Ahead of the NBA All-Star game on Sunday (Feb. 16), TNT aired a tribute video for the late Kobe Bryant, which was produced by Dr. Dre, with help from Jack Bannon and Gibson Hazard. The two-minute clip showcases a series of Bryant’s legendary career highlights, while Dre backs the visual with an engaging instrumental, including the beat from his 1996 Tupac-assisted hit, “California Love.”
The tribute clip from Dr. Dre was just one of the ways that Bryant was honored throughout NBA All-Star Weekend. All-Star teams wore jerseys with No. 2 and 24, in remembrance of Bryant’s famed jersey number and his daughter Gianna’s number. Team jerseys also displayed nine star patches for each victim of the tragic helicopter crash that took Bryant and Gianna’s lives.
Additionally, the league renamed the MVP Award to the Kobe Bryant MVP Award, which was awarded to Los Angeles Clippers’ Kawhi Leonard.
“Words can’t even explain [winning] the first Kobe Bryant MVP trophy,” Leonard said after the game. “I wanna thank Kobe for everything he’s done for me. All the long talks and workouts. This one’s for him.”
NBA commissioner Adam Silver announced the league’s decision to rename the award during a press conference on Saturday (Feb. 15).
“Kobe Bryant is synonymous with NBA All-Star and embodies the spirit of this global celebration of our game,” Silver had said. “He always relished the opportunity to compete with the best of the best and perform at the highest level for millions of fans around the world.”
“I know it will be especially meaningful to that player that wins the first Kobe Bryant MVP,” he continued. “So I’m sure there will be other honors as well, and as I mentioned, there are other things that we will be discussing with our board, the NBA board, when they meet in April to honor David [Stern]. But this one seems so appropriate here at All-Star because nobody embodied All-Star more than Kobe Bryant.”
Watch Dr. Dre’s tribute video below.