In late February, Irving posted a photo on his Instagram account of late Lakers legend Kobe Bryant in front of the NBA logo, obscuring the white silhouette normally featured on it.
This is what the NBA logo should look like, according to Irving.
“Gotta happen, idc what anyone says,” Irving captioned his photo. “BLACK KINGS BUILT THE LEAGUE.”
On Saturday, NBA commissioner Adam Silver responded.
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Silver Balks at Idea of NBA Logo Change
On Saturday, a day before the All-Star Game, Silver addressed the media, mostly fielding questions about why All-Star Weekend continued to move forward in the midst of a pandemic.
But one question concerned the idea of changing the NBA logo and Irving’s push to make it happen.
“There are no ongoing discussions right now at the league office,” Silver said, according to New York Times reporter Marc Stein.
Silver added: “It just doesn’t feel like the right moment” to change the league’s logo, per Stein.
Irving’s Facebook post has garnered incredible momentum since he posted it a couple of weeks ago; the post has nearly 1.3 million likes so far.
Vanessa Bryant, Kobe’s widow, was one of the first to fully support the idea. She shared Irving’s post via her Instagram story with her own caption, “love this.”
Meanwhile, Jerry West, the inspiration for the silhouette on the NBA’s logo, is on record saying he’d be fine with someone replacing him as “The Logo,” per Adam Zagoria of Forbes.
West, a Lakers legend in his own right, has continually thrown high praise at Bryant over the years. And back in 2017, West said on ESPN’s “The Jump” that he “wished” he would be replaced, per Zagoria.
“First of all, I wish that had never gotten out, that logo,” he said. “No I do, really. I’ve said it more than once. It’s flattering that it’s me, and I know it is me, and it is flattering. To me, I played in the time when they first started to market the league, there were five people they were gonna consider. I didn’t find out about it until the late commissioner told me about it, Walter Kennedy, and then obviously the New York Times NYT +0.5% had a big article about it. Again, it’s flattering, but if I were the NBA, I would be embarrassed about. I don’t like to do anything to call attention to myself, and when people [call him The Logo], that’s just not who I am, period. If they would want to change it, I wish they would. In many ways I wish they would.”
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Irving Still Following in Kobe’s Footsteps
Irving, like the rest of the basketball world, was devastated by the untimely death of Kobe on January 20, 2020. Bryant was killed at 41 in a helicopter crash along with his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven others.
“It’s an open wound,” Irving said a few days later, via Yahoo. “I’m not the only one that’s hurting. I don’t wanna make this about me and our relationship because we all shared something really, really strong with him. There’s a bond whether watching him or studying him. We all shared something.”
Irving, the No. 1 overall pick in 2011 out of Duke, continues to credit the late Bryant for inspiring him to reach his own greatness.
“In some ancient texts it says when the student is ready, the teacher will appear,” Irving said shortly after Bryant’s death, via Yahoo. “I had that type of mentorship relationship with him. I could ask him anything, no matter how nervous or how fearful I was. He was easy to approach with those type of questions with what goes on in a day-in and day-out basis on chasing something that’s bigger than yourself.
“When you’re trying to leave a legacy or a mark on the game, there will come a lot of sacrifices and a lot of hate, a lot of love and a lot of balance you must create in your life … He left a lot of teachings, a lot of bread crumbs, as I call them. And I just followed every single one of them. That probably pays a lot of focus into the person I am today. Just listening, seeing what he was creating. Seeing his daughter, Gigi, and opening doors in women’s sports. We talked about it all the time. I wanted that same structure.”