It’s been a year since the tragic passing of Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna and seven other passengers in a helicopter crash, and the world is still memorializing Bryant in many ways. Kyrie Irving is pushing for one fitting tribute that will last forever if it happens and is proud to lead the charge.
The Brooklyn Nets All-Star point guard has had NBA fans talking since sharing on his Instagram account that he feels that his idol and good friend, Kobe Bryant, should replace Jerry West as the NBA logo. In the post, he defiantly wrote, “Gotta Happen, idc what anyone says. BLACK KINGS BUILT THE LEAGUE.”
Thursday night (Feb.25), following the Nets 129-92 victory over the Orlando Magic, securing their 8th win in a row, Irving double-downed on his stance and proudly took ownership of the movement making Bryant the official face of the NBA.
“We want to set a standard and precedent like this is excellence. Kobe Bryant. Logo. Yes. Needs to happen. I don’t care what anyone says,” the free-thinking point guard opened up. “I want that to be something in history that is changed forever, that our generation was part of that change. And if that means that I have to lead that forward and get the conversation going, then great.”
Irving also noted that his passionate feelings about Bryant becoming the logo will not appeal to everyone (specifically Jordan fans and NBA historians). Adding his intentions was not to disrespect those before him who have impacted the game.
“I know that it probably was met with some people that love it — that love the idea — and some people that don’t love it. But, my thing is paying homage to the example that has been set by that man.”
“I think he deserves it. I think his family deserves it. I think we deserve it as seeing greatness personified as Mamba. And anyone that’s coming into the league should know that that’s the example that was set.”
Irving is definitely not alone in this thinking. His post has gotten over a million likes on Instagram, and Bryant’s wife Vanessa emphatically agrees with him and shares his post via her Instagram Stories with the caption “Love this. @KyrieIrving.”
The logo himself, Jerry West, revealed back in 2017 during a taping of ESPN’s NBA show The Jump that he wishes the league did change the iconic symbol calling it”flattering” but adding, “I think if I were the NBA, I would be embarrassed about it. I don’t like to do anything to call attention to myself. If they would want to change it, I wish they would. In many ways, I wish they would.”
Following Bryant’s passing, a Change.org petition calling for the late Hall-of-Famer to become the NBA’s new silhouette has gotten 3.2 million signatures. Alan Siegel, the creator of the NBA logo and currently the CEO of and president of the brand identity and communications consultancy firm Siegelvision, told Newsweek, “It’s quite clear that [Bryant] was a very respected figure by players and around the world and this is a really serious thing that the league should consider.”
Despite all the energy behind the change in the logo movement, it still looks unlikely to happen becuase too much money is involved. The current NBA logo brings in $3 billion a year in licensing fees.
Photo: Harry How / Getty