TORONTO (Sportsnet) — The NBA has permanently renamed the All-Star Game MVP in honour of the late Kobe Bryant, commissioner Adam Silver announced at a press conference on Saturday night.
Bryant, an 18-time All-Star who won four All-Star Game MVP awards during his career, tragically died earlier this year along with his daughter, Gianna and seven others in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, Calif.
The award will now be known as Kia NBA All-Star Game Kobe Bryant MVP Award.
“Kobe Bryant is synonymous with NBA All-Star and embodies the spirit of this global celebration of our game,” Silver said in a statement. “He always relished the opportunity to compete with the best of the best and perform at the highest level for millions of fans around the world.”
The All-Star Game MVP will receive the Kobe Bryant MVP award pic.twitter.com/iqrvFIdMhZ
— SNY (@SNYtv) February 16, 2020
Bryant made his All-Star Game debut in 1998 as a 19-year-old — the youngest to ever play in an All-Star Game. His 18 total appearances — all of them consecutive, another record — in his career are second only to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who had 19. The only other player in NBA history to have as many All-Star Game MVP awards as Bryant is Hall of Famer Bob Pettit.
The winner of the 2020 Kia NBA All-Star Game Kobe Bryant MVP Award will be determined by a combination of NBA fan votes, which accounts for 25 per cent of the voting total, and a media panel that comprises the remaining 75 per cent.