The NBA has announced a new trophy will be named in honor of late basketball legend Kobe Bryant, and will be awarded to the winner of the Kia NBA All-Star MVP beginning this year. The trophy, which was designed by Victor Solomon and others, was unveiled as part of the NBA’s newly designed 75th Anniversary All-Star trophies. Each of its four levels is inspired by Bryant’s greatest achievements throughout his storied career.
The eight-sided base of the trophy represents the eight decades the NBA All-Star Game has taken place and is also a nod to Bryant’s original No. 8 jersey number. The 18 stars around the trophy represent his 18 All-Star selections, currently tied for the second-most in NBA history, and its base height of 2 inches is a nod to Bryant’s 2002 Kia NBA All-Star MVP.
The 24 stars on the first level of the trophy represent the number of All-Star participants in the game, as well as Bryant’s more recent No. 24 jersey number. Its 7-inch height is a nod to his 2007 Kia NBA All-Star MVP. Other wrinkles inspired by Bryant include nods to his USA Basketball jersey, additional All-Star MVPs, and five NBA championships.
Bryant’s wife, Vanessa Bryant, shared her reaction to the NBA’s unveiling of the trophy with a post on Instagram. “I love everything this trophy represents, all of my husband’s hard work and dedication ~ Mamba Mentality,” she wrote in the caption.
Bryant, who tragically passed away in 2020 in a helicopter accident with his daughter and several other passengers, was a mainstay at NBA All-Star Weekend during his 20-year career. He was also one of the All-Star game’s most decorated participants, taking home All-Star MVP honors four times during his career, tied for the most in league history.