Campaign to change NBA logo to honor Kobe charges forward

The+idea+to+change+the+NBA+logo+to+honor+the+late+Kobe+Bryant+has+gained+momentum+on+social+media%2C+but+the+NBA+has+said+it+will+remain+the+same+for+now.

Tyson Beck

The idea to change the NBA logo to honor the late Kobe Bryant has gained momentum on social media, but the NBA has said it will remain the same for now.

In 1969, a brand consultant named Alan Siegel was assigned the duty of designing a logo for the NBA.  Although Jerry West wasn’t that huge of a star in the NBA back then, a silhouette of him dribbling the ball is a perfect presentation of someone playing the game. 

Siegel did consider Kareem Abdul Jabbar and Wilt Chamberlain for the logo before he decided to pick Jerry West. Siegel stated, “It’s an elegant, powerful presentation of basketball,” according to the San Francisco Chronicle. This logo is omnipresent around the league today.

Although West never embraced being the logo, he suggested that it should be either Abdul-Jabbar’s famous skyhook, Michael Jordan flying through the air, or Lebron James dunking. 

In a 2015 interview with the Huffington Post, West was the first one to come up with a suggestion that Jordan should be the logo. He explained, “I hate to say it’s not a Laker but Michael Jordan is one of the greatest players I’ve ever seen.”

Who will the logo be? Kareem’s Skyhook? King James? Air Jordan? Or the Black Mamba?”

Following the death of NBA legend Kobe Bryant, the discussion of the logo change has shifted mainstream and became one of the biggest debates in the basketball world. On the day of his death, a change.org petition was made and over 3 million people signed. 

The discussion gets more heated, as Brooklyn Nets starting SG, Kyrie Irving posted on Instagram with a photoshopped Kobe on the NBA logo as the caption said, “Gotta happen, IDC what anyone says, BLACK KINGS BUILT THIS LEAGUE.” 

At a press conference, NBA commissioner Adam Silver said that he has no plans on changing the logo to Kobe Bryant as of yet. Silver clarified, “There are no ongoing discussions right now at the office.” 

Who will the logo be? Kareem’s Skyhook? King James? Air Jordan? Or the Black Mamba?

As strong of a personality as Kobe was, I do not think he himself would ever think to put himself in place of Jerry West on the NBA logo.”

— Irman Arcibal, art teacher and basketball fan

Art Teacher Irman Arcibal personally thinks that the logo should not be changed. He said, “I personally do not think Jerry West’s silhouette should be replaced as the NBA logo. I know there has been a movement to use Kobe Bryant’s silhouette in its place, but as tragic as Kobe’s death was, I cannot say that it is reason enough to make a change.”

He added, “As far as I know, it is the only major sport logo that actually references an actual person’s likeness, but it is so classic and timeless that I do not think it needs to be updated. As strong of a personality as Kobe was, I do not think he himself would ever think to put himself in place of Jerry West on the NBA logo – he had the utmost respect for the man who brought him to the Lakers.”

Digital Arts Teacher, Viggen Rassam, also agreed. He said, “I do not think the logo needs replacing. So many excellent players have played in the league. I am not sure that you change the logo to reflect a single player. The artist who created the logo stated he didn’t pick Jerry West for the logo because it was Jerry West, but because the photo depicted the elegance and powerful presentation of the game. If more people researched things, there would be less confusion in the world.”