Community Shootaround: Honoring Kobe Bryant

A Change.org petition asking the NBA to make Kobe Bryant the league’s new logo has surpassed two million signatures, and that idea has some support among players too. Hornets center Bismack Biyombo, the vice president of the National Basketball Players Association, tells Roderick Boone of The Athletic that he’d be on board with the idea of having Bryant’s silhouette replace Jerry West‘s on the league’s logo.

“We are hoping,” Biyombo said. “The NBA is going to do something. As a player, I think you want to see that. You just want to see that because of what the guy has meant to the game, to be honest. For me, I think as a player, I would really like to embrace that because you’ve seen the change, and you’ve seen it over the course of the years. Kobe, he wants to teach. As we see now, he opened the academy, and everybody was going to his academy, and the guy was present there early in the morning early to teach. There’s not many people who are doing that.

“(Making him the logo), it’s an appreciation of what the guy has done for the game of basketball, and that’s what I think we all should be thinking about.”

Biyombo is right that the NBA will certainly find a way to honor the memory of Bryant, who died on Sunday in a tragic helicopter crash near Los Angeles. However, the idea of changing the NBA’s logo isn’t the only one that has been floated this week.

ESPN’s Mike Greenberg (video link) suggested on Get Up this morning that the NBA should name an award after Bryant, in the same way that Bill Russell is the namesake for the league’s NBA Finals MVP award. Pointing to Bryant’s longtime presence and popularity in Europe and Asia, Greenberg proposed that the award named after Kobe could be given annually to the player who does the most to grow the game internationally.

Other suggestions for ways to honor Bryant have involved his jersey numbers. Chris Mannix of SI.com (Twitter link) wondered if the NBA might have this year’s two All-Star teams wear No. 8 (for Team LeBron) and No. 24 (for Team Giannis) uniforms.

Mavericks owner Mark Cuban announced this week that his team will retire No. 24 in honor of Bryant. There has been speculation that other teams could follow suit. The Lakers, of course, have already retired both No. 8 and No. 24.

We want to know what you think. What would be an appropriate tribute by the NBA to honor Bryant’s memory?

Head to the comment section below to share your thoughts.

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46 thoughts on “Community Shootaround: Honoring Kobe Bryant

  1. Re-doing the logo is a knee-jerk reaction that should be avoided. Kobe has a decent amount of baggage that people are avoiding talking about because he just died.

    I think some sort of award may be more appropriate. I like the international idea. Maybe All-Star MVP or something?

    • AndreTheGiantKiller

      All Star MVP award makes the most sense since won 4 times, tied for the most ever

    • Shane

      As great and as special of a player he was I think this would be a mistake. He wasn’t the greatest and should we change the logo regularly? I think maybe an addition to the NBA uniforms next year would be fine.

    • Curtisrowe

      Yeah, the metoo thing is just a rumbling around Kobe right now, and rightfully so, but if the logo were to be changed, that would blow up.

    • I agree, plus if they were going to change the logo, I’d actually like to see some kind of mock up beforehand instead of just Kobe’s picture over the existing logo (like on the Change petition). Unless that’s the idea? In which case, absolutely not.

    • Phattey

      Change the logo we’re getting to the point where no one even knows who the logo is

  2. hiflew

    If the logo is changing, it should be Michael Jordan. But honestly, I think it should remain Jerry West in perpetuity. It’s an iconic image that doesn’t need to change.

    • apaca1ypse

      The icon switch has been proposed before to keep up with the evolving game. It’s not my first choice, but I’m not against this either.

      • jump shot

        There is literally no reason why the Jerry West logo should NEVER change. He wasn’t THAT good. Its a nice logo, sure, but to say it should never – like never – change… why not?
        I’m in the moment and admit I thought of Kobe being the new logo. But, in reality, if it changed, it should be to Jordan’s silhouette. But, if I were commissioner, I would change the logo to Kobe for the ‘20-21 season to honor him. Then back to Jerry West.

        • Reflect

          Honoring the #1 player isn’t the point of a logo. Apples aren’t the best fruit either but it’s worked for them. A logo is about comfort and brand. The NBA logo works as is. There’s reasons to change it but “this guy is better than that guy” doesn’t really fit as one of them.

  3. Shane

    As great and as special of a player he was I think this would be a mistake. He wasn’t the greatest and should we change the logo regularly? I think maybe an addition to the NBA uniforms next year would be fine.

  4. Jmac2020

    Shouldnt change the logo. This is how some people grieve about kobes death by trying to honor him but its not the right thing to do. Again as other stated above naming an award under his name is more appropriate thing to do.

