CHICAGO — The tributes to the late Kobe Bryant began well before Sunday night’s All-Star Game at the United Center.
Before the players were announced and the game tipped off, the lights went down and Lakers Hall of Famer Magic Johnson took center court to make a speech honoring Bryant.
During Johnson’s speech, the crowd broke out in chants of, “Kobe! Kobe! Kobe!” Johnson called for eight seconds of silence — paging homage to one of the jersey numbers Bryant wore.
Jennifer Hudson, wearing the Lakers’ deep purple, performed “For All We Know (We May Meet Again)” as a photo tribute to Bryant played behind her.
There was also a video that featured Jesse Williams, among others, talking about Bryant’s relationship with Chicago Bulls champion Michael Jordan.
“A king named Kobe Bryant,” Common rapped before player introductions as the arena lights lit up people and gold. “Even in the darkest times, you’ll feel Kobe’s light.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.