Why doesn’t the new NBA MVP trophy, named after Michael Jordan, look like the former Chicago Bulls star?

The NBA recently announced that they have a new trophy that will be granted to the season’s Most Valuable Player (MVP). The trophy is dubbed the Michael Jordan Trophy despite not resembling the Chicago Bulls legend in any way.

The trophy, which reads, “an MVP’s endless search for greatness” measures 23.6 inches and weighs 23.6 pounds and was meant to be a homage to Michael Jordan, who himself was a five-time MVP.

“The trophy, which measures 23.6 inches and weighs 23.6 pounds in homage to Jordan’s legendary number 23 and its six rings, is made of bronze and represents a player coming out of a rock trying to reach a crystal basketball, symbolizing the endless pursuit of an MVP,” MARCA’s Nacho Duque explained.

“The five-sided base also has its explanation: it is a nod to the five MVPs of ‘Air’. And even the angle of 15 degrees from the base is due to the seasons that he played in the NBA.”

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Why Jordan didn’t want the trophy to look like him

According to Mark Smith, who worked with Michael Jordan and the NBA on the trophy’s design, Jordan didn’t want the trophy to resemble him.

“In his own words Michael Jordan said… ‘the player should see himself in the trophy, not me’,” Smith told the Charlotte observer.

“When he said ‘I don’t’, I clicked right away and I was like ‘OK, this is a universal theme.’ This is not a man in a uniform. This is a human form looking for that. That was a big challenge. It was a fabulous challenge.”

Smith also stated that he and Jordan worked together on the trophy and the most important element was ensuring the player receiving the award saw himself in it.

“While we worked together on this project, it was very important to Michael Jordan that the figure did not look like him, but that the recipient could see himself in the award. For Michael naming the award after him was recognition enough,” Smith said, reported by NBC.