Kobe Bryant will forever be a legend of the NBA and after his passing back in January of last year, the NBA did everything in its power to honor him at every single step of the way. For instance, when the Los Angeles Lakers played their first game after Kobe's death, the team held a massive pre-game ceremony that saw LeBron James give a tear-inducing speech. To this day, the Lakers are still playing in Kobe's honor, and the league still misses him greatly.
During last year's All-Star Game, the NBA changed up the format to honor Bryant, albeit, fans were a bit confused by the change. Essentially, the fourth quarter had no time limit, instead, the team leading after three quarters would need to score 24 points to win the game. Simply put, add 24 to the winning team's score, and that's what both teams are playing until. According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, this format will be returning in 2021.
While fans were skeptical of this format at first, it led to an extremely competitive fourth quarter as both teams knew exactly what they were playing for. It made the game that much more fun, even if it ended on a free throw, which isn't going to happen every single time.
Any Kobe tribute is welcomed at this point, and moving forward, this format could very well become a mainstay.
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images