Saturday, NBA commissioner Adam Silver revealed that the NBA All-Star All-Star Game MVP award will be renamed in honor of Kobe Bryant, who was an 18-time All-Star with a record four All-Star Game MVP awards.
“Kobe Bryant is synonymous with NBA All-Star and embodies the spirit of this global celebration of our game,” reads Silver’s words. “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 late Bryant made his All-Star match debut in 1998 as the youngest athlete to ever play in the game at 19. He went on to add 17 more appearances, being recognized as the All-Star Game MVP in 2002, 2007, 2009, and 2011.
The first time the Kobe Bryant MVP trophy will be awarded will be Sunday evening following this year’s All-Star matchup as Team Lebron and Team Giannis face off in Chicago.
“I know it will be especially meaningful to that player that wins the first Kobe Bryant MVP,” Silver added. “So I’m sure there will be other honors as well, and as I mentioned, there are other things that we will be discussing with our board, the NBA board, when they meet in April to honor David [Stern]. But this one seems so appropriate here at All-Star because nobody embodied All-Star more than Kobe Bryant.”