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Bryant and his daughter Gianna were among nine people who died in a helicopter crash on Sunday. Since that time, there has been an outpouring of grief from his fans, with this petition being the latest attempt to honor the 18-time all-star player.
The petition was started by a man named Nick M. who wrote: “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.”
As of this writing, the petition has more than 2.3 million signatures.
According to a statement given to CNN, it’s the fastest-growing petition on Change.org.
“Nick’s petition is not only the fastest-growing on Change.org, it’s also the first petition of 2020 to top 1 million signatures anywhere in the globe,” said Michael Jones, managing director of Change.org. “As the world comes to terms with the death of someone as famous and well-known as Kobe Bryant, Nick has given basketball fans an outlet to create a permanent memory of someone who made history in the NBA.”
The hashtag #ChangeTheLogo also began trending on Twitter, with fans and celebrities alike supporting the change.
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Fans have also been suggesting possible images of Kobe that could be used as the new logo.
The NBA’s current logo was designed in 1969 by Alan Siegel and features the silhouette of Jerry West. Like Bryant, West was also a shooting guard who played his entire career for the Los Angeles Lakers (1960-1974). He later became the team’s coach and is now an executive board member for the NBA.
West has publicly stated that, although he was flattered by the logo designed, he is also somewhat embarrassed by it. In 2017, he told the Washington Post that he wished the NBA would change it. “If they would want to change it, I wish they would,” he said during the interview. West joked that commissioner Adam Silver would be a good replacement. Previously, in a 2015 Huffington Post article, West suggested that Michael Jordan would be a good choice for a new logo.
So it’s a fair bet that the man who is the current NBA logo wouldn’t object to the change, especially since he was the Lakers general manager when Bryant joined the team.
“I will love Kobe forever and always cherish the time that I spent with him,” West said in a statement given to the Los Angeles Times following the crash “I watched him grow from an energetic kid into the man he became, making a difference in so many people’s lives. He has left the world a better place. Kobe’s legacy will live forever.
David Britton is a writer and comedian based in Rhinebeck, New York who focuses on internet culture, memes, and viral news stories. He also writes for the Hard Times and is the creator of StoriesAboutWizards.com.