LOS ANGELES (AFP) - Tributes to the late Kobe Bryant, the Los Angeles Lakers legend who died last month in a helicopter crash, will play a major role in Sunday's 69th NBA All-Star Game.
This year's annual showcase of league talent will be played in Chicago and feature numerous nods to Bryant, a five-time NBA champion who also matched a league record with four NBA All-Star Game Most Valuable Player awards.
Bryant, an 18-time NBA All-Star, died at age 41 on January 26 in a crash near Los Angeles that also took the life of his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven others.
All-Star teams guided by LeBron James of the Lakers and Greek star Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks will compete to win each of the first three quarters, which will all start 0-0 and last 12 minutes.
At the start of the fourth quarter, the clock will be turned off and a final target score will be established by taking the leading club's cumulative score through the first three quarters and adding 24 points -- the number representing the jersey number worn by Bryant for the final 10 seasons of his NBA career.