Kyrie Irving said Wednesday that Kobe Bryant should be the new NBA logo, reigniting a debate on the issue.
“[I don’t care] whatever others say, “Irving wrote in an Instagram post next to a mockup of the Kobe logo, adding in all caps:” BLACK KINGS BUILT THE LEAGUE. “
This isn’t the first push for Bryant to replace legend Jerry West as the new NBA logo.
Shortly after Bryant and his daughter Gianna were killed in a helicopter crash on January 26, 2020, along with seven other people, more than two million people signed an online petition for the logo change. Since Irving’s publication, the petition now has more than 3.2 million signatures as of Wednesday night.
Vanessa Bryant, Kobe’s widow, also took to Instagram to support Irving’s push, writing, “I love this @kyrieirving.”
Alan Siegel, who created the logo, also said at the time of Bryant’s death that he was willing to change it.
“It is quite clear that this [Bryant] he was a very respected figure by players and around the world and this is something really serious that the league should consider, ”Siegel told Newsweek.
West, who hasn’t taken advantage of the logo image, also said in 2015 that he was open to the logo change, suggesting Michael Jordan.
The NBA did not change the logo, which has been in use since 1969, because it does not recognize that West is the player in the logo, according to a Yahoo Sports report at the time.
According to the report, the NBA’s idea of not having an individual player as a logo is because since there are so many players who have been instrumental in the growth of the game, it is better to be generic.
Bryant’s life was not without controversy. In 2003, a 19-year-old hotel clerk accused the Los Angeles Lakers star, then 25, of raping her in her hotel room at The Lodge and Spa at Cordillera in Edwards, Colorado.
Prosecutors dropped the charges in 2004 after the accuser failed to testify. A civil case that he filed against him was settled out of court in 2005 for an undisclosed amount.
Bryant was Irving’s idol growing up in West Orange, New Jersey, studying YouTube clips of the Lakers icon. They became friends and Irving FaceTimed Bryant from the Cavaliers locker room right after winning the 2016 NBA title.