The NBA All-Star game is on Saturday night, and it won’t be the jovial event it normally is as the league is still mourning the death of Kobe Bryant. There are tributes to the late Lakers legend planned, and while all the details aren’t clear yet, we now know that Jennifer Hudson will perform during a pregame tribute to Bryant.
The league hasn’t said what else the tribute to Bryant, his daughter Gianna, and the seven others who died in a helicopter crash on January 26 will entail.
We do know that the national anthem will be sung by Chaka Khan and the Canadian anthem will be performed by country artist Tennille Arts.
Chance the Rapper will perform at halftime and will be joined by Lil Wayne, DJ Khaled and Quavo.
“NBA All-Star. It happens every year. But this year is different,” Chance said in a promo for the event. “The game will have more meaning than it’s ever had before. The league, the fans, the players will all pay tribute to the legendary Kobe Bryant. For an entire generation he defined the title ‘NBA All-Star.’ Chicago will glow with a warmth and a brilliance that it’s never had before. It’s the ultimate celebration.”
Everyone around the league, and the world, has been in mourning since Bryant’s passing, and no one more so than his wife, Vanessa. She shared an update with her fans on Monday.
“I’ve been reluctant to put my feelings into words. My brain refuses to accept that both Kobe and Gigi are gone. I can’t process both at the same time. It’s like I’m trying to process Kobe being gone but my body refuses to accept my Gigi will never come back to me. It feels wrong. Why should I be able to wake up another day when my baby girl isn’t being able to have that opportunity?! I’m so mad. She had so much life to live,” she captioned a video of Gianna’s basketball highlights at the Mamba Academy.
“Then I realize I need to be strong and be here for my 3 daughters. Mad I’m not with Kobe and Gigi but thankful I’m here with Natalia, Bianka and Capri,” she continued. “I know what I’m feeling is normal. It’s part of the grieving process. I just wanted to share in case there’s anyone out there that’s experienced a loss like this. God I wish they were here and this nightmare would be over. Praying for all of the victims of this horrible tragedy. Please continue to pray for all.”