It has somehow only been three weeks since Kobe Bryant died in a helicopter accident, along with his daughter Gianna and seven other passengers, outside Los Angeles. The organizers of Sunday’s NBA All-Star Game in Chicago would be remise if they didn’t give tribute to one of basketball’s greatest players, which is why they enlisted Jennifer Hudson to sing the American standard “For All We Know,” recorded in 1934 and covered by artists like Nat King Cole, Aretha Franklin, Nina Simone and Billie Holiday, before tonight’s game. Dr. Dre also put together a musical tribute to Kobe’s best moments, temporarily renaming L.A.’s Staples Center ‘KOBE Center” in his video, which you watch below.
Hudson was introduced by a reflective Magic Johnson, who lead the audience in eight seconds of silence for Kobe and late NBA Commissioner David Stern, who died in January following a stroke. “We lost two NBA family members who meant so much to the league to our fans and also to communities all over the country,” he said, adding: “But what I’m really proud about when we think about Kobe Bryant, there’s millions of people in Los Angeles who don’t have a home. Kobe was fighting to get them homes and shelter every single day. He was passionate about that.”
Finally, Common praised the late legend in song (“You see, he used his game to touch the world’s soul/A king named Kobe Bryant, who wore purple and gold”), before introducing the members of Team LeBron James and Team Giannis Antetokounmpo. This year’s All-Star players are wearing Number 2 for Gianna Bryant and 24 for her father Kobe, respectively.