UPDATED 2/26, 3:25 p.m. ET: Kyrie Irving is extremely determined to make Kobe Bryant’s silhouette the new NBA logo. He commented again on the matter on Thursday night during a press conference.
“My thing is paying homage to the example that’s been set by that man,” Irving said. “Kobe Bryant. Logo. Yes. Needs to happen. I don’t care what anyone says. Black kings built the league. That’s exactly what I meant, it’s exactly where I stand.”
The NBA hasn’t shared any upcoming plans to switch out the logo, which is a silhouette of Jerry West.
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Kyrie Irving reignited the discussion around changing the NBA logo to Kobe Bryant with an Instagram post on Wednesday. The Brooklyn Nets point guard shared a mock-up/tribute of the late Bryant in the place of the silhouette of Jerry West, who occupies the current logo. He argued that a league made up of predominantly black players should feature a black athlete as its logo.
“Gotta Happen, idc what anyone says,” he wrote. “BLACK KINGS BUILT THE LEAGUE.”
The mock-up, like the push to replace West with Bryant, has been at the center of NBA discourse for over a year. It was created by designer Tyson Beck around the time of Bryant’s passing, and a petition to replace the long-standing logo was created shortly after Bryant’s death. The momentum is definitely there, as it’s received over 3.2 million signatures to date. The current NBA logo was created in 1969 by Alan Siegel using a photograph of West.
For Irving, the change would better represent the league half a century later. The Nets star was close with Bryant, who mentored Irving through his early days after the pair met playing for Team USA. Their bond was so strong that Irving called Bryant from the locker room after he won a championship in 2016.
“I actually FaceTimed Kobe after the game as soon as I got in the locker room,” Irving told ThePostGame in 2016. “[Bryant] was telling me congrats. I had been speaking to him throughout the entire playoffs and during the season. During the Finals, we didn’t really talk as much, because for me, I wanted to experience it full on, and if I needed his help, I would reach out to him. He would send me some texts here and there, but mainly he kind of let me be, and let me grow into my own space.”