Jennifer Hudson and More Pay Tribute to Kobe Bryant at NBA All-Star Game

Jennifer Hudson in a purple dress and her hair in a topknot sang, “For All We Know” at the 2020 NBA All-Star Game in Chicago Sunday. It was an occasion before the player introductions to honor Kobe Bryant, his daughter, Gianna “Gigi” Bryant, John, Keri and Alyssa Altobelli, Sarah and Payton Chester, Christina Mauser, and Ara Zobayan. The  1934 song, previously recorded by singing greats like Aretha Franklin, Billie Holiday, Nat King Cole, and Nina Simone, and more, held a special meaning for a beloved athlete gone too soon.

Lakers legend, Magic Johnson introduced Hudson as he also recognized Bryant and NBA commissioner David Stern, who both died last month. Johnson led an 8-second moment of silence to honor two people who presence made a significant impact on the purple and gold organization.

“We lost two NBA family members who meant so much to the league to our fans and also to communities all over the country,” Johnson said. “We’ll never see another basketball player quite like Kobe. Scoring 81 points in one game, scoring 60 points in his last game, and then winning five NBA championships.”

He continued, “But what I’m really proud about when we think about Kobe Bryant, there’s millions of people in Los Angeles who don’t have a home. Kobe was fighting to get them homes and shelter every single day. He was passionate about that. He was also passionate about being a great father, husband, filmmaker — young man won an Oscar! — so we all are hurting. This is a tough time for the whole NBA family.”

Other tributes for Bryant included a halftime show performance by Chance the Rapper, who honored the five-time NBA champion and his daughter with the song, “I Was a Rock.” The tune was previously written as a tribute at 2016 ESPYs for late boxing champion Muhammad Ali, where Chance performed as well.

Chicago native, Common had this to say about Bryant as he acknowledged city of Chicago and the trendsetters from the area to carry the same mentality as the late sports icon.

“A king named Kobe Bryant who wore purple and gold / Twenty-four hours a day, you’ll put in work / Forget the salary / And being from Chicago, you can possess that Mamba mentality,” Common rapped. “And that’s dedication / And that’s the fight / So even in the darkest of times, you’ll feel Kobe’s light.”

But perhaps the most fitting celebration of the evening is the Kia All-Star Game MVP Award named for Kobe Bryant. The first recipient is Kawhi Leonard of the Los Angeles Clippers for his performance in the 2020 NBA All-Star Game.

Leonard’s response to winning the award, “This one is for him.”

 

 

A public memorial for Bryant will be held at the Staples Center, February 24. It will also honor his daughter and the other seven people on board the helicopter that crashed in Calabasas, CA on January 26. The father and daughter were buried in a private funeral on February 7 in Pacific View Memorial Park near their home in Newport Beach, California,

 

By BSM Team

Feature photo: Nam Huh/Associated Press

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