NBA Commissioner Adam Silver announced a new tribute to the late Kobe Bryant ahead of Saturday night's festivities during All-Star Weekend.
The league has renamed the All-Star Game MVP trophy the Kobe Bryant MVP Award.
"No one embodied All-Star more than Kobe Bryant," Silver said in announcing the change.
Bryant was named to the All-Star Game 18 times in his career, including every year from 2000-2016, winning the game's MVP award in 2002, 2007, 2009 and 2011. The renamed award will make its debut on Sunday following the exhibition between Team LeBron and Team Giannis.
Bryant, along with his daughter Gigi and seven others, died in a helicopter crash on January 26. The league has held numerous formal and informal tributes in memory of Kobe, including various teams taking 24-second shot clock violations on the opening possession. The All-Star Game will also feature Team LeBron wearing No. 2 and Team Giannis wearing No. 24 in honor of Gigi and Kobe, respectively.
Additionally, the fourth quarter has been reformatted to honor Bryant: The frame will be untimed, with the winner decided by taking the leading team's score, adding 24 points and setting that as the target score to reach in order to win the game. It's a style much like the one used in The Basketball Tournament, known as the Elam Ending.
Shortly after the award was announced, the Inside the NBA crew on TNT praised Silver for the decision to rename the award and expressed their belief that the honor will entice players to push each other in order to capture it.
"I know it will be especially meaningful to that player that wins the first Kobe Bryant MVP," Silver said. "I'm sure there will be other honors as well."
Silver noted the league will plan more in-depth tributes to late NBA commissioner David Stern when the league board meets in April.
It's certainly a fitting way to remember Bryant. As an athlete known for his work ethic and intensity on every single play, honoring him in a game that's traditionally more relaxed should benefit all basketball players and fans.