Thursday, the NBA also announced the entire fourth quarter of the All-Star Game will air on TNT without commercials.
"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, EVP and Chief Content Officer, Turner Sports, said in a statement.
The league announced several major changes to the game to ensure it is not just another basketball game. Each team will start the first three 12-minute quarters with a 0-0 score. The winner of each quarter will win $100,000 for the Chicago charity of their choice.
The last, un-timed quarter will have each team shooting for a "Final Target Score," made up of the leading team's point total though three quarters, plus 24 points, another nod to Bryant's number. The first team to reach the score wins the game.
The starting line-up for Team LeBron includes Anthony Davis, Kawhi Leonard, Luka Doncic, James Harden and James. Team Giannis' starters are Joel Embiid, Pascal Siakam, Kemba Walker, Trae Young and Antetokounmpo.0comments
The NBA All-Star Game tips off at 8 p.m. ET on TNT, live from the United Center in Chicago.
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