This past weekend’s NBA All-Star festivities paid major tribute to Kobe Bryant. Kobe, an 18-time all-star selection, passed away last month (January 26) along with his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna “Gigi” Bryant, and seven others aboard a helicopter. Shortly after takeoff, the vessel crashed in Calabasas, California.
For Sunday (February 16) night’s game in Chicago, Illinois, the players wore patches honoring the nine people who died. Additionally, numbers #24 and #2 were worn by selections, paying respect to Kobe’s famed number as well as Gigi’s travel team jersey. The scoreboard had special illuminations for 8 and 24, the two numbers Bryant wore during his extensive NBA career. The scores also affected the game’s outcome, as the leading team after three quarters could win with 24 more points gained in the fourth quarter. In the end, Team Lebron defeated Team Giannis in a 157-155 showdown.
With all the tributes, Dr. Dre—a longtime Los Angeles Lakers fan—offered his own take in honoring Kobe Bryant. He made a music video tribute. The two-minute visual includes footage and basketball highlights dating back to Kobe’s high school days. It features interaction with the hometown crowd, amazing dunks, clutch shots, and championship celebrations. The video also employs graphics of Bryant’s many trophies (including his Oscar), and references “Black Mamba,” his alter-ego. Towards the end of the short (with assists from Jack Bannon and Gibson Hazard), Dre lays down Joe Cocker’s “Woman To Woman.” He then flips the switch to make the sample into its basis in the original mix of “California Love.” It is a serenade from the fans in the region—both to Kobe and Gigi.
Notably, Bryant debuted with the Lakeshow at the same time Dre was in transition. In the fall of 1996, D-R-E released his Aftermath compilation, book-ending the year he’d left the Death Row Records he co-founded. While Dre’s label would find massive success with Eminem, 50 Cent, The Game, and others, his new imprint was not an instant hit. By the time Kobe began his five-time championship streak in 2000, Dr. Dre was also back on top. Following the releases like his 2001 album as well as Eminem’s The Slim Shady LP and Marshall Mathers LP, Aftermath had become a championship squad, just like the Kobe’s Lakers.
Like the legend it is dedicated to, Dre’s short tribute video has heart and flare.