Following the tragic death of Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna and seven others on Sunday morning, countless people have searched for ways to memorialize the Lakers legend. Many have participated in the memorials popping up in Los Angeles and around the globe, and at least one fan had an even bolder, more permanent idea: To change the NBA logo to Bryant’s silhouette.
The league currently uses the shape of fellow Lakers guard and the man who drafted Bryant, Jerry West — although they have, for legal reasons, never admitted it — but on Sunday, a Vancouver native identified only as Nick M. put up a petition to the NBA, asking the league to change their signature logo to forever commemorate the loss of Bryant.
The response has been overwhelming. As of publishing time, the petition has gathered 1,872,451 signatures, including shares and endorsements from celebrities like Snoop Dogg, T.I., Justin Bieber, Usher, Vanessa Hudgens, Adam Levine, Meek Mill and Naomi Campbell.
A spokesperson for Change says it’s the first petition on the website to gather over one million signatures in 2020. In a statement, Nick thanked everyone who had supported the cause, calling it “overwhelmingly amazing” to see how many people had signed.
“All of this is for Kobe! I wish Kobe was still here and I never had to make this petition,” Nick said. “But sadly that isn’t the case. My condolences go out to the Bryant family and everyone who was involved in this accident.”
He and the literal millions of others who have signed the document aren’t the only ones who think a logo change is a good idea, either. It would seem the idea is gathering at least some support internally, as Bismack Biyombo — a center for the Charlotte Hornets and a National Basketball Players Association vice president — and teammate Miles Bridges both spoke to Roderick Boone of the Athletic about liking the idea of turning Bryant into the new logo:
“(Making him the logo), it’s an appreciation of what the guy has done for the game of basketball, and that’s what I think we all should be thinking about.”
At least one of Biyombo’s teammates agreed. Bryant influenced Miles Bridges. The second-year player watched footage of the five-time NBA Finals champion any chance he got prior to taking the floor in high school and at Michigan State. He’s on board with rebranding the league’s silhouette to Bryant’s likeness.
“Yeah, I think they should make him the logo. I think they should retire 8 and 24 on every team,” Bridges said. “Yeah, I definitely think he should be the logo for sure. You could see the shock around the league when it happened. How many people it affected, players. It affected everybody in the NBA. So I feel like no player has had an impact — besides MJ — on anybody like Kobe. So I feel like he should definitely be the logo.”
Despite all that support, it remains to be seen how feasible the idea of changing the logo would be. For one, there would surely be all sorts of legal complications to doing so, given that the NBA has never publicly acknowledged West as the logo, and would have a hard time passing off this change as not being directly related to Bryant. There is also the reality that this logo has stood the test of time and is easily identifiable. As iconic as Bryant’s signature fadeaway jump shot pose is, it would be a change from something that has existed on merchandise for years, and surely no small expense to alter.
Still, just the fact that this idea has gathered so many people behind it shows how indelible Bryant’s impact was on the current NBA and its fans. As a result, the league will surely do something to commemorate him. It just may not be this exact request.
If you’d like to sign the petition to change the logo, you can do so here. For more Lakers talk, subscribe to the Silver Screen and Roll podcast feed on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher or Google Podcasts. You can follow Harrison on Twitter at @hmfaigen.