In addition to several trophy redesigns/renames announced by the NBA on Thursday, the league also introduced two new awards altogether.
From this day forward, Eastern and Western Conference Finals MVP trophies will be awarded to the most outstanding player from each series. The Eastern Conference trophy is named after Celtics legend Larry Bird and the Western Conference trophy after Lakers legend Magic Johnson.
Bird took a call from NBA Deputy Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer, Mark Tatum, on Thursday.
A smile came across Bird’s face as soon as he heard the news. Magic’s iconic laugh came through on the speaker phone.
“I just wish I could win one of them Magic Johnson trophies. That’d be a highlight of my career,” Bird joked.
Take a look at Bird’s reaction here:
For years, Larry Bird and Magic Johnson personified one of the greatest rivalries in sports — the Celtics vs. the Lakers.
Bird led the Celtics to five Eastern Conference titles during his time in the NBA. On three of those occasions, his team was pitted against Johnson and the Lakers in the Finals.
Given their rich history as outstanding players in the Conference Finals, these award namesakes are well deserved.