More than 300,000 fans have signed a petition to replace the NBA logo with an image of Kobe Bryant, who died in a helicopter crash in California on Sunday along with his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and a seven other people.
‘With the untimely and unexpected passing of the great Kobe Bryant please sign this petition in an attempt to immortalize him forever as the new NBA Logo,’ read the Change.Org petition, which was posted by a Nick M. of Vancouver, British Columbia.
As of Monday afternoon on the East Coast, the petition had nearly 400,000 signatures, 100,000 shy of the goal.
‘The support on this petition has been out of this WORLD. I want to deeply thank everybody who contributed through signing and donating to the petition. When I started this I didn’t expect much to come out of it my goal was 100 signatures at best. We are now at 16,000!
‘I hope with our effort that our dream does come true and we are able to see Kobe Bryant engraved into the NBA Logo. Let’s continue to spread this petition out! And as Kobe would’ve said, ‘Mamba out’.
The current NBA logo was created by Alan Siegel in 1969 by incorporating Los Angeles Lakers star Jerry West’s silhouette from a photo taken by Wen Roberts.
The logo was modeled after Major League Baseball’s, which was a silhouette of a player that many erroneously believe to be Twins slugger Harmon Killebrew. (The image is supposedly a composite of several players in the late 1960s). The West logo debuted in 1971.
Rapper Boosie Badazz was among the first to suggest the change, explaining his reasoning in an Instagram video.
‘Rest in peace, Kobe,’ he said. ‘This s*** sad, dawg. This f***ed up, man . . . It’s only right that the NBA take Jerry West off the logo and put Kobe Bryant on the logo, man. That’s only right, man. F***that, man. You gotta put Kobe Bryant on the NBA logo.’
Former NBA player Jamal Crawford agreed with idea, writing on Twitter: ‘Kobe has to be the new NBA logo.’
West released a statement to The Athletic following Bryant’s death.
‘The news we’ve all received today is the most devastating news that anyone can imagine,’ said West, who traded for Bryant’s draft rights in 1996 while serving as the Lakers general manager.
‘I am so saddened for Kobe’s parents, Vanessa, Natalia, Bianka, Capri, Kobe’s sisters and all of the NBA fans that hold Kobe in their hearts. This loss of Kobe, Gianna, and everyone on board, is beyond tragic and incomprehensible. I will love Kobe forever and always cherish the time that I spent with him. I watched him grow from an energetic kid into the man he became, making a difference in so many people’s life. He has left the world a better place, Kobe’s legacy will live forever.’