On Thursday, the NBA revealed new designs for the Larry O'Brien Trophy and the Bill Russell Finals MVP Trophy as the eight teams remaining in the playoffs battle for the right to raise them. The biggest change happened to the actual championship trophy, which now lists each NBA champion on the bottom, somewhat similar to the Stanley Cup. Otherwise it seems that the major changes are just nets drawn onto the stems of the trophies and a rounder bottom for the O'Brien Trophy.
The more substantial announcement, however, is that the Conference Championship trophies have been re-named after Magic Johnson and Larry Bird. Moreover, the league will now hand out Conference Finals MVP trophies. Those are the little tiny trophies you can see in the cover photo of the article. Here's a closer look:
I mean... cool, I guess? It's surprising that the league hadn't cooked up a way to have all the previous champions inscribed on the trophy before. Honoring Bird and Magic is pretty neat. I don't really think anybody needed a Conference Finals MVP trophy but I can't think of a good reason why they shouldn't exist so the NBA has got me there.
Hopefully this signifies a strong movement towards celebrating championships like NHL teams do and giving every player a week with the Larry O'Brien before it goes back into storage. Optimally somebody figures out a way to chug beer from it as well. Baby steps!