It’s no coincidence that in the same year that the NBA celebrates its 75th anniversary, the league is introducing a suite of trophies and awards that will feature new designs and honor iconic players like Larry Bird, Earvin “Magic” Johnson, Bob Cousy and Oscar Robertson.
During the conference finals, which could start on Sunday or Monday, one standout player will receive the first-ever Larry Bird Eastern Conference Finals MVP award, and another winner will take home the first-ever MVP award. of the Western Conference Finals Earvin “Magic” Johnson.
Johnson and Bird, both Basketball Hall of Famers who entered the league in 1979 and whose rivalry helped the NBA explode in popularity for several decades, are logical figures for the redesigned awards for excellence they represent in each conference. , depending on the league.
“Larry and Magic defined the ’80s and had that bicostal relationship that represented their conferences like no other two people have,” said Christopher Arena, who is the NBA’s head of brand and on-court partnerships. we thought it was perfect symmetry how you trickle down to the NBA Finals and potentially win that trophy bill russelland obviously the winningest player we have in our history.”
Additionally, the new Eastern Conference Championship trophy design will now bear the name of Cousy, a point guard who won six NBA championships with the Boston Celtics. The updated Western Conference Championship trophy will be named after Robertson, a point guard who won the 1971 NBA championship with the Milwaukee Bucks.
Both Robertson and Cousy are being honored for their contributions on the court, as well as the impact they had as the first presidents of the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA). Like the original trophies created in 2001, the Eastern and Western Conference champion trophies each raise a silver basketball.
“We landed on those four [ex jugadores] so we thought there were some pretty obvious reasons,” Arena said.
The renamed trophies aren’t the only changes the league has introduced this postseason, as several trophies have also been redesigned thanks to an ongoing collaboration with Los Angeles designer Victor Solomon, Tiffany & Co. and the league.
The Larry O’Brien NBA Championship Trophy, first introduced in 1977 and named after O’Brien in 1984, is getting a makeover. The updated version will feature a new circular base that will include the engraved names of all previous NBA champions, as well as toning down the appearance of the basketball on top of the trophy and the trophy column that features a basketball hoop. golden basketball
The Bill Russell Finals MVP trophy received a similar update. While the silhouettes of the Finals trophies won’t change too much, both will get a fresh look ahead of this year’s championship series, which kicks off as early as May 15.
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NBA Unveils New Trophies Honoring Bird and Magic