When Kobe Bryant died last year, the worldwide outpouring of grief was nearly impossible to measure. But one indicator of how many people felt strongly about him was a viral Change.org petition asking the NBA to replace the iconic silhouette of Jerry West dribbling a basketball with the late Lakers star in its logo, a request that was the first one on the website to gather over 1 million signatures in 2020. It currently has over 3.2 million names on it.
But it wasn’t just fans who wanted the NBA to honor Bryant this way. There were also multiple NBA players to voice their support for the idea, and now, on the one-year anniversary of the celebration of life that was held for Bryant and his daughter Gianna in Los Angeles, Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving has added his voice to the chorus asking the league to change its logo to the likeness of his longtime mentor:
Kobe’s widow, Vanessa Bryant, said “love this” while sharing Irving’s Instagram post:
Vanessa Bryant likes the idea. pic.twitter.com/SpWrljauup— NBA Insider Harrison Faigen (@hmfaigen) February 24, 2021
Those factors noted, it’s still unlikely that the league will change its logo to Bryant for a variety of reasons we touched on last year:
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.
Now, maybe Vanessa’s endorsement — and that of West himself — changes things here, but until we hear otherwise, file this one away as “unlikely” for now.
Would you like to see the NBA make Kobe its logo? Let us know in the comments below, and 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.