In an Instagram post on Wednesday, Irving tweeted a modified NBA logo with Bryant front and center, with the caption, “Gotta Happen, idc what anyone says. BLACK KINGS BUILT THE LEAGUE”.
Vanessa Bryant shared Irving’s post via Instagram story with her own caption, “love this. @KyrieIrving.” LaMelo Ball, Stephen Jackson and Dez Bryant also posted comments supporting the idea on Irving’s original post.
Since Bryant’s death in a helicopter accident in January of last year, the idea of changing the logo to Bryant’s silhouette has gained traction. A change.org petition in support of the idea has gained 3.2 million signatures since early 2020. The creator of the NBA logo, Alan Siegel — current CEO and president of the brand identity and communications consultancy firm Siegelvision — told Newsweek at the time, “It’s quite clear that [Bryant] was a very respected figure by players and around the world and this is a really serious thing that should be considered by the league.”
Lakers Hall of Famer Jerry West is the current silhouette of the NBA logo which has been in place since 1969. West has supported the idea of the logo being changed in the past, including in a 2015 interview with HuffPost Live.
“I hate to say it’s not a Laker, but Michael Jordan,” West said then. “He’s been the greatest player I’ve ever seen. And I’m probably a harsh judge of talent in the sense that I admire players that are really good defensive players and really good offensive players. And I felt that at his time in the game, he was the best defensive player in the game, but more importantly, he was the best offensive player. And he made his teams win.”
West has also been effusive with his praise for Bryant throughout his career. On a TNT special honoring Bryant after his death, West reminisced about drafting Bryant.
“I said, ‘Shaquille, we just drafted a kid who’s the best player in the draft,'” West recalled telling Shaquille O’Neal. “I said, ‘I know you’ve got a lot of good players in Orlando.’ But I said, ‘We have better players here, and we have one that’s going to be the best player in the league one day.’ Pretty bold statement to make, but to me it was obvious.”
The National Transportation Safety Board said on Feb. 9 that the pilot in the helicopter crash that killed Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna, the pilot himself and six others went against his training by flying into thick clouds.