Kyrie Irving amplifies push to change NBA logo to Kobe Bryant
Kyrie Irving created a seismic stir across the NBA landscape earlier this week by suggesting that the NBA’s iconic logo should be changed to honor the late Kobe Bryant.
While there are no shortage of opinions on such a potentially polarizing subject, the Brooklyn Nets star has since elaborated on his opinion that the NBA logo should be the legendary Los Angeles Lakers superstar.
Following the Nets’ 129-92 victory over the Orlando Magic Thursday night, Irving doubled down on his stance regarding Bryant.
Kyrie Irving further echoes his call for Kobe Bryant to be the new logo of the NBA:— Nets Videos (@SNYNets) February 26, 2021
"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" pic.twitter.com/s21zowRjdg
“I know that it probably was met with some people that love it — that love the idea — and some people that don’t love it,” Irving said following the red-hot Nets’ eighth consecutive victory. “But, my thing is paying homage to the example that has been set by that man.”
Irving initiated the debate with an Instagram post earlier this week in which an image of Bryant is superimposed over the NBA logo. Irving wrote, “Gotta Happen, idc what anyone says. BLACK KINGS BUILT THE LEAGUE.”
The enigmatic Irving, among the most thoughtful, complex and socially aware players in the NBA was particularly expansive Thursday night in explaining what inspired him to push for Bryant’s representation on the NBA logo.
“We want to set a standard and precedent like this is excellence,” Irving continued, via masslive.com. “Kobe Bryant. Logo. Yes. Needs to happen. I don’t care what anyone says. … As a native Black man, a native Black king, it’s part of my responsibility to continue to push our culture forward. I know that it probably was met with some people who 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.
“Kobe should be the logo because we have so many examples of guys that did things on and off the floor that were leaps and bounds for us to be where we are now,” Irving added. “He’s the guy for me, a mentor. He’s more than just an inspiration. I took a lot of knowledge and wisdom from that guy. He’s always around me. Gigi is always around me, and I know in the women’s game we want to continue to push things forward, but in our game, too, we want to set a standard and precedent that this is excellence. … I think he deserves it. I think his family deserves it. I think we deserve it as seeing greatness personified as Mamba. And anyone that’s coming into the league should know that that’s the example that was set.”
The events of the past year and the social unrest that followed the police-involved deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, among others, ignited a widespread reckoning on racial injustice across the country, including when the NBA resumed its season in the bubble at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla.
Irving, who did not join the Nets in the bubble due to injury, was among the most outspoken players when it came to questioning the wisdom of playing out the season amid such widespread social turmoil.
The current NBA logo of course is a silhouette of Jerry West. The Lakers icon has gone on record in the past to express how he’d welcome the league updating the logo.
Bryant tragically perished along with daughter Gianna and seven others in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, Calif., on Jan. 26, 2020.