The NBA announced this morning that they have renamed and redesigned most of their individual awards. Here’s a summary of those changes:
New names and trophies for NBA’s major individual awards:— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) December 13, 2022
- MVP: The Michael Jordan Trophy
- DPOY: Hakeem Olajuwon Trophy
- ROY: Wilt Chamberlain Trophy
- Sixth Man of Year: John Havlicek Trophy
- Most Improved: George Mikan Trophy
- New Clutch Player of Year: Jerry West Trophy
The Most Valuable Player is named after Michael Jordan.
The Defensive Player of the Year is named after Hakeem Olajuwon.
The Rookie of the Year is named after Wilt Chamberlain.
The Most Improved Player is named after George Mikan.
The Sixth Man is named after John Havlicek.
There is also a new Clutch Player of the Year that will be named after Jerry West, whose silhouette is also the league’s logo.
2x Defensive Player of the Year (1992-93 & 1993-94)— Houston Rockets (@HoustonRockets) December 13, 2022
All-time Blocked Shots Leader (3,830)
9th All-time in Steals (2,162)
5x All-Defensive 1st Team
4x All-Defensive 2nd Team
GOAT things. pic.twitter.com/xHBsB8IFoy
Of course for Houston Rockets’ fans, the announcement of Olajuwon is the one that will most be celebrated. There’s no argument against honoring The Dream here as his accomplishments speak for themself.
The NBA announced that the Defensive Player of the Year award has been renamed The Hakeem Olajuwon Trophy!— Houston Rockets (@HoustonRockets) December 13, 2022
An honor of eternity.
Congrats, Dream! pic.twitter.com/T4So2YHQVk
Immortalizing Olajuwon as the pinnacle of defensive stalwartness is a distinction that hopefully reminds everyone of how great he truly was on both sides of the ball. I, like most of you, have him in my top ten of the game’s greatest players. For those who follow the game, it would be hard to find him slipping out of most top 12 lists.
As for the design of the new trophies, I’m not too fond of them, but maybe they’ll grow on me once I see the annual winners hoist them.
“Great basketball teams are defined by their ability to defend, with every great team connected by an elite defensive anchor.” – The Dream— Houston Rockets (@HoustonRockets) December 13, 2022
Read more about the Hakeem Olajuwon Trophy: https://t.co/ACCeFapBN7 pic.twitter.com/nHQne6iP9N
The NBA is redesigning and renaming many of its individual awards.— Kirk Goldsberry (@kirkgoldsberry) December 13, 2022
The MVP is named after Jordan
The DPOY is named after Olajuwon
The ROY is named after Wilt
The MIP is named after Mikan
The 6th Man is named after Havlicek
And there's a new Clutch award named after Jerry West pic.twitter.com/Y3HFo2qkYm
This move by the league has been on par with what they have done in recent years as they renamed the Finals MVP after Bill Russell and the All-Star Game MVP after Kobe Bryant. I’m pleased that they have decided to recognize the elites of the game so that their legacies continue to live on.
It will be interesting to see how they continue this trend as I’m sure they’ll figure out ways to honor current legends in the future such as LeBron James and Steph Curry.
My only wish at the moment is that they announce the award winners before the playoffs begin. I’m not sure I can handle another discourse on why the MVP winner should have went to someone else because they didn’t advance past the first round. The recency bias tends to make people ignore that these are regular season awards, but I digress.
Let us know your thoughts on the awards below!