Is it time for a change?
Kyrie Irving is a smart basketball player and a champion. His latest comments sparked debate across the NBA and sports world for that matter, but does he actually have any validity? On Wednesday, Kyrie Irving posted a picture of Kobe Bryant in front of the NBA logo with the caption: ‘Gotta Happen idc what anyone says. BLACK KINGS BUILT THE LEAGUE’. He also had to clarify that his caption was not about color, which in itself is a whole different conversation.
Irving has seen both positive and negative comments regarding his post. In Los Angeles, where Bryant spent his entire 20-year career, it has been a mix. Steve Mason, host of the Mason and Ireland show on ESPN 710 LA, which is the Lakers home radio station, came out after Kyrie posted his original image, Mason responded on twitter saying:
Mind you, Mason is the voice of ESPN LA radio, and his cohost is the voice of the Los Angeles Lakers, John Ireland.
Does there really need to be a change? Why does it have to be Kobe? Even the person who is depicted in the logo, Jerry West, said the logo needs to change. The logo represents the entire league, which is predominantly African American, so why not someone who has made an impact in the community, the game and a culture? If there was a debate of who should become the logo, why does it have to be in this era?
I propose three viable options to be the logo. My decision is based on not only Stats from playing career, but also off the court options.
Larry Bird: Now I know he isn’t someone you would think of when I say logo options, but 1st of all he is known as ‘Larry Legend’, but did you know the Twitter Logo is named ‘Larry’ after Larry Bird? The same Twitter that athletes use to help spread awareness across the world. He has won many awards, but he was also the first person to win: Rookie of the Year, League MVP, All Star Game MVP, Finals MVP, Coach of the Year and Executive of the Year in the NBA.
Michael Jordan: This one is an obvious pick, he is GOAT. He was the reason the Bulls were the team of the 90’s and won 7 titles. There is no other player like him. The argument is made about another player wearing 23, but that debate is for another day. The changes that came to the game were because of him, rules were changed, and he still dominated. He was the first real world known superstar of the NBA.
And now for the top 3:
Kareem Abdul Jabar/ Lou Alcindor:
One move that you knew was coming and you couldn’t stop: The Skyhook. Kareem has always been a person who spoke up for what he believed in, whether he was boycotting the 1968 Olympics for African American treatment in the US, or he became a cultural ambassador for the US. Kareem was also appointed to the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition. He was number three on the ESPN top 74 players of all time, behind only Lebron James and Michael Jordan. Plus, he is a Hall of Famer and kind of holds the record for Career Points.
He is THE MAN in the city of Boston when it comes to the NBA. Bill won 11 NBA titles as a player in 13 seasons, won a gold medal in the 1956 Olympics and won 2 NBA titles as a coach in 1968 and 1969. He did all this during a time in Boston that racial inequality was major in the nation. He was vocal about supporting Muhammed Ali in refusing to be drafted to the Vietnam war. He was the first black head coach in the NBA. He is in the top 50 players of all time in the NBA and number four on the ESPN top 74 list.
Let’s be clear, I don’t believe the logo of the league should change. Jerry West may believe so, but the logo is the league. If you look at the league, everybody dribbles the ball the way West does in the silhouette. I was almost 15 when I learned it was Jerry West. The logo doesn’t just represent the players in the league, it represents all players. It doesn’t matter who you are, what race you are or even what you believe in, it represents where you are. Did you know the MLB silhouette is of Harmon Killebrew? I found that out researching, and I have been a fan of MLB my whole life. If you change the logo what does that do? I understand that it represents a voice for the players, but if it means that much to people, why did it take so long for the conversation to happen. Jerry West said in 2017 he didn’t want to be the logo, and he didn’t mind it changing, that was four years ago now.