Dec 13, 2022 - Sports

NBA renames MVP trophy after Michael Jordan

Michael Jordan #23 of the Chicago Bulls shoots over David Wingate #55 of the Washington Bullets during an NBA basketball game

Michael Jordan of the Chicago Bulls during an NBA basketball game in 1991. Photo: Focus on Sport/Getty Images

The NBA announced Tuesday it will rename the league's Most Valuable Player award after six-time NBA champion and five-time MVP Michael Jordan.

The big picture: The rebranding comes amid a new NBA campaign to freshen up its trophies.

  • It added a new Clutch Player of the Year award and will give out honors to conference MVPs during the playoffs.
  • The award was previously named the Maurice Podoloff Trophy after the league's first commissioner.
  • Jordan helped design the new trophy, the league said. It has a five-sided base, a reference to Jordan's five MVP awards.
The new Michael Jordan Trophy for the NBA MVP.
The new Michael Jordan Trophy. Photo: NBA

What they're saying: "As we worked together on this project, it was very important to Michael that the figure not be a likeness of him, but instead that the recipient should be able to see himself in the award," said Mark Smith, a retired vice president of innovation and special projects at Nike. "For Michael, naming the award in his honor was recognition enough.”

Yes, but: Jordan may have the name, but Kareem Abdul-Jabbar holds the record for most MVP trophies earned with six.

The NBA announced the redesigned Jordan trophy as it unveiled new trophy names for a number of its awards.

  • The Sixth Man of the Year will receive the John Havlicek Trophy, and the Most Improved Player will earn the George Mikan Trophy.
  • The league also announced the new Jerry West Trophy, which will be given to the league's Clutch Player of the Year, who will be a "player who best comes through for his teammates in the clutch," the league said.

More from Axios:

Exclusive: Jack Harlow teams up with NBA 2K

Kyrie Irving says he doesn't stand for "hate speech" as he returns to Nets

Former DoorDash driver becomes the Lakers' unlikely hero

Victor Wembanyama already has the NBA spotlight

Go deeper