NBA unveils two new postseason awards named after Bird, Magic originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington
There will be extra hardware given out in the 2022 NBA playoffs.
The NBA unveiled two new postseason awards on Thursday morning: the Eastern Conference Finals MVP and Western Conference Finals MVP. The East’s award is named after Larry Bird and the West’s after Magic Johnson.
The first Larry Bird and Magic Johnson Trophies will be handed out this postseason.
The other four playoff trophies — the Eastern Conference championship, Western Conference championship, Larry O’Brien Trophy and Bill Russell Finals MVP — have been redesigned as well.
The Larry O’Brien Trophy, which is awarded to the NBA champion, now sits on two discs instead of a square base. The top disc lists the first 75 NBA champions while the bottom disc is reserved for the league’s next 25 champs leading up to the 100th anniversary season. The net and ball configuration on the gold vermeil trophy has been shifted forward to symbolize the “league looking ahead to its future,” the NBA said in a release. The sterling silver net and seams of the ball are also much more defined now.
The Finals MVP trophy, which used to be gold and silver, has been changed to fully gold to match the Larry O’Brien Trophy. The net and seams of the ball received a similar redesign, too.
The conference championship trophies not only have new looks, but new names as well. The Eastern Conference championship has been named after Bob Cousy and the Western Conference after Oscar Robertson.
The Bob Cousy and Oscar Robertson Trophies contain a silver basketball quartered into four sections to represent making the postseason and winning three playoff rounds. Round-by-round scores will be etched into the base of each trophy, while the bottom of each award contains a list of teams in each respective conference and the conference finals logo.
“We could’ve taken an easy route and made a bunch of shiny new stuff that was arbitrary, but this league and these players deserved something so much more thoughtful,” said Victor Solomon, the artist who collaborated with Tiffany and Co. on making the six new trophies. “What we’re making is time capsules, something that these players and organizations are going to have as touchstones going forward.
“These trophies had so much equity and connection to the sport that we didn’t want to throw it out the window or flip the table, we wanted to spin it forward. We wanted something visually appealing to them that also matches the height of what they achieved, something so cool that they may want to repeat that achievement even more.”