    I also dont think 24 should be retired league wide and if it were to happen i think 23 should be retired because the impact mj had on basketball far exceeded anything kobe did. Again much respect to kobe and everything he did but these options aren’t the right thing to do.

  5. Tazza

    I reckon change the Logo.
    Jerry West himself has said he’s never wanted to be the logo and he’d be happy if they changed it so that’s already 1 tick.
    Secondly they have looked into it in the past but didn’t follow through so obviously someone people in the NBA front offices wouldn’t mind a change.
    The NBA logo is symbolic. It’s world wide.
    When you think of basketball from 1920-2020 the first 3 people to come to your head are Kobe, MJ and LBJ. They are the global superstars of the sport who are iconic.
    The logo doesn’t have to be the best played cause then it would always be debated, and it doesn’t have to be the best imagine of a player.
    Even after his retirement Kobe always tries to grow and improve the game of basketball with his camps and speeches. He became the biggest ambassador to the game not just the league.

    • harden-westbrook-mvps

      I suppose when millennials think of basketball from 1920-2020 those are the first 3 people to come to their heads. But for everyone else the only one of those three is Jordan, not Kobe or LBJ.

      • Exactly. I’m not even that old, but I’d think of Magic and Wilt (with Jordan) before anyone else. I’d even think of Shaq before Kobe.

      • Matt Kimball

        Umm, there is a guy named Kareem who is the GOAT. Not Jordan. Jordan is a solid number 2.

    • Tazza

      Must just be an old timers thing, im 32 and I still remember throwing paper balls in the rubbish yelling Kobe. I guess who you think of first comes down to who had the biggest impact on you. This isn’t any bias towards Kobe I personally think LBJ is the best player ever too.

  6. madmanTX

    If they change the logo, I’m done watching the NBA. I’ve bit my tongue, but enough is enough. At the minimum, this dude committed adultery but he never was exonerated from doing something far worse, just bullied and bought his way out of it.

    • El Don

      Shame on you!
      Didn’t yo momma ever tell you that if you have nothing nice to say about someone, say nothing at all?
      Please be done & don’t watch NBA no more, no one needs you…

    • If ‘committed adultery’ is a line in the sand for you, you might not want to look into the personal lives of many other professional athletes.

  7. Naming an award is a reasonable way to honor Kobe. But it begs the question “Whose death do you stop with?” Changing the logo is for the whole NBA is huge over reach. The more appropriate honor to me is for the Lakers to name their player of the year award after Kobe. He only played for the Lakers, after all. And, even then, it is hard to argue that Kobe is the best Laker of all time, with West, Baylor, Abdul-Jabber, etc.

  8. formerlyz

    I dont think kobe would want to replace Jerry West, just b/c of how he feels about history,and his personal relationship with him. I know Jerry West doesnt like being the logo, but I dont think that’s the way to go…

    I dont know about retiring his jersey numbers b/c I dont feel like Kobe would want that either. He would want guys to wear those numbers for him, and continue to push the game forward for the next generation. Just my opinion there.

    How about an award for the player that most exemplifies the qualities of Kobe Bryant on the floor as a competitor. Whether that include leader in 4th quarter scoring, or some combination of that, and guys that empty the tank every single night. Not sure how you quantify that though, but a good example is a Jimmy Butler or a Draymond Green the last few years, or a Damian Lillard, Russell Westbrook, Chris Paul, etc…guys like that…maybe it could be voted on by the players or maybe the assistant coaches

    Another possibility is maybe name the All Star game MVP after him. Not sure if it’s already named for someone else…

    Probably a bunch of possible things that would be nice to see, but I dont think it’s something that should be decided in haste

  9. FWIW, the NBA never selected or approved of Jerry West (or more specifically a particular picture of him) being the basis of the player silhouette in the logo (and, to my knowledge, has never even publicly acknowledged he, or it, was). That being the case, it’s unlikely the league would affirmatively commission a new logo to depict another specific player.

    I believe the logo creator hired by the NBA decided on including a player silhouette and using a picture of West for it because he liked the picture, not necessarily West as a player. If the NBA has owned up to it, it’s only been recently.

  10. tvar10

    I understand his death and the death of the other people involved was very tragic, but if he was still alive would we be having the conversation about changing the NBA logo to him? Other players who were younger than him who made an impact on the NBA died before he did (Reggie Lewis, Bobby Phills, Malik Sealy, Pete Maravich).

    If the NBA were to change the logo (which I dont think should be done) I believe it should be to Bill Russell or Michael Jordan.

  11. washington_bonercats

    All I see are comments about well if Kobe could be the logo where do you stop? Who else gets these things? And if we’re gonna change the logo it should be Jordan!

