Irving talked more about the logo and explained that he believes that it’s part of his “responsibility” as a Black man to push “our culture forward.”
“I know that it probably was met with some people that love it — that love the idea — and some people that don’t love it,” Irving said. “But, my thing is paying homage to the example that has been set by that man. Seventeen years old; we are drafting guys that are even younger now. Guys that are coming out of different places and he was the standard for our generation. And he will continue on and I want that to be something in history that is changed forever, that our generation was part of that change and if that means that I have to lead that forward and get the conversation going, then great.”
The Nets star said the late Los Angeles Lakers legend and his family “deserves it.” He added that he wasn’t trying to disrespect anyone else that came before or after Bryant.
“I am not discrediting anyone when I say that Kob should be the logo because we have so many examples of guys that did things on and off the floor that were leaps and bounds for us to be where we are now,” Irving explained. “So, I’m just saying present day, I think it was 2/24 (when posted), so a year after the memorial. And it’s just a refresher that this is the guy for us.”
“This is the guy for me. He’s my mentor,” he added. “More than just and inspiration. I took a lot of knowledge and wisdom from that guy and he’s always around me and Gigi’s always around me and I know that in the women’s game we want to continue to push things forward, but in our game, too, we want to set a standard and precedent like this is excellence. Kobe Bryant. Logo. Yes. Needs to happen. I don’t care what anyone says. Black kings built the league. That’s exactly what I meant, that’s exactly where I stand.”
Irving also got support from Bryant’s widow Vanessa, who wrote on Instagram that she loved the idea of making him the new logo.
Jerry West, who is the silhouette seen on the NBA logo, has previously said he wouldn’t be opposed to changing it.