NBA introduces new postseason hardware with evolution of Larry O’Brien Trophy

By Eurohoops team/ [email protected]

NBA has always been ready to change with the times and improve, and that also includes changing traditional things such as trophy hardware.

The Larry O’Brien Trophy that goes to the champions went through some changes:

1) The net and ball configuration has been shifted forward, symbolizing the league looking ahead to its future.
2) The 24k gold vermeil has been masked to reveal sterling silver that emphasizes the channels of the ball and the net.
3) The base has been reformed to feature two stacked discs. The top disc lists the first 75 NBA champions.

Starting this year, the name of each NBA champion will be etched on the bottom disc of each new trophy, ensuring that each team will receive a one-of-a-kind trophy bearing its name. The second disc was designed with enough space to display the next 25 NBA champions, leading up to the league’s 100th Anniversary Season. The underside of the trophy features the new NBA Finals logo.

Per the NBA:

The National Basketball Association (NBA) today unveiled a lineup of reimagined trophies for the NBA postseason, including an evolution of the Larry O’Brien Trophy, awarded annually to the NBA champions. The six trophies, designed in collaboration with artist Victor Solomon and Tiffany & Co., are named after NBA legends who have helped shape the league and represent the standards of postseason excellence.

The NBA’s relationship with Tiffany & Co. spans 45 years, with the American luxury house having designed and manufactured the Larry O’Brien Trophy since 1977, the league’s conference championship trophies since 2001 and the Bill Russell Trophy (NBA Finals MVP) since 2005. Tiffany’s legendary “Makers” – the skilled craftspeople at its hollowware workshop in Cumberland, Rhode Island – bring to life more than 65 trophies each year in addition to hundreds of other designs they also produce at the workshop. Solomon worked in tandem with Tiffany & Co. to evolve the NBA’s postseason hardware offerings, refreshing how the league’s champions will be honored for the next 75 years and beyond.

NBA Finals Trophies

The Larry O’Brien Trophy

The league’s championship trophy, named after Larry O’Brien since 1984, honors the NBA’s third commissioner, who oversaw the NBA’s absorption of four ABA teams and the elevation of national broadcast agreements. The trophy stands 25.5 inches tall and weighs approximately 30 pounds, with its latest iteration evolved in three key areas:

The net and ball configuration has been shifted forward, symbolizing the league looking ahead to its future.
The 24k gold vermeil has been masked to reveal sterling silver that emphasizes the channels of the ball and the net.
The base has been reformed to feature two stacked discs. The top disc lists the first 75 NBA champions. Starting this year, the name of each NBA champion will be etched on the bottom disc of each new trophy, ensuring that each team will receive a one-of-a-kind trophy bearing its name. The second disc was designed with enough space to display the next 25 NBA champions, leading up to the league’s 100th Anniversary Season. The underside of the trophy features the new NBA Finals logo.
The Bill Russell Trophy

The NBA Finals MVP award, named after Bill Russell since 2009, honors a legend who won a record 11 NBA championships in 13 seasons. The Bill Russell Trophy, which remains 17.25 inches tall and weighs 11 pounds, is now finished completely in gold vermeil to match the Larry O’Brien Trophy, and features similar masking to reveal the net and basketball channels

The NBA Conference Champion Trophies

The NBA is naming its conference champion trophies after two NBA legends, Bob Cousy and Oscar Robertson, for their outstanding contributions on the court and the impact they made as early presidents of the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA).

Similar to the original trophies created in 2001, the Eastern and Western Conference Champion trophies each raise a silver basketball symbolically quartered into four sections, representing the key milestones on the road to the NBA Finals: making the Playoffs and winning the First Round, Conference Semifinals and Conference Finals. The underside lists the 15 teams in each conference and the Conference Finals logo. Made of sterling silver, the Western Conference trophy measures 15.6 inches tall and weighs 31 pounds, while the Eastern Conference trophy also measures 15.6 inches tall and weighs 28 pounds. The etching on the base of both trophies features the namesakes and round-by-round scores. The Eastern Conference Champion Trophy is raised by three posts while the Western Conference Champion Trophy is raised by two rings.

The Bob Cousy Trophy

Nicknamed “Mr. Basketball” and “The Houdini of the Hardwood” for his revolutionary playmaking ability, Cousy has been named to every Anniversary Team in league history (25th, 35th, 50th and 75th). He is a six-time NBA champion, an NBA MVP, a 13-time NBA All-Star selection, a 12-time All-NBA Team selection and a two-time NBA All-Star Game MVP. As the first president of the NBPA, Cousy was instrumental in securing important benefits for his fellow players.

“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 Oscar Robertson Trophy

Oscar “The Big O” Robertson was the first NBA player to average a triple-double for an entire season. An NBA champion, NBA MVP, 12-time NBA All-Star selection, 11-time All-NBA Team selection, NBA Rookie of the Year, three-time NBA All-Star Game MVP and member of the league’s 35th, 50th and 75th Anniversary Teams, Robertson is one of the best all-around players in the history of the game. Robertson was also the first African American president of the NBPA and played a pivotal role in reforming the NBA Draft and ushering in free agency.

“I am thrilled to have the NBA Western Conference Champions Trophy named in my honor,” said Robertson. “Several decades ago, I played in an emerging and highly competitive league with tremendous talent. This trophy represents to me not only my hard work to make the league better, but all the efforts of the future Oscar Robertson Trophy winners who make the NBA great.”

NBA Conference Finals MVP Trophies

Larry Bird and Earvin “Magic” Johnson helped define the modern NBA with their individual brilliance and team success in the 1980s. Together, Bird and Johnson’s bicoastal rivalry captivated fans and played a critical role in elevating the league to new heights. The two NBA legends are honored as the namesakes for the trophies that will now be awarded each year to the Eastern and Western Conference Finals MVPs.

Each Conference Finals MVP trophy raises a sterling silver ball, similar to the conference champion trophies. The trophy bears a 24k gold vermeil net in its support structure, mirroring the new Finals MVP trophy, and stands 14 inches tall and weighs approximately five pounds.

The Larry Bird Trophy

Bird’s illustrious career is highlighted by three NBA championships, three NBA MVP awards, two NBA Finals MVP awards, 12 NBA All-Star selections, 10 All-NBA Team selections, an NBA Rookie of the Year award, an NBA All-Star Game MVP award and selections to the league’s 50th and 75th Anniversary Teams.

“I am very honored to have my name associated with the NBA’s Eastern Conference Finals MVP Trophy,” said Bird. “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.”

The Earvin “Magic” Johnson Trophy

One of the greatest point guards of all time, Johnson has built a legacy of excellence that includes five NBA championships, three NBA MVP awards, three NBA Finals MVP awards, 12 NBA All-Star selections, 10 All-NBA Team selections, two NBA All-Star Game MVP awards and selections to the league’s 50th and 75th Anniversary Teams.

“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.”

Additionally, the NBA and Meta Quest 2 recreated “NBA Lane” – the league’s seasonlong marketing campaign – in virtual reality. Starting today in Horizon Worlds, fans will be able to play mini games, watch the latest Playoffs highlights and view all six new trophies in the “Trophy Room.”

The 2022 NBA Playoffs presented by Google Pixel continue tonight with the Philadelphia 76ers hosting the Miami Heat (7 p.m. ET, ESPN) followed by the Phoenix Suns taking on the Dallas Mavericks (9:30 p.m. ET, ESPN). The 2022 NBA Finals presented by YouTube TV begin on Thursday, June 2 on ABC.

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