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NBA changes All-Star Game format and adds Kobe Bryant tribute

Kobe Bryant’s final jersey number will be factored into scoring for the NBA All-Star Game.

Kobe Bryant Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

The NBA announced Thursday (Jan. 30) that they will be making some major changes to this year's NBA All Star Game to pay tribute to the late Kobe Bryant.

According to the Associated Press, every quarter for the All-Star Game will turn into a mini-game for charity. The final quarter will be untimed with a target score that will decide which team wins. The scores will be reset to 0 at the start of the second and third quarters, then reinstated at the beginning of the fourth quarter.

The team that wins the All-Star game will be the team that reaches a target score, which consists of their combined score during the first three quarters, plus 24 points. Bryant wore the no. 24 during the second half of his basketball career. For example, if the total scores after the first three quarters is 100-95, the target score to win the game will be 124, 100 plus 24.

“The community organization selected by the winner of each of the first three quarters will receive $100,000 - a total of $300,000 donated to charity for those three quarters. The winner of each of the first three quarters will be the team with the higher score at the end of the 12-minute quarter,” says the NBA.

“The winning team in the NBA All-Star Game (the team that reached the Final Target Score first) will earn $200,000 for its designated community organization,” the NBA continued.

Bryant has played in 18 All-Star games in the course of his 20-year basketball career. He has the second most All-Star appearances in NBA history, behind Kareem Abdul Jabbar. Bryant has won the All-Star Game MVP four times.

“We spent a lot of time considering the right target number to use for the fourth quarter,” says Byron Spruell, the NBA’s president of 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.”

This will be one of many tributes for Bryant taking place during All-Star weekend in Chicago, Illinois. The All-Star Game airs Feb. 16 at 7 p.m. on TNT.

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