Will Kobe Bryant replace Jerry West as NBA logo? Kyrie Irving sparks debate, fans agree 'it's time for change'

The logo that represents the NBA was created back in 1969 by Alan Siegel using the photograph of Jerry West

                            Will Kobe Bryant replace Jerry West as NBA logo? Kyrie Irving sparks debate, fans agree 'it's time for change'
Kobe Bryant of Los Angeles Lakers and Kyrie Irving of Cleveland Cavaliers (Getty Images)

Posting on Instagram on Wednesday, Kyrie Irving, Brooklyn Nets point guard, has officially re-started the debate on whether the NBA logo should be changed to the late Kobe Bryant. The post shared by the player on social media saw a rough draft of Bryant replace the NBA logo silhouette that is currently of Jerry West.

Complex revealed that Irving "argued" that the NBA is made of predominantly Black players and so it's logo should feature a Black athlete. After Irving's post on Instagram, Twitter was teeming with opinions. While some asked people to support Irving simply because West doesn't mind the logo being replaced, others wondered why Michael Jordan can't be on the logo. Read on to understand more on the debate.


Jerry West: Basketball legend immortalized on NBA logo also brought 17-year-old Kobe Bryant to Lakers in 1996

1.5M fans sign petition to have Kobe Bryant's silhouette in NBA logo to 'immortalize' the basketball legend

Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers and Kyrie Irving #2 of the Cleveland Cavaliers pause on the court during the first half at Quicken Loans Arena on February 10, 2016, in Cleveland, Ohio (Getty Images)

Why does Irving want the NBA logo changed?

As per Complex, the topic of changing the logo has been at the "center of NBA discourse" for more than a year. The mock logo featuring Bryant was created by Tyson Beck, a designer, around the time Bryant had died in a chopper crash and there was also a petition to replace the logo. The logo that represents the NBA now was created back in 1969 by Alan Siegel using the photograph of West. The publication reports that Irving was close with late Bryant, who was a mentor to the former when the duo had met when they played for Team USA.

“I actually FaceTimed Kobe after the game as soon as I got in the locker room,” Irving told ThePostGame in 2016. “(Bryant) was telling me congrats. I had been speaking to him throughout the entire playoffs and during the season. During the Finals, we didn’t really talk as much, because for me, I wanted to experience it full on, and if I needed his help, I would reach out to him. He would send me some texts here and there, but mainly he kind of let me be, and let me grow into my own space.”

You can see Irving's recent Instagram post sporting Bryant on the mock logo below. "Gotta Happen, idc what anyone says. BLACK KINGS BUILT THE LEAGUE," he wrote.


Many are divided on the matter

Users on Twitter had a lot to say on the debate, with some saying that West himself would love to see Bryant on the logo and that it should be done because West has no issues with it. "Even Jerry West would love to see it cause that man loved Kobe like he was his son," tweeted one user. Another added, "Kyrie Irving says the NBA should change the logo to Kobe Bryant. People will give him a hard time because of who he is, but just to be clear — Jerry West doesn't even want to be the logo anymore. "If they would want to change it, I wish they would," West said in 2017."

"All due respect to Jerry west but he retired almost 50 years ago, it’s time for a change and what better player to change it to than Kobe," added another Bryant fan.




Michael Jordan speaks during The Celebration of Life for Kobe & Gianna Bryant at Staples Center on February 24, 2020, in Los Angeles, California (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

Other's either didn't want the logo changed at all or want to see Jordan on the iconic silhouette. "If they're going to change it to someone, it should be Jordan. But I really don't think they should change it. West might not be the greatest player of all time, but no man has had more impact on the NBA than Jerry West. No one," wrote one user. Another added, "I don’t understand why they should change the NBA logo, unless they replace it with Jordan. I love Kobe and everything he represents but Jordan deserves to be the logo more than anyone, including Jerry West."



Los Angeles Lakers legend Jerry West, Kobe Bryant #24 and general manager Mitch Kupchak of the Los Angeles Lakers smiles after defeating the San Antonio Spurs in Game Five of the Western Conference Finals during the 2008 NBA Playoffs on May 29, 2008, at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California (Getty Images)

"It's funny because if Kobe was still alive he'd tell you to respect the legend that is Jerry West and don't change that logo," said another user. "Hey bro let's elevate Kobe but not disrespect a legend like Jerry West either," added another.



Many also couldn't help but bring up the fact that the NBA doesn't acknowledge that West is on the logo, as the star doesn't receive compensation for it. "The NBA needs to do right by Jerry West and give him some form of compensation for using his likeness as a logo for all these years and transition to a Kobe logo by paying royalties to the Mamba & Mambacita Sports Foundation," wrote one user. Another added, "It’ll cost the NBA way too much money to change the logo....as a Kobe guy I’m for it but NBA has never acknowledged Jerry west as the logo to avoid paying him"



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