The first anniversary of Kobe Bryant’s tragic death has reignited discussions about changing the current NBA logo in his image.
The public outcry grew louder when Brooklyn Nets superstar Kyrie Irving recently voiced his support for the movement.
Kobe, after all, is a beloved figure around the world. To this day, millions of heartbroken fans still cannot grasp the reality that the Los Angeles Lakers legend is no longer with us physically. Some believe it is appropriate to honor Bryant with the ultimate tribute by associating the league’s image and branding with his silhouette.
Here are three reasons why Kobe Bryant as the new NBA logo is not going to happen anytime soon.
1. The NBA does not want to give an identity to the logo
By now, it’s like an open secret that Hall of Famer Jerry West is the inspiration for the iconic NBA logo. It’s blatantly obvious, as even logo designer Alan Siegel admitted to using West’s image when drawing the symbol. The NBA logo is almost as synonymous with West as Michael Jordan’s Jumpman stamp.
But despite the fact that everyone knows this fact, the league refuses to acknowledge this as fact to this day. As far as they’re concerned, it’s a default image of a completely random player just dribbling the ball the same way Jerry West is in this photo.
The simple reason? The NBA does not want to be associated with a single individual, considering the number of great players who made the league what it is today.
This has been the same tune that Commissioner Adam Silver has been playing in terms of dealing with the public outcry of a Kobe Bryant logo. The NBA has been adamant about it for years and it seems like they won’t back down even for a player as popular as Bryant.
2. It will be a commercial nightmare for the league
Suddenly changing him into the likeness of Bryant, or anyone else, involves a massive global overhaul that the league doesn’t want to deal with right now. The NBA is already very busy with its COVID-19 health and safety protocols.
Adding what could have been a completely avoidable problem like this is not something you are prepared to go through.
Sure, it’s good in theory, as honoring an all-time great like Bryant would be great PR, but it’s not a long-term pragmatic option.
Remember last season when LeBron James was prevented from handing over his number 23 jersey to Anthony Davis due to the huge throwback of the jersey that Nike has to make around the world? That’s just for one player on a team. Imagine how the league will handle rebranding its entire identity just to honor Bryant.
3. Can’t get used to the media
The death of Kobe Bryant is truly a national tragedy. Nobody deserves to go out that way, regardless of their status. Still, it’s pretty clear that the NBA just wants to remain objective in terms of this whole fiasco of the logo situation.
Suppose the league decides to put Bryant’s image as a permanent logo. What happens when another legend passes away, perhaps even bigger than Kobe? Arguably there will be more public clamor for another logo change.
This scenario alone creates total confusion for the league and its fans. Being the face of professional basketball should be considered the greatest tribute there is.
That distinction loses its eminence if the NBA has to deal with debates about whether a player is truly worthy enough to become the symbol of the league, let alone be forced to change it every time someone important passes away. (GG) (Fielding)