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NBA redesigns MVP trophy, names award after Michael Jordan

NBA MVP trophy

Five times David Stern handed Michael Jordan the NBA MVP trophy.

Now, when Adam Silver and subsequent NBA Commissioners hand a player the MVP trophy, they will invoke Jordan’s name.

The NBA unveiled its redesigned MVP trophy Tuesday morning and said the award would be renamed after Jordan, the GOAT in the eyes of many. Jordan himself worked with Jordan brand and Nike designer Mark Smith on the new-look trophy.

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The new NBA MVP trophy is loaded with subtle nods to Jordan and his career. For example, the Jordan trophy stands 23.6 inches tall and weighs 23.6 pounds, referencing Jordan’s jersey number and his six NBA titles with the Chicago Bulls.

While it was little discussed, the MVP Award already had been named after Maurice Podoloff, the league’s first commissioner. Speculation about the MVP name change had been flying around the league after The NBA announced recently that Podoloff’s name was going on a new award for the team with the best regular season record. It was clear change was coming.

The NBA redesigned and renamed many of its trophies after legends of the game — and even created a new award. Those new names are:

• Defensive Player of the Year: Hakeem Olajuwon Trophy
• Rookie of the Year: Wilt Chamberlain Trophy
• Sixth Man of Year: John Havlicek Trophy
• Most Improved Player: George Mikan Trophy
• And the new Clutch Player of Year: Jerry West Trophy

All those re-designed awards do have the KIA logo on them at the bottom as a league sponsor.

As with other awards like MVP and ROY, a select panel of media members will vote on the Clutch Player award.

“I am honored to have the opportunity to celebrate the league’s best defensive player each year,” Olajuwon said. “Great basketball teams are defined by their ability to defend, with every great team connected by an elite defensive anchor.”

“There are few greater thrills as a basketball player than coming through for your teammates and fans when they need it most,” said West, now a Special Advisor for the L.A. Clippers. “This new trophy will be awarded to the player who best delivers in those moments.”

This follows a pattern for the league, which had already named many of its trophies after star players:

• Finals MVP: Bill Russell Trophy
• All-Star MVP: Kobe Bryant Trophy
• Eastern Conference Finals MVP: Larry Bird Trophy
• Western Conference Finals MVP: Magic Johnson Trophy
• Social Justice Award: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Trophy