Whether you’re an avid basketball fanatic or not, the NBA logo is one that has come to be recognizable and familiar in households across America.
But, one NBA player thinks the league’s logo should be changed because it doesn’t accurately represent the number of black players.
In an Instagram post Wednesday, Kyrie Irving of the Brooklyn Nets argued that “black kings built the league,” so the NBA’s logo should be changed to honor and reflect that.
“Gotta happen, [I don’t care] what anyone says,” Irving wrote.
The current, longtime NBA logo shows the silhouette of a tall man dribbling a basketball. Though no race is clearly observable, the graphic is reportedly based on a photo of former Los Angeles Lakers star Jerry West, a white man, according to BizPacReview.
This might be an unpopular opinion, but I like Jerry West as the NBA Logo. pic.twitter.com/1hgV9LSKOi
— In My Mind (@MeAloneInMyMind) February 24, 2021
Despite this, Irving still wants the NBA to change the logo to a picture of the late and great Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant. The proposed logo, a picture of Bryant rather than a silhouette, would make the logo all about race.
The designer of the current logo, Alan Siegel, urged that the NBA was never trying to pay tribute to West specifically. Instead, they wanted to pay tribute to all players.
“They want to institutionalize it rather than individualized it. It’s become such an ubiquitous, classic symbol and focal point of their identity and their licensing program that they don’t necessarily want to identify it with one player,” Siegel said in a 2010 Los Angeles Times interview.
“It had a nice flavor to it, so I took that picture and we traced it. It was perfect. It was vertical and it had a sense of movement. It was just one of those things that clicked. Nobody else said anything. And when we did the publicity, nobody ever asked whether it was Jerry West,” he added.
Irving is just one of many who want to bring race into the NBA logo. After Kobe Bryant’s death last year, a petition was created to “immortalize him forever as the new NBA logo.”
As of February 2021, the petition reached over three million signatures, including endorsements from celebrities like Snoop Dogg, T.I., Justin Bieber, Usher, Vanessa Hudgens, Adam Levine, Meek Mill and Naomi Campbell, BizPacReview reports.
More than 3 million people have signed this petition started by a teenager in Canada, asking the @NBA to change their logo to pay tribute to Kobe Bryant. It's now one of the largest's petitions in our site's history. #KobeBryant #RIPKobe #RIPMamba https://t.co/rhYDUtxzgt
— Change.org (@Change) January 31, 2020
While honoring the life of basketball legend Kobe Bryant is understandable, making the NBA logo about race is questionable.
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