The NBA is still going through a season of changes. While changing the league’s recognizable logo is still a pipe dream, an upgrade will pay tribute to many GOATs. The NBA’s top players get the Kia Performance Awards at the end of each season to recognize their achievements. Starting with the Kia NBA Most Valuable Player, currently known as the Michael Jordan Trophy, they will be renamed to increase the excitement. Jordan won the MVP award five times throughout his illustrious career. He also won six NBA titles, six NBA Finals MVP awards, four NBA All-Star selections, three NBA All-Star Game MVP awards, ten scoring titles, an NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award, and an NBA Rookie of the Year Award. In 2009, Jordan was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame.
In addition to the name change, the trophy has undergone remodeling. To commemorate Jordan’s 23 jersey number and the number of NBA titles he won during his two three-peats, it is now 23.6 inches tall and weights 23.6 pounds. The bronze trophy’s base has five sides to honor the player’s league MVPs, and the crystal ball in the statue’s hands has 23 points and is 1.23 inches in diameter, adding to its impressive detailing. As a means to artistically honor his career, His Airness collaborated with retiring VP of Innovation Special Projects at Nike and Jordan Brand designer Mark Smith to develop the new award. Smith added that he’s tremendously proud to have collaborated with Michael Jordan to design the NBA MVP trophy. The opportunity and task of a lifetime has been to translate Michael’s vision of his own pursuit of athletic accomplishment into this award. As they worked on this project together, Michael insisted that the prize recipient should be able to recognize himself in the figure, rather than it being a representation of him. Michael considered the award’s name to be sufficient acknowledgement. Get a better look at all the trophies below, which all nod to some of the most trailblazing players ever to step foot on the hardwood.
In addition, the names of the other Kia Performance Awards have changed. The Kia NBA Clutch Player of the Year Award is now known as the Kia Jerry West Trophy, the NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award is now known as the Kia Hakeem Olajuwon Trophy, and the Kia NBA Rookie of the Year Award is now known as the Kia Wilt Chamberlain Trophy. Other awards that have had their names changed include the NBA Most Improved Player of the Year, which now honors George Mikan, and the NBA Sixth Man of the Year, which will now be given to John Havlicek. – Steve Sijenyi