Kyrie Irving Wants Kobe Bryant in NBA Logo: 'Black Kings Built the League'

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorFebruary 24, 2021

Former Los Angeles Laker Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna Bryant attend an NBA basketball game between the Los Angeles Lakers and Dallas Mavericks Sunday, Dec. 29, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Michael Owen Baker)
Michael Owen Baker/Associated Press

Brooklyn Nets point guard Kyrie Irving wants Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant in the NBA logo, making his case via Instagram on Wednesday.

Oruny @OrunyChoi

“BLACK KINGS BUILT THE LEAGUE” Kyrie Irving proposing a new NBA logo and he has a point https://t.co/GYPyeI0JfP

"Gotta Happen, idc what anyone says. BLACK KINGS BUILT THE LEAGUE," Irving wrote.

The NBA's current logo was created in 1969 by Alan Siegel, who used a Wen Roberts photo of former Lakers great Jerry West as inspiration for his design. Siegel spoke with Aaron Dodson of The Undefeated about it in June 2017:

"I started thinking about it and was very close with Dick Schaap, the sportswriter. He was working at SPORT magazine, so I asked him if I could look at their photo files. I went through the files and I found a number of images of NBA players ... I found a picture of Jerry West, which is what I used as the basis of the logo."

Irving may be on to something in regard to a change.

And West would be perfectly fine with a new logo, per a conversation on ESPN's The Jump in April 2017 (h/t Dodson).

"I wish that it had never gotten out that I'm the logo, I really do," West said.

"I've said it more than once, and it's flattering if that's me—and I know it is me—but it is flattering. ... If I were the NBA, I would be embarrassed about it. I really would. ... I don't like to do anything to call attention to myself ... that's just not who I am, period. If they would want to change it, I wish they would. In many ways, I wish they would."

Other NBA stars were considered, such as Wilt Chamberlain and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. In the end, Siegel went with West.

The NBA has great inspiration to draw from if it ever wants to revamp the logo based on the image of a Black superstar who helped build the foundation of the league's current success. The aforementioned centers, Michael Jordan, LeBron James, Magic Johnson and many more are responsible for the advancement of the game to where it is today. 

Bryant is another option, too, and his patented fadeaway jumper wouldn't be a bad option if the NBA still wants to go the silhouette route.

The Lakers legend starred in the NBA for 20 seasons, making 18 All-Star Games, winning five NBA championships, a pair of scoring titles and the 2007-08 NBA MVP, among other accolades.