Nearly 2 million people want basketball legend Kobe Bryant forever enshrined as the official logo of the National Basketball Association.
Bryant, who died on Sunday in a helicopter crash alongside 13-year-old daughter, Gianna “Gigi,” and seven other individuals, was only 41 years old and spent half of his life playing in the NBA for the Los Angeles Lakers. The future Hall of Famer won five NBA Championships, 2 Olympic gold medals, several MVP awards, and made the NBA All-Star team 18 times during that span.
“With the untimely and unexpected passing of the great Kobe Bryant please sign this petition in an attempt to immortalize him forever as the new NBA Logo,” the petition states on Change.org, as ABC News reports.
While NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has yet to respond to the petition, he commented on Bryant’s passing, calling him: “one of the most extraordinary players in the history of our game with accomplishments that are legendary.”
“For 20 seasons, Kobe showed us what is possible when remarkable talent blends with an absolute devotion to winning,” Silver said in a statement released on Sunday afternoon. “But he will be remembered most for inspiring people around the world to pick up a basketball and compete to the very best of their ability. He was generous with the wisdom he acquired and saw it as his mission to share it with future generations of players, taking special delight in passing down his love of the game to Gianna.”
Women’s National Basketball Association Commissioner Cathy Engelbert similarly described Bryant’s death as “sudden and tragic” and praised his unwavering support for young basketball players.
“Kobe’s support for the WNBA and women’s basketball along with his passion for helping young girls and boys follow their dreams made him a true legend for our sport,” Engelbert said. “We admired him not just as a legendary basketball player, but as a father, a youth coach, and a role model for future generations of athletes.”
Bryant and all others on board the 1991 Sikorsky S-76 helicopter were killed when it crashed into a hillside in Southern California.
According to the report, passengers John Altobelli, Keri Altobelli, Alyssa Altobelli, Christiana Mauser, Sarah Chester, Payton Chester, and the pilot Ara Zobayan were en route to a youth basketball tournament at Bryant’s own training facility, Mamba Sports Academy, in Thousand Oaks, California, when the helicopter was overcome by undisclosed weather conditions.
— Lori Nickel (@LoriNickel) January 27, 2020
The petition did not offer what a potential new NBA logo would look like, but several people online offered their own ideas:
— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) January 28, 2020
There's a petition to make Kobe Bryant the new NBA logo.
— Sports ReUp (@SportsReUp) January 28, 2020
— Volqx (@volqx) January 28, 2020
More than 1,770,000 people have signed the petition at the time of publication.