(Reuters) – The number 24 jersey worn by the late Kobe Bryant will play a role in determining the winner of next month’s All-Star Game in Chicago, the NBA said on Thursday with further plans to honor the Los Angeles Lakers great still to come.
As part of the sweeping changes unveiled for the Feb. 16 game, each quarter will serve as a mini-game for charity and scores will be reset to start both the second and third periods.
In the final quarter, which will be untimed, the winner will be the team that reaches a target score determined by taking the leading team’s total cumulative score through the first three quarters and adding 24 points.
The NBA, which announced the changes in a bid to make the game more competitive, said additional plans to honor Bryant during the All-Star Game will be announced at a later date.
Bryant, one of the world’s most admired sports figures, and his 13-year-old daughter were among nine people who died on Sunday when the helicopter they were in crashed into a hillside outside the town of Calabasas, California.
During a 20-year NBA career spent entirely with the Lakers, Bryant won five championships and was selected to 18 All-Star Games.
(Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto; Editing by Christian Radnedge)