The aftermath of the late and great Kobe Bryant’s death, tributes have poured to honor the former basketball player. From heartfelt messages and memorials throughout Los Angeles, the celebration of Bryant’s memory and legacy have brought fans together to mourn the loss of a tour de force.
Yet, one of the proposed tributes envisions a whole new image for the NBA itself, by changing its iconic logo.
An online petition, started by 16-year-old Vancouver fan, Nikyar Moghtader, asks that the NBA change its current logo of player Jerry West, to the late Bryant.
The reason to change the logo is simple, yet compelling.
“With the untimely and unexpected passing of the great Kobe Bryant please sign this petition in an attempt to immortalize him forever as the new NBA Logo,” wrote the petitioner’s opening sentence.
Surpassing its goal of three million signatures, endorsed by NBA players and various celebrities including Snoop Dogg, the petition has gained significant traction.
This is not the first time the NBA logo has brought up the discussion.
Jerry West, a former Los Angeles Laker whose silhouette graces the current logo, said in a 2017 interview with ESPN’s The Jump that he wished the NBA would switch his image out for another player. His suggestion was Michael Jordan, though in light of recent events, Bryant would be a fitting tribute.
To change the NBA logo would be a large marketing and merchandising endeavor. Despite past attempts, there was never enough of a reason to change an image that’s been in circulation since 1969.
Just as Bryant was and continues to be an integral part of the NBA, some could argue the logo is just as significant to the sport’s identity. That’s entirely true.
However, few players encapsulate the passion and vigor that define the sport as Bryant did. Perhaps changing the logo serves as a remembrance of the greats, while looking towards the future. It represents the characteristics that make both Bryant and the sport he loved, great.
While it’s admittedly not likely that the NBA will change the logo, the outpouring of fans’ remembrances may be more significant than any branding or image.
Regardless of the NBA’s decision, fans like Moghtader and others across the globe will make their own tributes to Bryant’s legacy. He was far more than a poster boy to the sport and will be far more than a logo.