NBA Changes All-Star Game Format to Honor Kobe Bryant

The NBA announced major changes to the All-Star game, which will help honor the late Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant. For every quarter that's played, it will be considered a mini-game for charity before the untimed fourth quarter with a target score to determine the winner. After the first quarter, the scores will be reset - back to 0-0 - in the second and third quarter, then restored in the fourth quarter which is where Bryant's No. 24 jersey comes into play.

The team that wins the All-Star Game "will be the first to reach a target score, determined by the total points the team in the lead scored in the first three quarters combined -- plus 24, the obvious nod to Bryant," according to ESPN.

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Along with the change in how the game is played, there will be multiple tributes to Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, and the seven others who died in the helicopter crash outside the Los Angeles area on Sunday. The tributes will be done throughout the All-Star weekend to go along with the game which will be played on Aug. 16.

"We spent a lot of time considering the right target number to use for the fourth quarter," said Byron Spruell, the NBA's president for league operations per ESPN. "Through the events of this week it became clear to us that the only appropriate number for this season's All-Star game is 24."

LeBron James of the Lakers and Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks are the captains for the All-Star Game and they will choose their players. This is the third year the NBA has done a captain format instead of Eastern Conference vs. Western Conference.


"We've been very focused on making it more competitive, making it more exciting and making it fun," Spruell said. "And we've had a great collaboration with the union. For this year's game, we really focused on what new things we could do to make it a really competitive game where each quarter mattered in this case."

Bryant is no stranger to the All-Star game as he was named to the team 18 times in his career. And he would normally put on a show as he was named All-Star MVP four times, which tied him with Bob Pettit for the most in league history.