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Kobe Bryant tribute opens emotional NBA All-Star Game

CHICAGO — Even as he stood before 24 of the NBA’s best players, Magic Johnson made a declaration about Kobe Bryant that made him unique even among those All-Stars.

“We’ll never see another basketball player quite like Kobe,” Johnson told the sold-out crowd at the United Center before Sunday’s NBA All-Star game. Moments later, those fans chanted “KO-BE, KO-BE!” which has become the soundtrack at Los Angeles Lakers home games and when legions of fans around the world have mourned his recent death.

The NBA continued offering tributes to Bryant, who died along with his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven others in a helicopter crash three weeks ago Sunday. After mourning the recent deaths of Bryant and former NBA Commissioner David Stern, Johnson held a moment of silence for the amount of seconds that matched Bryant’s first jersey number (eight). Then, fans belted out more “KO-BE!” chants.

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