The NBA revealed one of the latest changes to the All-Star Game on Thursday – and basketball fans are going to be very happy.
The league introduced the Kobe Bryant Trophy, which will be awarded to the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the game after it concludes on Sunday, February 20.
The new Kobe Bryant Trophy awarded to the Kia NBA All-Star MVP further celebrates its namesake, with intricate details holding dual meanings, both for NBA All-Star and Bryant’s legendary career, which include the following: pic.twitter.com/kOXXywo8yX
— NBA (@NBA) February 3, 2022
The trophy has been long in the making and will both celebrate the latest and greatest performers in the league as well as Bryant, easily one of the best players to ever enter the NBA.
Most Valuable Trophy
The multi-tiered trophy is really something special and will be the new gold standard for American sports trophies.
It is supported by an eight-sided base, which represents Bryant’s number eight jersey which he wore for the Los Angeles Lakers.
The number also symbolizes the eight decades that the All-Star Game has been going.
There are 18 stars around the base of the trophy, which represent all 18 of Bryant’s All-Star selections.
Meanwhile, the two-inch base height is a reference to his 2002 All-Star MVP win.
The first level of the trophy is seven inches in height to symbolize Bryant’s 2007 All-Star Game MVP.
Additionally, there are 24 stars on the outside which signify Bryant’s second jersey number.
The second level of the trophy is nine inches in height, which is a nod to his 2009 All-Star Game MVP.
That level is surrounded by 10 stars, which represent his USA Basketball number ten jersey and his 10 All-Star Game starting appearances.
The third level of the trophy is 11 inches (referencing Bryant’s 2011 NBA All-Star Game MVP) and is circled with five stars to highlight his five NBA championships.
Finally, the fourth and final tier has one final star which is two inches in height to reference Bryant’s two Bill Russell Trophies as Finals MVP.
The NBA unveiled newly designed All-Star trophies including the Kobe Bryant Trophy ⭐️
The trophy is awarded to the game's MVP and showcases Bryant's legendary career.
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) February 3, 2022
The trophy sounds like a lot and seems loaded up with multiple references and reminders of the legacy of Bryant – that’s exactly what the NBA wanted.
Ever since Bryant’s death, there were plans to somehow commemorate the star Laker with something special and coveted in the league.
It looks like this All-Star MVP award is the perfect way to celebrate the life and legacy of Bryant.
But Wait, There’s More
While the league was hard at work creating the Kobe Bryant Trophy, they also began to reconstruct and alter other awards that are given out during All-Star Weekend.
The celebrity game MVP, Rising Stars Challenge MVP, clutch challenge, new shooting competition, skills challenge, dunk contest, and three-point contest all got new and improved trophies for this year as well.
The awards were all created and perfected by artist Victor Solomon, who told CNN:
“Redesigning the All-Star trophies gave us a special opportunity to create event awards worthy of the energy and excitement the moment creates, while introducing the full collection’s visual, aesthetic language. The occasion also gave us the privilege and responsibility to develop an entirely new silhouette worthy of being named ‘The Kobe Bryant Trophy’ for the Kia NBA All-Star MVP for which, in the spirit of its namesake, we threw out all conventions and challenged ourselves to reorient how we thought about the game.'”