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With the NBA playoffs in full swing, the league has unveiled a lineup of reimagined trophies for the postseason.
The 2022 NBA champions next month will be awarded a refreshed version of the Larry O’Brien Trophy, which the NBA announced Thursday, along with several postseason trophies, including new conference MVP awards named after Larry Bird and Magic Johnson.
The designs were part of a collection crafted by Tiffany & Co, which has designed and manufactured the statue awarded to the NBA Finals winner since 1977. That award, named after former NBA commissioner Larry O’Brien in 1984, now features the ball shifted forward on the net, “symbolizing the league looking ahead to its future,” the NBA stated in a press release.
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The ball tilts in a different direction, the netting is much more visible and the base is now round. Stacked atop one another are two discs, the first bearing the names of past champions, and the second bearing the names of teams that win the title starting this year.
Plated in 24-karat gold vermeil, the trophy also has sterling silver accents that were added to highlight the channels of the ball and the net. The new appearance was created in partnership with artist Victor Solomon, who specializes in basketball-related art.
The NBA championship trophy isn’t the only one getting a redesign, as the Finals MVP trophy, named after Celtics legend Bill Russell since 2009, will now be finished completely in gold vermeil.
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Meanwhile, the trophies given to the Eastern and Western conference champions will also have a new look and new names. The Eastern Conference championship trophy has been renamed for Bob Cousy, and the Western Conference championship trophy has been named for Oscar Robertson.
“I have been part of the NBA family since 1950 and among the greatest joys of my post-playing career has been watching the game continue to evolve into what it is today,” said Cousy. “There are few greater achievements in sports than representing your conference in the NBA Finals, and I’m moved that the NBA has granted me the honor of being connected to the Eastern Conference champions for years to come.”
The league also introduced two new awards this season.
The East finals MVP will receive the Larry Bird Trophy, while the West finals MVP will be given the Magic Johnson Trophy. Both players captivated the league during the rivalry between the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers in the 80s.
“The NBA Conference Finals represent the last hurdle a team must face for an opportunity to make it to the big stage, the NBA Finals,” said Johnson. “I’m truly honored to have my name memorialized on the Western Conference Finals Most Valuable Player Trophy. This player excels on both ends of the court, makes his teammates better, and leads his team to the greatest stage in basketball.”
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“I know how tough it is to get to this great milestone of the Eastern Conference Finals and to be named the Most Valuable Player makes it even more special,” added Bird.
The Associated Press contributed to this report