The NBA is adding new awards for the conference finals that’ll honor two of the greatest players of all time, Larry Bird and Magic Johnson.
During this year’s conference finals, one player will take home the first-ever Larry Bird Eastern Conference Finals MVP. Another player will be given the Earvin “Magic” Johnson Western Conference Finals MVP award.
The timing of this announcement isn’t a coincidence. Since the NBA is celebrating its 75th anniversary, it wants to find new ways to honor iconic players. These conference finals awards will certainly do the trick.
However, NBA fans aren’t exactly on board with this idea.
Some fans are wondering just how many Easter Conference Finals MVP awards LeBron James would’ve had if this was introduced earlier.
And of course, there are a few fans referring to these new awards as participation trophies.
Christopher Arena, the NBA’s head of on-court and brand partnerships, released a statement on this year’s conference finals awards.
“Larry and Magic defining the ’80s and having that bicoastal relationship representing their conferences like no other two people have,” Arena said. “We just thought it was a perfect symmetry as you percolate up to the NBA Finals and you potentially win that Bill Russell Trophy, and obviously the winningest player we have in our history.”
In addition to these awards, the NBA has decided to name the Eastern Conference championship trophy after Bob Cousy. The Western Conference championship trophy, meanwhile, will be named after Oscar Robertson.
Are you a fan of these changes to the NBA’s playoff hardware?