California Sports

NBA gives tribute to Kobe Bryant, renames All-Star MVP Game Trophy

With the 2022 All-Star Game just around the corner, NBA has decided to bring a new change this year. The All-Star MVP Game Trophy will be renamed to Kobe Bryant Trophy to honor the former Los Angeles Lakers guard and five-time NBA champion who tragically died in a helicopter accident, along with his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, and seven others in January 2020.

Bryant made 18-time appearances in the All-Star Game and won NBA All-Star Game MVP four times.

New Trophy

“The NBA’s new Kobe Bryant Trophy for the All-Star Game MVP features an 8-sided base with 24 stars, and 4 levels of 2, 7, 9 & 11 inches in height — a nod to 2002, 2007, 2009 & 2011 years in which Kobe won his record-tying 4 All-Star MVPs,” said Nick DePaula, NBA Features at ESPN & Boardroom Host, on a Twitter post.

Victor Solomon, the designer of the trophy, was approached by NBA in March 2020. He explained the design of the trophy via Ben Pickman of Sports Illustrated.

“His presence, innovation, and his boldness needed to be represented in the trophy,” Solomon said. “It was very serendipitous that once we started moving down the road in this creative direction for it, there were some really poignant story moments that organically came out of it,” Solomon explained.

The Kobe Bryant trophy has an eight-sided base that serves as a tribute to Bryant’s All-Star appearances and honors his original No. 8 jersey that he started wearing in high school.

The trophy weighs 15 pounds and has four levels for accolades. Solomon’s work was known only after 2016 when Nike called to make its 24-karat-gold-and-stained-glass basketball hoops to celebrate Kevin Durant’s arrival in San Francisco, California and joining the Golden State Warriors back in 2016. It appears that redesigning the NBA trophy has always been a dream for Solomon.

“My real dream is that I want to redesign the trophies for the NBA,” Solomon told Sports Illustrated. “We’ve got to get new trophies.

“It was not lost on me that that was my opportunity to make an impression, to set the stage for a bigger vision that I’ve had.”

2022 NBA All-Star Game

The 2022 NBA All-Star Game will be held on February 20 and top NBA players will gather in Cleveland. There, it will also be known which player becomes the first-ever recipient of the NBA All-Star Game Kobe Bryant Most Valuable Player Trophy.

The starters have already been declared, and the reserves will be announced Thursday, on February 3 night. While the new MVP trophy was revealed for the first time on Thursday, NBA Commissioner, Adam Silver, also announced the renaming of the award in Bryant’s honor.

“Kobe Bryant is synonymous with NBA All-Star and embodies the spirit of this global celebration of our game,” Silver said in a February 2020 statement when Kawhi Leonard of the Los Angeles Clippers won the inaugural Kobe Bryant MVP award that year.

In addition to the new MVP prize, the NBA also has revealed the redesigned trophies for several other categories such as the Slam Dunk Contest, Skills Challenge, Rising Stars competition, and Celebrity Game.

With many trophies on stage, the question lies with who is going to bring home the trophy on February 20.

Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bean Bryant was an American professional basketball player. A shooting guard, he spent his entire 20-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers in the National Basketball Association . (wikipedia)