NBA renames All-Star MVP award to honor Kobe Bryant

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Chicago: The NBA has renamed its All-Star Game MVP trophy after Kobe Bryant in the wake of Bryant’s tragic death.

Commissioner Adam Silver announced Saturday that the award would now be known as the Kobe Bryant All-Star Game MVP Award.

Silver unveiled the newly-minted trophy at his annual All-Star weekend news conference in Chicago.

Less than a week after the crash, the NBA announced its first major league-wide tribute, a reformatted 2020 All-Star game, plus All-Star jersey number changes for all players to 24 (for Bryant) and 2 (for his daughter Gianna). Silver said Saturday that players “embraced” the changes.

Notably, Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven other people died Jan. 26 when the helicopter they were flying in crashed in Calabasas in California.

In his 20-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers, Bryant won five NBA championships, one regular-season MVP and made the All-NBA First Team 11 times. He is also the youngest player in the league’s history to become an All-Star, getting the honor for the first time in 1998 when he was 19 years old.

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