Why Lebron James Chose Gianna Bryant's Number Instead of Kobe's for All-Star Game Tribute

The NBA revealed how it would honor Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna Bryant, during the upcoming NBA All-Star Game in Chicago. With Lebron James, who was one of Bryant's close friends in the league, and Giannis Antetokounmpo serving as the team captains, the NBA reportedly approached James about their idea for the game.

Each team will wear either No. 24 for the former Los Angeles Lakers star or No. 2, which is the number worn by Gianna while playing at the Mamba Academy. According to ESPN reporter Dave McMenamin, James was given the choice of which number his team would wear.

He picked No. 2 for Bryant's daughter. His reason behind doing so has to do with own children. McMenamin noted that James did so because "Gianna makes him think about his own daughter, Zhuri."

James and his wife, Savannah Brinson, share three children: Bronny, Bryce and Zhuri. The 16-time All-Star has frequently been in the news not because of what he's doing on the court, but what he's been doing from the sidelines. His oldest son, Bronny, has been front and center on the national scene for his team, Sierra Canyon School.

As a result, James has been seen at a few of his son's games. However, he wishes he didn't have to miss so many of those.

"I love what I do. I don't take this for granted. This is a dream come true," James told ESPN. "But missing my son, missing LeBron Jr., missing Bryce's first game the other day when we left for Orlando, missing my daughter at gymnastics and things of that nature, I understand it's the business, but it sucks."

In the Lakers first game following the tragic death of Bryant, James took the mic to address the crowd at the Staples Center.

He had written down a few words but opted to ditch the paper and speak from the heart. During his speech, he alluded to the notion of making sure to be there for your kids because you never know what can happen.


"The first thing that comes to mind is all about family," he began. "As I look all around this arena, we're all grieving, we're all hurting, we're all heartbroken. But when we're going through things like this, the best thing you can do is lean on the shoulders of your family and from Sunday morning all the way until the point – I had heard about Laker Nation before I got here last year about how much of a family it is – and that is absolutely what I've seen this whole week.

The All-Star weekend will take place Feb. 14-16 with the game occurring that Sunday.