Golden State Warriors’ Kobe Bryant Tribute T-shirts Feature Kobe NBA Logo
As the tributes pour in for Kobe Bryant, one of nine victims in a Jan. 26 helicopter crash in California, NBA franchises are also calling on promo goods to acknowledge his influence. The Golden State Warriors were one of those teams, distributing a shirt featuring Kobe's jersey numbers, the number that his daughter wore as a budding player, and a Kobe NBA logo with his silhouette replacing Jerry West's.
T-shirts being distributed for tonight’s Lakers-Warriors game, complete with what a Kobe NBA logo could look like pic.twitter.com/pSRbWx5nFb
— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) February 8, 2020
Since the Lakers, the team for whom Bryant played his entire 20-year career, and the Warriors compete in the league’s Pacific Division, the teams have quite a history against each other, making the latter’s decision to honor him even more touching since the move placed compassion above competition for a night. The giveaways, with Kobe's No. 8 and 24 in yellow and gold and Gianna’s No. 2 in white, came ahead of Saturday’s matchup between the clubs that ended with a 125-120 win for the visitors. The Warriors’ inclusion of the jersey numbers surely pulled on the heartstrings of the Chase Center crowd, but the logo element could have more of an impact on the league.
Owing to last month’s tragedy and the repeated declarations by West—a former Lakers great and current league executive board member—that he would be fine with the game’s adoption of a new logo, the shirt’s symbol of Kobe launching a jumper is sure to intensify calls for the NBA to make a logo change. Relying on his “iconic fade-away pose,” the would-be uniform patch would definitely need some work if it is to be the inspiration for a new logo, but at least it continues the conversation.
Barely two weeks beyond his death, people are still processing his departure, and come Feb. 24, their task might become harder when the Lakers hold a memorial for Kobe, Gianna and the other victims. By that date or immediately after, we expect for other teams to craft some ways to pay similar tributes and thus show that even in times of grief, a promo product can be a way to mourn, remember, celebrate and spark thoughtful conversations.