NBA alters All-Star Game format, adds Kobe tribute


The NBA honored the late Kobe Bryant by announcing major changes to the All-Star Game format on Thursday.

FILE PHOTO: Memorabilia and candles sit in Microsoft Square near the Staples Center to pay respects to Kobe Bryant after a helicopter crash killed the retired basketball star, in Los Angeles, California, U.S., January 28, 2020. REUTERS/Kyle Grillot

The league is turning every quarter of the All-Star Game into an abbreviated contest for charity and the scores will be reset to zero at the start of the second and third quarters.

The scores will then be restored to begin an untimed fourth quarter, which is when the tribute to Bryant begins.

The team that wins the All-Star Game will be the first to reach a target score, determined by the cumulative points the team in the lead scored in the first three quarters combined — plus 24, which was Bryant’s jersey number for the last decade of his NBA career.

For example, if one team is leading by a score of 100-90, the target score will then be 124.

“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. “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.”

Bryant, 41, died Sunday along with his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, and seven others in a helicopter crash in the Los Angeles area.

Bryant, who was the fourth-leading scorer in league history, was an 18-time All-Star selection and won a record-tying four-time All-Star Game MVPs.

The NBA said there will be multiple tributes to Bryant at the event.

—Field Level Media

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