The NBA unveils new awards and new look trophies for 2022-23 regular season
With slight changes here and there, the league unveiled their new trophies as well as two new awards in preparation for the coming season.
In curious move the the league has taken the decision to redesign its portfolio of trophies, which is to say not only the championship trophy but the conference MVP trophies will receive a makeover as well.
The NBA unveils redesigned champion trophy
According to an announcement on Thursday, the NBA has unveiled new look trophies for the championship trophy as well as the MVP trophies for both conferences. Where the championship trophy is concerned, which by the way has remained unchanged since 1975, the changes are subtle but noticeable. Originally named after Boston Celtics founder Walter A. Brown, the golden basketball and net was later renamed after former NBA commissioner Larry O’Brien in 1984 and has maintained that name since.
Regarding specific changes, as mentioned before while not monumental they can definitely be seen. The ball has been moved forward on the net, which the NBA has stated is “symbolizing the league looking ahead to its future,” while the Sterling silver accentuation was added to highlight the varying channels of the ball and the net. The base of the trophy itself now boasts two disks. The disk which lies on top will apparently display the names of the first 75 NBA champions, with the second featuring the names of each successive champion starting from this very season.
The NBA’s other trophies also got a face lift
The move to redesign the silverware of the league wasn’t just limited to the The championship trophy either. Indeed, the Finals MVP trophy, which prior to this moment utilized a gold ball and silver net, will now boast an almost entirely gold appearance with silver highlights. As for the The two conference championship trophies, they to will see some cosmetic work being done. The ball used in both will now be silver and the base of the trophy itself will now be black and gold. Last but not least both trophies have also been renamed. The Eastern Conference championship trophy will now be called Bob Cousy trophy after the Celtics legend, while the Western Conference championship trophy has been renamed after Hall of Famer Oscar Robertson.
“I have been part of the NBA family since 1950 and among the greatest joys of my post-playing career has been watching the game continue to evolve into what it is today,” said Cousy. “There are few greater achievements in sports than representing your conference in the NBA Finals, and I’m moved that the NBA has granted me the honor of being connected to the Eastern Conference champions for years to come.”
The NBA also introduced two new awards
With the revamp of the aesthetics of their trophies, one could imagine the NBA had definitely put some thought into what they wanted to communicate with their awards, but they didn’t stop there. The league also went to the level of introducing two completely new awards for the coming season and subsequently new trophies as well. Firstly there is the most valuable player of the Eastern Conference Finals award which comes in the form of the Larry Bird Trophy - another Celtics legend and then there is the equivalent for the Western Conference Finals, which accordingly will be called the Magic Johnson trophy. Fitting that the trophies are named after two players who collectively between them managed to participate in every one of the NBA Finals contested during the decade of the 1980s.
“The NBA Conference Finals represent the last hurdle a team must face for an opportunity to make it to the big stage, the NBA Finals,” said Johnson. “I’m truly honored to have my name memorialized on the Western Conference Finals Most Valuable Player Trophy. This player excels on both ends of the court, makes his teammates better and leads his team to the greatest stage in basketball.” While some may see the move by the league as superficial, this is in fact the NBA’s 75th anniversary season, which is to say that it’s completely understandable and more over desirable that they would revitalize the look and feel of trophies as they prepare to embark on the final quarter of 100 years worth of professional basketball.