Kyrie Irving wants NBA to honor Kobe Bryant with new logo

Sports

Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving is calling on the NBA to change its logo to incorporate an image of the late Kobe Bryant. In a news conference Thursday following the Nets’ 129-92 win over the Orlando Magic, Irving explained why he’s advocating for the legendary NBA superstar who died last year in a helicopter crash.

“As a native Black man, as a native Black king, I think it’s part of my responsibility to continue to push our generation, our culture, forward,” he said. “I know that it probably was met with some people that love the idea and some people that don’t like it.”

“My thing is paying homage to the example that has been set by that man… He was the standard for our generation and he will continue on,” he added.

Irving, who was mentored by Bryant, also said he doesn’t want to discredit any other players who have contributed on and off the court for the game. 

His remarks came after Irving shared an Instagram post Wednesday with Bryant donning his signature No. 24 Los Angeles Lakers jersey in front of the NBA logo. In the caption, he wrote, “Gotta Happen, idc what anyone says. BLACK KINGS BUILT THE LEAGUE.”  Vanessa Bryant loved Irving’s idea.

So far, the NBA has not revealed any plans to change the logo, but the idea gained some momentum on February 24 – a date associated with Bryant because of his jersey number. A petition that was started last year now has more than 3.2 million signatures. Nikyar Moghtader, a fan from Vancouver, launched the petition and spoke to CBS News last January.

“What led me to make the petition was the fact that Kobe Bryant was a role model not only to me but to countless fans,” Moghtader said. “I thought that making him the NBA logo would be an amazing way to immortalize him in the NBA forever.”

While not officially acknowledged by the league, the current logo is a silhouette of NBA Hall of Fame player Jerry West. He said it was flattering, but thinks it should be changed.

“If they would want to change it, I wish they would,” West told ESPN in 2017. “In many ways, I wish they would.”

Earlier this month, federal safety officials blamed the helicopter crash that killed Bryant, his teen daughter Gianna and seven others on board last year on the pilot’s poor decision to fly into thick clouds.

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