NBA’s Radical New All-Star Game Format Includes Kobe Bryant Tribute

The league is completely switching up its annual event, which features a nod to Lakers star’s No. 24

Kobe Bryant Final NBA Game LA Lakers
Photo credit: Getty Images

The NBA is radically altering the rules for its annual All-Star game next month in Chicago, which includes a tribute to Kobe Bryant.

The new changes include resetting the score at the start of the second and third quarters, and a new “target score” finish, which will honor the late Los Angeles Lakers star. Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, were killed along with seven others in a helicopter crash on Sunday morning in Calabasas, California.

Here’s how it will work: The two teams, led by captains LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo, will compete to win each of the first three quarters (with the score beginning at 0-0 in each), with a $100,000 going to a charity of the winning team’s choice. For the fourth quarter, both teams’ scores will be tallied up through the first three quarters (like a typical game) and the game clock will be turned off. The winning team will be whichever reaches the “Target Score” first, which will be set by taking the leading teams’ point total and adding 24 to it.

Bryant wore number 24 for the last eight seasons of his career. He is the only player in NBA history to have two separate numbers retired; he wore number 8 for the first half of his career. The NBA added it will have additional tributes to Bryant throughout the weekend.

For example, if the total score heading into the fourth quarter is 100-95, then the “target score” would be 124. That means the NBA All-Star game will end in walk-off fashion. The winning team will earn an extra $200,000 for its community organization.

The 2020 NBA All-Star Game will take place on Sunday, Feb. 16 at the United Center in Chicago, airing live at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on TNT.