NBA renames MVP award after Michael Jordan

14 December, 2022

Former Chicago Bulls legend Michael Jordan receives the ultimate honor from the National Basketball Association (NBA). Widely regarded as the greatest basketball player of all time, Jordan will witness the Most Valuable Player award being handed on a trophy named after him in the upcoming season. 

The bronze Michael Jordan Trophy is one of six renamed trophies unveiled by the NBA on Tuesday and includes a player breaking out of a rock to reach for a crystal basketball that consists of 23 points, a gesture to symbolize Jordan’s jersey number.

“Our new collection of trophies celebrates some of the greatest and most impactful players in the history of the NBA,” NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said in a news release. “As we recognize the league’s top performers each season, we also pay tribute to the legends who embody these prestigious awards.”

Mark Smith, retired VP of Innovation Special Projects at Nike, Inc., and Jordan Brand designer, worked in creative partnership with Jordan to design the new trophy, which symbolizes an NBA player’s journey to winning an MVP. Smith has collaborated with Jordan on countless projects over the past two decades. Artist Victor Solomon will manufacture the trophy on a yearly basis.

The trophy named after a legendary player badge is six-sided, a nod to the six NBA championships Jordan won with the Chicago Bulls while its five-sided base is a mark of appreciation for the five league Most Valuable Player awards he won during his Hall of Fame career.

The other renamed awards are the Jerry West Trophy for clutch player of the year, the Hakeem Olajuwon Trophy for defensive player of the Year, the Wilt Chamberlain Trophy for rookie of the year, the John Havlicek Trophy for the sixth man of the year and the George Mikan Trophy for the most improved player.

Jordan represented two franchises in an illustrious 19-year career in the NBA. Besides the Bulls, he also represented Washington Wizards at the fag end of his career, from 2001 to 2003. He also won the Olympic Gold medal twice with the USA basketball team, in 1984 and 1992, thus entering the United States Olympic Hall of Fame in 2015.