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Why LeBron James will wear Gianna Bryant’s jersey number for All-Star game

Kobe and daughter Gianna “GiGi” Bryant (Photo: Instagram [email protected])

Much like what took place at Super Bowl 54 on Sunday, Feb. 2, the NBA is planning a number of tributes to Kobe Bryant during its All-Star Weekend Game on Feb. 16 in Chicago.

Team Giannis is planning to have his team wear 24 to honor the “Black Mamba.” And it would seem natural that LeBron James’ team would go with No. 8, which is the other number Bryant wore for the Lakers. Both numbers have been retired by the team.

But King James said his team will wear No. 2 in order to pay homage to Bryant’s middle daughter, Gianna “GiGi” Bryant.

“LeBron said the league asked him if he wanted his team to wear 24 or 2 for the All-Star game,” Los Angeles Times reporter Tania Ganguli said in a Twitter post. “He picked 2, the number Gianna Bryant wore. Why? ‘Zhuri.’”

Zhuri James, 5, is LBJ’s youngest child and only daughter. Zhuri James is a budding star in her own right as she hosts her own YouTube show, “All Things Zhuri.” James shared Bryant’s joy of being a father to his one daughter as Bryant was to his four girls.

GiGi, 13, was as obsessed with basketball as her iconic father and was seen with Kobe Bryant courtside at multiple Lakers games at the Staples Center. Kobe and GiGi Bryant were, in fact, en route to her basketball event in nearby Thousand Oaks, California, the day both perished.

As the world knows, Kobe and GiGi Bryant were aboard the ill-fated helicopter when it crashed into the mountains north of Los Angeles on Jan. 26, killing the two along with seven other passengers.

LeBron is obviously giving some love to GiGi, who aspired to attend the women’s basketball powerhouse at the University of Connecticut when she graduated high school.