The NBA is renaming its annual regular-season Most Valuable Player award after legendary star Michael Jordan — who claimed the honor five times with the Chicago Bulls.
The league unveiled the newly designed Michael Jordan Trophy on Tuesday, along with five other reimagined trophies named after league pioneers that will now be presented to the National Basketball Association’s end-of-season award winners.
Jordan, a six-time NBA champion, won five MVPs in his 15-season career, tied for second-most behind Kareem Abdul-Jabbar who won six.
The NBA’s Social Justice Champion award is named for Abdul-Jabbar.
Other renamed awards announced Tuesday are the Hakeem Olajuwon Trophy for the Defensive Player of the Year, the Wilt Chamberlain Trophy for Rookie of the Year, the John Havlicek Trophy for Sixth Man of the Year and the George Mikan Trophy for Most Improved Player.
The NBA also announced a new award for Clutch Player of the Year, named after Jerry West, who played in nine NBA Finals and remains the only player to win Finals MVP while losing the series.
The new Michael Jordan Trophy was created with input from the NBA icon, who requested that it not be a likeness of him.
It features a player breaking out of a rock to reach for a crystal basketball, and includes elements that reflect Jordan’s career, including references to his jersey number 23 and his six NBA titles.
Previously, the league’s MVP trophy was named after former commissioner Maurice Podoloff, whose name will now be attached to a new trophy honoring the team that posts the best regular-season record.
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