NBA Logo: Time for a Change?

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Sammy Duncan, Staff Writer

January 26, 2020 is the day that a true legend died at the age of 41. Now over 2.8 million signatures have approved the petition to honor Kobe Bryant with a new NBA logo that was created by Canadian teenager Nikyar Moghtader.  

The current NBA logo is more than 50 years old and features Jerry West, a player for the Los Angeles Lakers 1960-1974 who went on to become the Lakers’ long-time general manager. West was the driving force behind the team’s key milestones, including signing Kobe Bryant fresh out of high school in 1996. 

Alan Siegel, creator of the original and current NBA logo, said although he’s previously been resistant to changing the logo, “things happen in the world that stimulate change, like this… 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 should be considered by the league.”

Jerry West stated, “I wish that it had never gotten out that I’m the logo.  I really do. I’ve said it more than once, and it’s flattering if that’s me — and I know it is me…  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.”

Upon news of Bryant’s death, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said, “The NBA family is devastated by the tragic passing of Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna.  For 20 seasons, Kobe showed us what is possible when remarkable talent blends with an absolute devotion to winning.  He was one of the most extraordinary players in the history of our game with accomplishments that are legendary:  five NBA championships, an NBA MVP award, 18 NBA All-Star selections, and two Olympic gold medals.  But he will be remembered most for inspiring people around the world to pick up a basketball and compete to the very best of their ability.  He was generous with the wisdom he acquired and saw it as his mission to share it with future generations of players, taking special delight in passing down his love of the game to Gianna.  We send our heartfelt condolences to his wife, Vanessa, and their family, the Lakers organization and the entire sports world.”

In 1999, sports media veteran Rob Parker proposed a new logo be made with Michael Jordan’s silhouette.  Jordan’s logo is already well-known because of his Nike brand, and social media didn’t exist back then, so the “idea couldn’t pick up enough international steam and celebrity pressure.”  Parker said, “Kobe was a great player.  And this is so tragic.  With all due respect, if the NBA changed its logo, Michael Jordan should get that honor.”

Commissioner Adam Silver hasn’t released a statement about changing the logo at all.