A year after his death, Kobe Bryant is still very much on the mind of the NBA global community, inspiring ongoing tributes all the way up to a controversial idea.
Out with Jerry West and in with Kobe?
The suggestion to swap the decades-old NBA silhouette logo from Hall of Famer West’s image to that of Kobe gained traction when Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving recently said the NBA could honor Bryant’s legacy further by making the change.
Vanessa Bryant, Kobe’s widow, voiced her support, and Lakers CEO Jeanie Buss quickly signed on.
“I agree with Vanessa Bryant,” Buss tweeted to her 389,000 followers. “Kobe set a standard and players agree too.”
But does the fact that Kobe died mean he’s more deserving of the logo than the league’s ultimate winner, Michael Jordan?
Seems to be a stretch.
Both Jordan and Bryant have their detractors, given their issues off the court, so the personalities aren’t a tiebreaker.
Veteran NBA player and current Philadelphia 76ers coach Doc Rivers is on the Jordan side – if a change must be considered at all.
“I have been asked that but I don’t know the answer to that,” River said. “I mean Michael Jordan would be the logo. … But I don’t know if you change for change. You usually change things because of history and you find something out that doesn’t fit.
“Jerry has been a deserving logo and I have no problem with him continuing to be the logo.”
After Bryant died, a petition on change.org was circulated. Today, with Irving’s comments, the signatures have grown to 3 million people with a goal of 4.5 million.
The movement is well-intentioned, but such a transcendent decision seems to be too much of a leap to be a slam-dunk “yes.”