By Brendan O’BrienCHICAGO (Reuters) – The National Basketball Association All-Star Game MVP Award has been permanently named for the late Kobe Bryant, league Commissioner Adam Silver said on Saturday.Bryant, an 18-time All-Star who won a record-tying four All-Star Game MVP awards, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven others were killed in a helicopter crash near Los Angeles on Jan. 26. He was 41.“His loss, together with his daughter and those other seven people on the helicopter, is unspeakable,” Silver said at a news conference before the All-Star Saturday Night event at the United Center in Chicago. “As the father of a child … that’s the unimaginable.”The Kobe Bryant MVP Award will be presented on Sunday to the most valuable player at the end of the 2020 NBA All-Star Game.“Kobe Bryant is synonymous with NBA All-Star and embodies the spirit of this global celebration of our game,” Silver said in a statement. “He always relished the opportunity to compete with the best of the best and perform at the highest level for millions of fans around the world.”Bryant made his NBA All-Star Game debut in 1998 at age 19 – the youngest player to ever play in an All-Star Game. His 18 All-Star selections are the second most in NBA history behind Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, at 19.Silver said the decision to name the MVP award in honor of Bryant was made collectively by league officials and some players.“To all of us, it seemed like the appropriate way to bring honor to him,” Silver said.Silver also spoke about the loss of former NBA Commissioner David Stern, who oversaw explosive growth in the popularity of the game during his 30-year tenure. Silver said that Stern, who died in January, and Bryant had a lot in common.“They were both determined to win,” he said. “They could be difficult at times because they prioritized winning, and often, they didn’t have time for some of the niceties around personal relationships because it was about winning.”Moments after Silver’s news conference ended, the packed United Center stood and cheered as the game clock was wound up to 24.2, in honor of Bryant’s No. 24 jersey number and the No. 2 that Gianna Bryant wore when she played basketball at her father’s Mamba Sports Academy.
Published on October 7, 2017 at 7:11 pm Contact Brandon: [email protected] Facebook Twitter Google+ After a tripping call on defenseman Lindsay Eastwood in the first period, a Syracuse fan screamed out “That’s terrible!” Eastwood herself stood there, seemingly bewildered by the call.Many complaints about officiating followed as Syracuse (0-3-1) fell to Wisconsin (6-0-0), 5-2, on Saturday. The Orange found itself on the penalty kill eight times, accumulating 16 penalty minutes.“I just thought they did a poor job,” SU head coach Paul Flanagan said. “I don’t mind saying that. I’m probably not supposed to, but they didn’t do a very good job of managing the game.”Wisconsin took advantage of the power plays. After Megan Quinn was sent to the penalty box for hooking late in the first period, Badger forward Abby Roque found Claudia Kepler down low. Kepler slid the puck past Orange goalkeeper Abbey Miller for the game’s first score.Less than two minutes later, the Badgers again were on a power play, this time a roughing penalty by Syracuse’s Allie Olnowich. From the same spot she scored a few minutes prior, Kepler launched a shot into the high corner of the net for the Badgers’ second power play goal.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textSyracuse freshman Emma Polaski was aware of the referees’ questionable calls throughout the game, but chose not to dwell on them.“It was frustrating, but there’s nothing we can really do about it,” Polaski said. “We just have to control the controllables, keep our heads down, and let the coaches yell at them.”Flanagan noted there was a large increase in physicality in the second game of the series, a trend he pins on Saturday’s officiating crew. It was a totally different crew from the game prior. In the last minute of Saturday alone, there were two instances where Wisconsin players picked up penalties and got into verbal altercations with an Orange player.But Wisconsin’s penalties didn’t hurt the team as much as the Orange’s did.“We’re always leading the country in penalties,” Miller said, “and a lot of our penalties are ones I wouldn’t say are super good calls.” Comments