Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 30 May 2020

Magic Johnson, Scottie Pippen, Kim Kardashian, DJ Khaled at NBA All-Star tribute to Kobe Bryant - in pictures

'We'll never see another basketball player quite like Kobe'

Kawhi Leonard stole the show on the floor and Hall of Famer Magic Johnson took centre stage in an emotional pre-game ceremony as the NBA paid tribute to the late Kobe Bryant.

The 2020 NBA All-Star night began with Los Angeles Lake legend Johnson making a heartfelt speech honouring Bryant, who died along with his daughter Gigi and seven others in a horrific helicopter crash three weeks ago, in front of a crowd of 20,900 at the United Center in Chicago.

"We'll never see another basketball player quite like Kobe," said Johnson. "Scoring 81 points in one game. Scoring 60 points in his last game. And then winning five NBA championships."

There was a star-studded crowd and a host of entertainment before, during and after the match.

Chicago's favourite son Anthony Davis sank one of two free throws to cap a thrilling fourth quarter and lift Team LeBron to a 157-155 win over Team Giannis.

Leonard finished with 30 points and seven rebounds and was awarded the new Kobe Bryant MVP award.

"I want to thank Kobe for everything he has done for me, all the long talks and workouts. Thank you," said Leonard.

With the score 156-155, and new format dictating that the winner needed to be the first to get to 157 points, Davis went to the line for two shots after being fouled by Team Giannis' Kyle Lowry.

"I told my teammates I was going to go to miss the first one and put more pressure on myself to knock down the second one," said Davis, who grew up in Chicago.

LeBron James made his 16th all-star start, breaking a tie with Bryant for the most all-time. Bryant holds the record for most all-star MVP awards with four.

"His legacy is living on every single day with us," said James.

Updated: February 17, 2020 12:47 PM

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