US basketball

NBA renames MVP trophy after Michael Jordan

Reuters
NBA renames MVP trophy after Michael Jordan

TOP HONORS. This season's MVP will receive the Michael Jordan Trophy (left), while the Clutch Player of Year will cop the Jerry West Trophy.

NBA

In a nod to legends, the NBA renames the trophy given to its regular season MVP after Michael Jordan, as well as other awards after the league pioneers

A rebrand of NBA awards to honor legends Wilt Chamberlain, John Havlicek, Michael Jordan, George Mikan, Hakeem Olajuwon, and Jerry West was unveiled on Tuesday, December 13.

Following a path set in naming the All-Star Game MVP trophy after Kobe Bryant, the NBA revealed the league MVP trophy would be reestablished as The Michael Jordan Trophy this season. Jordan won the MVP award five times and is a six-time NBA champion.

In a statement Tuesday, the NBA said its lineup of reimagined trophies “honors the league pioneers who helped define the standards of excellence that these trophies represent.”

“Our new collection of trophies celebrates some of the greatest and most impactful players in the history of the NBA,” commissioner Adam Silver said. “As we recognize the league’s top performers each season, we also pay tribute to the legends who embody these prestigious awards.”

A new award, the NBA Clutch Player of the Year, will receive The Jerry West Trophy to be voted on by a media panel based on nominations from NBA head coaches. Nominations are to be based on which player “best comes through for his teammates in the clutch” the NBA said in a release.

The league established the following legends-driven trophies for annual awards starting with the 2022-2023 season:

  • Michael Jordan Trophy: MVP
  • Hakeem Olajuwon Trophy: Defensive Player of the Year
  • Wilt Chamberlain Trophy: Rookie Of the Year
  • Jerry West Trophy: Clutch Player of Year
  • John Havlicek Trophy: Sixth Man of Year
  • George Mikan Trophy: Most Improved Player of the Year

The bronze Michael Jordan Trophy features a player breaking out of a rock to reach for a crystal basketball that consists of 23 points, a nod to Jordan’s jersey number. It stands 23.6 inches tall and weighs 23.6 pounds.

The trophy’s namesake badge is six-sided, a nod to the six NBA championships Jordan won with the Chicago Bulls, while its five-sided base is a nod to the five league Most Valuable Player awards he won during his Hall of Fame career.

Jordan had a direct say in the design project with the NBA. Mark Smith, retired VP of Innovation Special Projects at Nike, Inc., and Jordan Brand designer, worked in creative partnership with Jordan.

“As we worked together on this project, it was very important to Michael that the figure not be a likeness of him, but instead that the recipient should be able to see himself in the award,” Smith said. “For Michael, naming the award in his honor was recognition enough.” – Rappler.com

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