NEW YORK — Someday after posting on social media that he want to see the NBA emblem modified from Jerry West’s silhouette to Kobe Bryant’s, Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving reaffirmed his stance and stated he’s OK if he is a pacesetter of the dialog.
“We need to set a regular and precedent, like that is excellence,” Irving stated Thursday, after the Nets defeated the Orlando Magic 129-92. “Kobe Bryant. Emblem. Sure. Must occur. I do not care what anybody says.”
In an Instagram put up Wednesday, Irving put up a photograph of a modified NBA emblem with Bryant swapped in because the determine within the center with this caption: “Gotta Occur, idc what anybody says. BLACK KINGS BUILT THE LEAGUE.”
Vanessa Bryant, Kobe Bryant’s widow, shared Irving’s put up to her Instagram story with the caption, “Love this. @KyrieIrving.”
Irving stated Thursday night time, “I would like that to be one thing in historical past that’s modified without end, that our era was a part of that change. And if that signifies that I’ve to guide that ahead and get the dialog going, then nice.”
In 2017, West stated on ESPN’s The Leap that whereas it’s “flattering” to be depicted because the image of the league, “I believe if I have been the NBA, I’d be embarrassed about it. I do not love to do something to name consideration to myself. If they’d need to change it, I want they’d. In some ways, I want they’d.”
Irving stated that he understands that his proposition does not attraction to everybody.
“I do know that it most likely was met with some folks that adore it — that love the concept — and a few individuals that do not adore it,” Irving stated. “However, my factor is paying homage to the instance that has been set that man.”
Since Bryant’s demise in a helicopter accident in January 2020, the concept of fixing the emblem to Bryant’s silhouette has gained traction. A change.org petition in help of the concept has gained 3.2 million signatures since early 2020. The creator of the NBA emblem, Alan Siegel — present CEO and president of the model id and communications consultancy agency Siegelvision — instructed Newsweek on the time, “It is fairly clear that [Bryant] was a really revered determine gamers and around the globe and this can be a actually critical factor that needs to be thought-about the league.”
Irving stated Thursday that advocating to make Bryant’s likeness the emblem, he did not intend to disparage any of the opposite gamers who’ve had sizable impacts on the league.
“I believe he deserves it,” Irving stated. “I believe his household deserves it. I believe we deserve it as seeing greatness personified as Mamba. And anybody that is coming into the league ought to know that that is the instance that was set.”
ESPN’s Arda Ocal contributed to this report.