So there’s an online petition to change the NBA logo, which is a silhouette of Jerry West, to a silhouette of Kobe Bryant. Like the one offered above.
It’s some seriously dumb shit.
Look, I love a lot about Kobe Bryant. I mean that—I love a lot about Kobe Bryant. His work ethic was unmatched. His doggedness was legendary. He won with Shaq, then he won without Shaq. He is, easily, one of the 20 greatest players in the history of the league (And, to be clear, I’m not saying “20” to draw attention, where you (the reader) replies with, “That’s an insult! He’s way better than Top 20!” Truth is, there have been a shitload of tremendous NBA guys, and automatically placing Kobe in the Top 5 means you’re ranking him ahead of some combo of Kareem, Oscar, Wilt, Bird, Magic, Hakeem, Duncan, Cousy, Spud Webb, Larry Krystkowiak, etc).
Kobe Bryant died tragically a year ago, and the (understandable) reaction is often to thrust said person toward a saintly status. So we see Kobe as this logo-worthy entity, and those with no appreciation of NBA history and an over-reliance on modern metrics look at someone like West and think of him primarily as a silver-haired general manager who played during the dark ages of slow white guys and bad haircuts. Meanwhile, they convince themselves that Kobe wasn’t (often) selfish, wasn’t (often) destructive to team chemistry, wasn’t nearly imprisoned for allegedly raping a woman in Colorado. He was perfect, just as Jimi Hendrix was perfect when he died, just as John F. Kennedy was perfect when he died, just as MLK and Shannon Hoon and Bob Marley and Thurman Munson were perfect when they died. That’s how we absorb young, unexpected passings—we whitewash the negative, hyper focus on the positives, then try our best to convince those within our orbits that what they heard (negatively) wasn’t actually true.
Kobe Bryant was a tremendous player. He died, at 41, a fine father and husband. He died a legend, and justifiably so.
But if we truly want to change the NBA’s logo, there’s only one way to go …