Kobe Bryant's Death Sparks Petition to Get Lakers Star on NBA Logo: 'Make His Memory Last Forever'

Tens of thousands of people have signed a petition to get the NBA to replace its existing logo with one incorporating Kobe Bryant.

The retired NBA superstar was killed in a helicopter crash on Sunday morning near Los Angeles along with his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and another seven people.

Throughout his 20-year career in the NBA, Bryant became one of the sport's most successful and recognizable players. He picked up Michael Jordan's mantle as the best player in the league and, like Jordan's, his profile transcended the sport and spread way beyond the NBA's borders.

In two decades with the Los Angeles Lakers Bryant won five NBA titles, was twice named MPV of the NBA Finals and won the regular season MVP in 2008.

An 18-time All-Star selection, Bryant won two Olympic golds and ranks fourth in the all-time scoring list.

Launched on change.org, the petition aims to get the Black Mamba forever enshrined on the NBA logo.

"With the untimely and unexpected passing of Kobe Bryant please sign this petition in an attempt to make his memory last forever as the NBA logo," petition organizer Nick M. explained.

The petition has set itself a target of 150,000 signatures and has been signed more than 129,000 times at the time of writing.

Bar a small change to the typeface, which was introduced in 2017, the NBA has used its iconic tri-color logo since 1971.

Created by Alan Siegel—the same man who had overseen the design of the Major League Baseball's logo—the NBA logo incorporates the silhouette of Los Angeles Lakers great Jerry West.

The logo is based on a picture of West taken by Wen Roberts and shows the former guard dribbling with the ball.

"It had a nice flavor to it," Siegel, a former high school basketball star, told the Los Angeles Times in 2010.

"So I took that picture, and we traced it. It was perfect. It was vertical and it had a sense of movement. It was just one of those things that clicked."

The NBA, however, has always officially denied the logo is based on a particular player. West has previously suggested that it was time for another player to appear on the logo.

"I wish that it had never gotten out that I'm the logo," 78-year-old West told ESPN's "The Jump" In April 2017.

"I really do. I've said it more than once, and it's flattering if that's me — and I know it is me — but it is flattering.

"But to me, I played in a time when they first started to try to market the league. There were five people that they were going to consider, and I didn't find out about it until the late commissioner [J. Walter Kennedy] told me about it. [. . .] Again, it's flattering. But if I were the NBA, I would be embarrassed about it. I really would."

Two years earlier, West had openly singled out Jordan as the man to replace him on the logo. "He's been the greatest player I've ever seen," West told the Huffington Post in 2015.

"And I'm probably a harsh judge of talent, in the sense that I admire players that are really good defensive players and really good offensive players...And he made his teams win."

Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers
Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers during a game against the Utah Jazz at Staples Center on April 13, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. Harry How/Getty