The NBA is making some changes. According to reports, the NBA recently unveiled six new trophies that will be given to players with remarkable seasons. And the most prestigious individual award, the Most Valuable Player, is now named after one of the league’s greatest players.
Here are the six new trophies the NBA introduced.
1.) The Michael Jordan Trophy
The Michael Jordan Trophy will be awarded to the Most Valuable Player. The MVP is an annual award given to a player that stood out during the season. They had exceptional performances and in most cases, led their team to a great season. Players like Kobe Bryant, LeBron James and Steph Curry have won this award in the past, and last season, Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic won his second consecutive MVP award. Despite winning last season, Jokic was the first player to receive the new award, which he received earlier in the week. Then, whoever wins the MVP this season will receive one as well.
Michael Jordan is held in high regard, and the NBA legend won five MVPs himself. The remodeled award is fitting and an hour for anyone that receives it.
2.) The Jerry West Trophy
The Jerry West Trophy is a newer award. It will go to the NBA Clutch Player of the Year, which means any player that had big moments (game winning shots, exciting performances, etc.). Jerry West was known as “Mr. Clutch” in his career and there are a few players who follow that tradition. The Jerry West trophy is something new and exciting, and it will be interesting to see who gets it first.
3.) The Hakeem Olajuwon Trophy
The Hakeem Olajuwon Trophy will be given to the NBA Defensive Player of the Year. The Defensive Player of the Year award goes to the player that has the biggest impact on the defensive end. They block shots, they guard tough opponents and ultimately give opposing teams trouble. This is something Olajuwon excelled in.
Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart is the reigning Defensive Player of the Year, and in the past players like Dikembe Mutombo, Ben Wallace and Kevin Garnett have won the award. Olajuwon himself won the award in 1993 and 1994.
Olajuwon (like Jordan and West) is an NBA legend, and this award is a way to remember his legacy.
4.) The Wilt Chamberlain Trophy
The Wilt Chamberlain Trophy will be given to the Rookie of the Year. Chamberlain made an impact early in his career, and in his rookie season, he averaged an astounding 37.6 points. He set a high standard and few have reached that. But there are players who come into the league and make their presence felt.
The Rookie of the Year race is tight this year, and by the end of the season, we will see a new star receive this trophy.
5.) The John Havlicek Trophy
John Havlicek had a nice career. He won eight championships, was named Finals MVP in 1974, had his jersey number retired and more. What is even more impressive is that he did it coming off the bench.
Havlicek is known for his “sixth man” role and his contributions off the bench helped the Boston Celtics achieve great things.
Players like Jamal Crawford and Lou Williams were great off the bench, and won multiple Sixth Man of the Year awards. And now, another player has a chance to add the Sixth Man award (and the Havlicek Trophy) to their legacy.
6.) The George Mikan Trophy
This trophy is named after one of the first “big men” of the game. Mikan was 6-foot-10 and was an exceptional rebounder, shot blocker and scorer. His playing style paved the way for many bigs that came after him, and it is no surprise that an award is named after him.
The George Mikan Trophy will go to the Most Improved Player. This means any player that made drastic improvements in their game. Giannis Antetokounmpo was the recipient of this award in 2017, and look where it led. So, any player that receives this award could be on the path to stardom.
The new trophies are a way to keep things exciting and honor legends. Now, fans have to wait and see who wins them.