Chicago native and Grammy award-winning singer Jennifer Hudson will open the 2020 NBA All-Star Game with a special tribute performance to the late Kobe and Gianna Bryant.
The league announced the news today (Feb. 13) via their official @NBAAllStar Twitter account.
“GRAMMY® Award-winning recording artist and Academy Award-winning actress and Chicago native @IAMJHUD will perform a special tribute to the late Kobe Bryant ahead of player introductions for the 69th #NBAAllStar Game on Sunday, Feb. 16, airing live at 8:00pm/et @NBAonTNT,” the account tweeted.
Hudson’s performance won’t be the only tribute taking place during the All-Star Game. The entire format of the game is changing.
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. Kobe 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 two teams will also pay homage by wearing Kobe’s and Gianna’s numbers as their All-Star jersey numbers.
Team Giannis will wear No. 24 on their jerseys to honor Kobe while Team LeBron will wear the No. 2 jerseys to pay homage to Gianna.
Kobe 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. The NBA legend has won the All-Star Game MVP four times.
GRAMMY® Award-winning recording artist and Academy Award-winning actress and Chicago native @IAMJHUD will perform a special tribute to the late Kobe Bryant ahead of player introductions for the 69th #NBAAllStar Game on Sunday, Feb. 16, airing live at 8:00pm/et @NBAonTNT. pic.twitter.com/NR1OIwtczH— 2020 NBA All-Star (@NBAAllStar) February 13, 2020