It was recently announced that LeBron James and his Team LeBron will honor Gianna “Gigi” Bryant at this year’s All-Star Game by wearing No. 2 on their jerseys. It’s the same number that Gianna wore when she played.
James was voted as the captain of his team for the game, and the Milwaukee Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo was voted as the captain of his. Antetokounmpo’s team will honor Kobe Bryant by wearing No. 24 on their jerseys, which was the last number the late hoops legend wore.
Kobe was killed in a helicopter crash on Jan. 26 in Calabasas, California, along with Gianna, who was 13. Seven other people also died in the crash.
“They asked me which number did I want to wear — 24 or 2 — for my team, and I picked 2,” said James this week after he practiced with his Los Angeles Lakers team. “Giannis is going to wear 24 for their team. It’s only right. It’s pretty, pretty cool.”
“We have a legend in our league, obviously with the situation that happened, so we get to honor him throughout the whole weekend,” he added.
The former Cleveland Cavaliers star was also asked why he chose to wear No. 2 instead of Kobe’s No. 24.
“Zhuri,” James answered, which is the name of his 5-year-old daughter.
James also spoke about Kobe on Jan. 31 before the Lakers took on the Portland Trail Blazers, and he talked about Kobe’s greatness and how he’ll always view him.
“Tonight is a celebration. Before we get to play, Kobe’s a brother to me,” said James. “Tonight, we celebrate the kid who came here at 18 years of age, retired at 38 and became probably the best dad we’ve seen over the last three years.”
Antetokounmpo also spoke about Kobe when he was asked about his death one day after the crash.
“All I can say is that I pray for the people that were affected by it,” he stated. “Yesterday was a horrible day for basketball, for everybody. … I send my deepest condolences to the family.”
The 69th NBA All-Star Game will be held at the United Center in Chicago on Feb. 16.