The NBA All-Star Weekend has concluded with Team LeBron taking home the win and Kawhi Leonard crowned as the first recipient of the newly renamed Kobe Bryant NBA All-Star Game MVP. The late Los Angeles Laker superstar was honored considerably throughout the weekend, culminating in moving tributes from Common, Jennifer Hudson, and more on Sunday (Feb. 16).
Common opened up the NBA All-Star Game festivities with a spoken-word piece shouting out Chicago while also making mention of the several NBA stars who hail from the Windy City. The hometown hero also made sure that his piece gave a strong salute to Bryant towards the end of the performance.
Jennifer Hudson took the stage dressed in purple with a montage of videos featuring Bryant playing behind her and delivered a soul-stirring performance for the ages. Hudson performed a rendition of “For All We Know” that was popularized by Donny Hathaway and Robert Flack in 1972 which featured the songstress pouring every bit of her soul into the performance.
Dr. Dre also put together a tribute for the Black Mamba, producing a mini-montage that featured both Bryant and his daughter, Gianna Bryant. Check it out below.
Lakers great Earvin “Magic” Johnson also led an eight-second moment of silence for Bryant ahead of Sunday’s big game, making note of the exceptional level of competition he brought to the squad and elevating the game of basketball in the modern era.
“We’ll never see another basketball player quite like Kobe,” Johnson said during an emotional speech.
How right he is. Rest powerfully in peace to Kobe Bryant and Gianna Bryant.