The Black Mamba and Mambacita are getting a tribute from the NBA at All-Star Weekend in Chicago from Feb. 14 through 16.
The NBA, NBAPL and Nike have edited the recently unveiled All-Star uniforms to pay homage to Kobe Bryant, his daughter, Gianna, and their seven friends and teammates that passed away in a helicopter accident on Sunday.
The All-Star Game on Feb. 16, the marquee event of the weekend, will be a competition between Team LeBron, led by Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James, and Team Giannis, led by the Milwaukee Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo. Team LeBron will wear the number 2 for Gianna and Team Giannis the number 24 for Kobe. Both teams will also wear jersey patches featuring nine stars to represent Kobe and Gianna; John, Keri and Alyssa Altobelli; Sarah and Payton Chester; Christina Mauser, and Ara Zobayan, who also died in the accident.
In addition, the league’s rookies and sophomores competing in the NBA Rising Stars challenge on Feb. 14 are wearing patches with the numbers 2 and 24 with nine stars around it, and competitors in the Taco Bell Skills Challenge, Mtn Dew 3-Point Contest and AT&T Slam Dunk during State Farm All-Star Saturday Night on Feb. 15 will wear the patches as well.
The NBA recently changed the scoring rules for the upcoming All-Star Game. The first three quarters will be score individually; at the start of the fourth quarter, the previous quarters’ scores will be combined and each team will play until a target score is achieved — the highest-scoring team’s total score plus 24 points. For example, if the leading team’s score is 100, the first team would win. The rosters for Team LeBron and Team Giannis will be revealed on Feb. 6.
Nike unveiled the Chicago transit-inspired All-Star Weekend jerseys on Jan. 23 along with new sneakers for the weekend for James, Antetokounmpo, Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, Paul George and more. Jordan also unveiled its 8×8 collection with contributions from Virgil Abloh and Lyrical Lemonade among others.
The Beaverton, Ore., sportswear giant was previously reported to have pulled all merchandise related to Kobe Bryant from its web site, but it was confirmed that the products had sold out following the tragedy on Sunday.