Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
All-Star Weekend Nears, and Kobe Will Be at the Forefront
gvw_ap_news
By Associated Press
Published 4 years ago on
February 11, 2020

Share

Kobe Bryant will be announced Friday at All-Star Weekend in Chicago as one of the finalists for this year’s Basketball Hall of Fame induction class, which isn’t a secret and never was.

“I think every player, anyone who’s been in the game was incredibly affected by the loss of Kobe. A few days after it happened I was in Dallas for the Hall of Fame committee meeting to look at the candidates who will be announced in Chicago and to eventually put some individuals forward. And what do you think we talked about most of the time?” — USA Basketball managing director Jerry Colangelo
Bryant always was a lock to be a first-ballot pick. Fellow first-time nominees Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett will almost certainly also be among those announced Friday as finalists. The complete class that will be enshrined at Springfield, Massachusetts in August will be announced on April 4 at the Final Four in Atlanta.
But Friday’s announcement of the finalists in Chicago will be largely about the memory of Bryant, and rightly so. This All-Star weekend is the first huge gathering of the NBA family since Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven others were killed in a helicopter crash in Southern California on Jan. 26. They’ll be remembered and honored throughout the weekend, and it’s a safe bet that Commissioner Adam Silver — in his annual All-Star news conference Saturday — has plenty to say about Bryant.
“I think every player, anyone who’s been in the game was incredibly affected by the loss of Kobe,” USA Basketball managing director Jerry Colangelo said. “A few days after it happened I was in Dallas for the Hall of Fame committee meeting to look at the candidates who will be announced in Chicago and to eventually put some individuals forward. And what do you think we talked about most of the time?”
Easy answer.
Everyone at that meeting had a Bryant story to share. His candidacy and basketball resume were not debated. They didn’t have to be, of course. But the stories flowed anyway, one after another, as some of the most powerful people in basketball turned a long-scheduled Hall of Fame meeting into an emergency therapy and grieving session.
And that’s what Chicago will be as well — more stories, more therapy, more grieving.
Photo of Kobe and Gianna Bryant
FILE – In this March 2, 2019, file photo Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna watch the first half of an NCAA college basketball game between Connecticut and Houston in Storrs, Conn. A public memorial service for Bryant, Gianna and seven others killed in a helicopter crash is planned for Monday, Feb. 24, 2020, at Staples Center in Los Angeles, a person with knowledge of the details told The Associated Press on Thursday, Feb. 6, 2020. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill, File)

The Emptiness the League Is Feeling

Giannis Antetokounmpo’s team will play Sunday’s All-Star Game wearing the No. 24 on their jerseys, in tribute to the number Bryant wore in the second half of his career with the Lakers. LeBron James’ team will wear No. 2 that night, in tribute to Gianna Bryant and her jersey number. Everyone in the Rising Stars game Friday, all the All-Star Saturday events and then the game itself will also wear a patch with nine stars, one for each of the victims of the crash.

“What I’m looking forward to is the time of healing. It’ll give us a chance to kind of focus on the entire class because everyone is entitled to their due.” — USA Basketball managing director Jerry Colangelo
A week after everyone leaves Chicago, the NBA will gather again in Los Angeles for the memorial for Bryant and his daughter. It’s on Feb. 24 — 2/24, which is not a coincidence. The numbers on the calendar made it seem like the appropriate day, so that’s what Vanessa Bryant, Kobe’s wife and Gianna’s mom, ultimately chose.
That’s not the end, of course. The emptiness that the league is feeling without Bryant will come up again in April, when the Hall of Fame officially says he’s going to be enshrined. Then in June, when someone wins a championship. Then in July, when someone on the U.S. men’s national team wears No. 10 — Bryant’s Olympic number — at the Tokyo Games. Then in August, at the Hall of Fame ceremony. Then in January, the anniversary of the crash. And so on. And so on.
It should also be noted, however, that celebrating Garnett, Duncan and the other finalists on Friday should — and must — happen.
Bryant appreciated greatness. It was really the only way anyone else in the game of basketball could earn his respect. He surely would have been among the first people to congratulate the other finalists. So Friday’s announcement will likely have to strike a difficult balance, moments of sadness mixed with moments of joy.
“What I’m looking forward to is the time of healing,” Colangelo said. “It’ll give us a chance to kind of focus on the entire class because everyone is entitled to their due.”

LeBron Watch

Assuming he starts on Sunday as planned, LeBron James will become the first player in NBA history to start 16 All-Star Games.
He currently shares the record of 15 starts with Bryant.
James’ 16th All-Star appearance will be second-most in NBA history, two shy of matching the mark of 18 set by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. If he wins MVP, James would tie the record of four such All-Star trophies — matching Bob Pettit and, again, Bryant.
James is the All-Star all-time leader in points, field goals and 3-pointers made, plus field goals and 3-pointers attempted. If he plays 10 minutes, he’ll pass Abdul-Jabbar (449) for most All-Star minutes in a career.
And he’s probably got a few more of these All-Stars left. He’ll be atop those lists for a long time.

