Giannis headlines record global showing at All-Star Game

Derrick Jones Jr. Miami Heat

The National Basketball Association (NBA) ( announced today that GRAMMY Award-winning recording artist and Academy Award-winning actress and Chicago native Jennifer Hudson will perform a special tribute to the late Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna and their seven friends that tragically passed away on January 26.

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.

The Rising stars game will see first and second year players go head to head, with one team made up of ten first and second year players from the US, while the other team will feature ten first and second year global talents. Lebron, who was a close friend of Kobe, said earlier that his 5-year-old daughter, Zhuri, inspired his decision to use Gigi's number.

The team that wins the All-Star game will be the first to reach a target score, to be determined by the total points the team in the lead scored in the first three quarters combined plus 24, again in honor of Bryant.

Sunday's NBA All-Star Game 2020, presented by Kia, will include several changes.

Both teams will wear jersey patches displaying nine stars, representing the nine people who were killed in the crash. Chicago natives Common and Chance the Rapper will, respectively, perform before the game and at halftime of Sunday's All-Star Game (along with captaining the Celebrity Game teams), while Taylor Bennett, Chance's brother, will do the halftime show of Friday's Rising Stars game. Her performance will begin the night ahead of the player introductions.

Team Giannis starters include the Greek big man, Cameroon stars Joel Embiid of Philadelphia and Pascal Siakam of Toronto and guards Kemba Walker of Boston and Trae Young of Atlanta.

Rounding out the global players who will compete in the exhibition are Rudy Gobert (France), Nikola Jokic (Serbia), Domantas Sabonis (Lithuania) and Ben Simmons (Australia).



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