All-Star Kyrie Irving requests the NBA to put Kobe Bryant on the logo.


Jovany Rodriguez

Brooklyn Nets and All-Star Kyrie Irving had this idea for the National Basketball Association (NBA) to include a silhouette of Kobe Bryant on its logo and hasn’t forgotten about it. The current logo was made in 1969 and has the silhouette of LA Lakers great and Hall of Famer Jerry West dribbling a ball, but Irving says it should be replaced in honor of Bryant, who died in a helicopter crash beside his daughter, Gianna (Gigi) Bryant and seven others on January 26, 2020. Bryant is considered one of the sport’s greatest players after spending all of his 20 seasons with the Lakers, winning five NBA championships. Irving told reporters after Nets 129-92 win against the Orlando Magic on Thursday, February 25, “As a native Black man, as a native Black king, I think it’s part of my responsibility to continue to push our generation, our culture, forward, I know that it probably was met with some people that love the idea and some people that don’t like it. He was the standard for our generation, and he will continue, and I want that to be something in history that is changed forever, that our generation was part of that change.”

On Wednesday, Irving posted a picture on Instagram of Bryant on the NBA logo, saying: “Gotta Happen, idc what anyone says. BLACK KINGS BUILT THE LEAGUE.” The post was shared by Bryant’s widow, Vanessa Bryant, who wrote: “Love this.” An online petition calling for the NBA to change the logo, set up in the days following Bryant’s death, has now attracted over three million signatures and Iriving says he’s happy to keep pushing to the conversation. “I don’t want to discredit any of our other historical players that have done amazing things for the league. I’m not discrediting anyone when I say that Kobe should be the logo,” Irving added.

Jerry West played 14 seasons for the Lakers in the 1960s-1970s. He was part of the Lakers’ front office when the team traded for Bryant in 1996, West has previously said he wished the league would change its logo. West was obviously the plan, the logo’s designer never officially approached him about being the silhouette, and the NBA never officially said it was him. Initially flattered by the honor, West has said the logo has been embarrassing at times. “If they would want to change it, I wish they would,” West told ESPN’s, Rachel Nichols. “In many ways, I wish they would.” However, given that the NBA’s current logo is so globally recognizable, it isn’t for sure that the league would change to its branding.