Photo of LeBron James
Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James goes to the basket against the Sacramento Kings during the first quarter of an NBA basketball game in Sacramento, Calif., Saturday, Feb. 1, 2020. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

From Deep

If Portland’s Damian Lillard or Houston’s James Harden tries any 2-point shot — a layup, a dunk, a midrange, anything — it’ll be a departure from their All-Star shot charts last season.
Lillard took 17 shots at the All-Star Game last season. Harden took 13. In both cases, they were all from 3-point range.
They became the first players in All-Star history to take more than 10 shots in the game and have exactly none of them come from inside the arc. Others have come close: Klay Thompson, Kyle Lowry, Bradley Beal and Kyle Korver all had exactly one 2-point try on a night with double-digit 3-point attempts, but only Lillard and Harden can say they shot with such volume entirely from beyond the arc.
Some perspective on how 3-crazy the All-Star Game has gotten: When the Eastern Conference won in 2010, it tried a total of 17 3’s in that game.

The Week Ahead

It’s a short week, but here are a few games to watch before everyone heads to Chicago:
Tuesday, L.A. Clippers at Philadelphia: Tobias Harris may play against the Clippers for the first time since last year’s trade to Philadelphia.
Tuesday, San Antonio at Oklahoma City: The Spurs’ streak of 22 consecutive playoff appearances is officially in serious jeopardy.
Wednesday, Milwaukee at Indiana: The Bucks are 2-0 against the reeling Pacers this season, winning by a combined 47 points.
Thursday, L.A. Clippers at Boston and Oklahoma City at New Orleans: The last two games before the All-Star break begins.
Friday, Rising Stars game in Chicago: The U.S. vs. the World format remains in play this year.
Saturday, All-Star Saturday in Chicago: A newly tweaked 3-point contest, plus the dunk and skills events.
Sunday, All-Star Game in Chicago: $500,000 at stake for Chicago-area charities, and an untimed fourth quarter with a target score. And after that, no games in the NBA until Thursday, Feb. 20.

DON'T MISS

The Deep Source of Trump’s Appeal

DON'T MISS

Alcaraz Defeats Djokovic in Wimbledon Final, Claims Fourth Slam Title

DON'T MISS

Details Emerge About 20-Year-Old Suspect in Trump Assassination Attempt

DON'T MISS

Shooter Identified in Failed Assassination Attempt of Donald Trump

DON'T MISS

Four US Presidents Assassinated; Others and Candidates Targeted

DON'T MISS

Biden Urges Condemnation of Trump Attack, Plans to Speak with Ex-President

DON'T MISS

What We Know: Trump Shot in Ear, Barely Missing His Head

DON'T MISS

Trump Fine After Rally Shooting; Gunman and Attendee Dead

DON'T MISS

Donald Trump Escorted Off Stage in Pennsylvania After Apparent Gunshots

DON'T MISS

When Progressive Ideals Become a Luxury

UP NEXT

Barbora Krejcikova Wins Wimbledon, Beats Jasmine Paolini

UP NEXT

These Stargazing Spots Are the Closest You’ll Get to Heaven on Earth

UP NEXT

Sean Burroughs, Former Little League Star and MLB Player, Died of Fentanyl Overdose

UP NEXT

UC Merced Begins NCAA Division II Sports Competition in 2025-26 Season

UP NEXT

Bill Belichick Joining ‘Inside the NFL’ for Upcoming Season

UP NEXT

Destination Paris: Swimmer Ryan Murphy Longs to Reclaim Top Spot on Medal Podium at the Olympics

UP NEXT

Spain and England Meet in Euro 2024 Final but It Isn’t a Classic, Deep-Rooted International Rivalry

UP NEXT

Phillies Back Nola With 3 HRs, Finish 3-Game Sweep of Dodgers

UP NEXT

Danny Jansen and Spencer Horwitz Homer, Kevin Gausman Pitches Blue Jays Past Giants

UP NEXT

Lionel Messi Commits to Playing for Argentina Beyond Copa America Final

Shooter Identified in Failed Assassination Attempt of Donald Trump

12 hours ago

Four US Presidents Assassinated; Others and Candidates Targeted

15 hours ago

Biden Urges Condemnation of Trump Attack, Plans to Speak with Ex-President

16 hours ago

What We Know: Trump Shot in Ear, Barely Missing His Head

17 hours ago

Trump Fine After Rally Shooting; Gunman and Attendee Dead

18 hours ago

Donald Trump Escorted Off Stage in Pennsylvania After Apparent Gunshots

19 hours ago

When Progressive Ideals Become a Luxury

23 hours ago

Barbora Krejcikova Wins Wimbledon, Beats Jasmine Paolini

1 day ago

Ruth Westheimer, the Sex Guru Known as Dr. Ruth, Dies at 96

1 day ago

John Roberts Makes His Bid for Infamy

1 day ago

The Deep Source of Trump’s Appeal

Opinion by David Brooks on July 11, 2024. Photo by Scott McIntyre. There was an extraordinary story in Politico this week. A group of Democr...

2 hours ago

2 hours ago

The Deep Source of Trump’s Appeal

2 hours ago

Alcaraz Defeats Djokovic in Wimbledon Final, Claims Fourth Slam Title

3 hours ago

Details Emerge About 20-Year-Old Suspect in Trump Assassination Attempt

12 hours ago

Shooter Identified in Failed Assassination Attempt of Donald Trump

15 hours ago

Four US Presidents Assassinated; Others and Candidates Targeted

16 hours ago

Biden Urges Condemnation of Trump Attack, Plans to Speak with Ex-President

17 hours ago

What We Know: Trump Shot in Ear, Barely Missing His Head

18 hours ago

Trump Fine After Rally Shooting; Gunman and Attendee Dead

MENU

CONNECT WITH US

Search

Send this to a friend