The entire sporting world was shocked on Sunday when news surfaced of the helicopter crash that took the life of NBA legend Kobe Bryant.
Through the outpouring of emotion, one long-time fan of the late Los Angeles Laker created an online petition to change the NBA logo from Jerry West to an image of Bryant.
Sitting at over 250,000 signatures as of Monday morning — less than 24 hours since the news broke of Kobe’s passing — 16-year-old Nikyar Moghtader, a fan from Vancouver, B.C., is still in shock that his emotional response is getting the traction it is.
“It’s a bittersweet moment we’ve sadly lost Kobe, but it truly shows the power of the internet, and more important the NBA community as a whole,” Moghtader said.
The idea of the 41-year-old legend becoming the official face of the league has certainly spread through fans and players.
Kobe has to be the new NBA logo.....— 🏁 Jamal Crawford (@JCrossover) January 27, 2020
Jamal Crawford has been in the NBA since the 2000-01 season and was witness to Bryant’s greatness throughout his career. It appears that many agree with Moghtader, as the number of signatures rocket every single minute.
If the petition were to be successful, the Vancouver-based fan would be ecstatic.
“I would be over the moon, as I’m sure most NBA fans would be as well,” he said.
“At the end of the day, it’s all for Kobe.”
But why the league’s logo? There are countless ways to honor one of the greatest basketball players to play the game, but for the 16-year-old it was clear.
“I felt like for a player of his prestige, it would be an honorable thing for the NBA to do,” Moghtader said.
“Considering that [Kobe] and Jerry West were so close, I feel like he would be honored to pass down the mantle of the logo to Kobe.”
West, the former player currently idolized as the logo and a fellow Lakers legend, had a special relationship with Bryant and experienced “one of the worst days” of his life on Sunday.
The Hall of Famer has been outspoken about his involvement as “The Logo,” and might not even want to earn his nickname anymore.
“I wish that it had never gotten out that I’m the logo,” the 79-year-old West said in 2017 on ESPN’s “The Jump.” “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.”
Due to West’s position, Moghtader’s petition becoming successful and the league taking it into real consideration might be possible.
At the end of it all, this is really a personal and emotional tribute to one of the NBA’s greatest talents by a fan who felt connected to the legend.
“His play style and attitude is what got me so invested into the NBA in the first place,” Moghtader said. “I still yell ‘Kobe’ every time I throw a piece of trash in the garbage.”
The current iteration of the NBA logo was designed and integrated into the league in 1969, so a timely redesign could be in play.
More NBA coverage from Yahoo Sports