    STOP

    You have missed the entire point. Kobe gave everything thing he had to this sport. He sacrificed day in and day out because basketball meant everything to him. You could not name one player right now who EVER worked harder than Kobe Bryant. The sentiment behind the logo change is more than just “We miss Kobe”. He gave the NBA everything. Its the NBA’s turn to give. This is not about who’s better. Its about what’s right.

    • ThePeople'sElbow

      I see. So you’re deciding what’s “right” for all of us. How blessed are we to be graced by the grand arbiter of the universe!

      • Curtisrowe

        How could a guy named “bonercats’ not know what is right for everyone?

    • mcmillankmm

      By Washington’s response above, David Stern should be the logo then

  12. Mlpurciful82

    Kobe may not be the best ever but he is one of the best ever, but nobody worked harder than Kobe to be the best. Not only was his work ethic Legendary but his passion and commitment to the game and it’s future as well. There is not a player in the league today that was not influenced or impacted by Kobe in some way. along with millions of kids in schools at every level to the parks and driveways around the World. Nobody has made a bigger impact, Not Jordan not Lebron , Duncan Magic, Shaq Bird, Russell, Wilt or anybody else, spanning so many generations than Kobe. And that is why they want to honor him in a special way,

  13. Chucktoad1

    How to honor Kobe?
    First I’ll address the big elephant in the room. Adultery was an issue between Kobe and Vanessa if she forgave him and by all appearances she did then so should everyone else that holds that against him. Now the rape charge. Something happened in that hotel room in Colorado that both parties were not entirely comfortable with. Even Kobe felt the need to apologize.
    Kobe spent the last 15 years of his life as a true ambassador to the game, and passed on his knowledge to the younger generation. He has a huge impact on a lot of current players lives.
    On a personal level it seems he was great father to his daughters.
    So to honor Kobe? I think the logo is to much. Jerry west did a lot for the game and still continues to do even at the age of 81.
    I don’t have a problem with retiring his numbers league wide. Number 99 will never be worn by another player in the NHL in honor of Gretzky, so why not? As far as immediate? Everyone wear the numbers 8 and 24 in the all star game as a tribute to Bryant and then put the numbers in the rafters of every arena in the league.

  14. bowserhound

    Nike will never allow Jordan to be the logo, they own the logo.
    MJ is still alive, West doesn’t mind it, change it to Kobe. Work ethic. Relentlessness. Legend. All things everyone in the NBA should strive for, unlike most of you reading this.

    • L Lawliet

      Get off his nuts! AND worry about what you are doing on the planet, instead of what everyone else is doing.

  15. rbell1951

    Yes change the logo to a image of Kobe, he definitely qualifies. Here’s just one qualification 18 all star appearances in his 20 year nba career. I have more if needed!!!

    • Eric Lord

      He was also charged with rape & paid the victim off to never go public with the incident. The NBA shouldn’t change the logo to someone with that incident on his resume. Yes, he was a great player & did a lot of good for people, but when you consider a person’s impact, you have to take the bad with the good

  16. phillyballers

    The actual logo is still alive. Jerry West. I see nothing wrong with the logo. Jordan would be the only logical change from West. Love Kobe but I dont even think I know of an iconic pose of his other than the fadeaway.

  17. x%sure

    Approval of a logo change would depend a lot on execution. It could be updated: The pose chosen looks perhaps too clearly like a white player, Jerry West or no. I do not know of an actual West photo modeled from. To put that silhouette beside an apparent black man’s silhouette with “NBA” between would be an appropriate update.

    Since Kobe died young, he is by conventional standards a good choice for some honor, even a previously unassociated one. He did have good BB form. At least, this choice prevents debate about who should be chosen. He has stayed strong in retirement, which the black community may need after other potential role models turned out letdowns (Prince, Micl Jackson, Bill Cosby). He did mature after a problematical youthful attitude. Few players never adultered.

    I don’t care for him myself but that is a personal choice. Realistically though, he wasn’t getting worse, and, success in this sport professionally may require an antisocial attitude in youth.

  18. SheaGoodbye

    Don’t change the logo. That would be taking this too far, no disrespect to Kobe.

    A special award named after him and/or the retiring of his number is as far as I’d take things. And I think either option would represent a sufficient way to remember them.

    The left is rest to our collective hearts to take up that mantle.

  19. bothymam24

    In my opinion I believe the best course of action is an award like the Walter Payton or the Roberto Clemente awards. While Kobe wasn’t as forward with what he gave back, he definitely did. He helped so many outside of just the game that I feel an award that shows the character he was outside of the game is right way to go

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