Los Angeles-based contemporary artist Victor Soloman was brought in by the NBA to redesign a number of iconic trophies and introduce two new ones. “Our minds were on what the trophy should look like and how heavy they should be,” notes Christopher Arena, the Head of On-Court and Brand Partnerships at the league. “We wanted to explore and start a new 75 years and bring some aesthetic consistency to that and have some meaning behind all the trophies we had.”
Both the conference championship trophies named after Bob Cousy (Eastern Conference) and Oscar Robertson (Western Conference) and Larry O’Brien NBA Finals Trophy have been reworked by Solomon. And for the first time ever, the league will be giving Conference Finals MVP awards with corresponding hardware, which they named after Magic Johnson (Western Conference) and Larry Bird (Eastern Conference). Each design is handcrafted by Tiffany & Co. from sterling silver and 24k gold vermeil.
“We could’ve taken an easy route and made a bunch of shiny new stuff that was arbitrary, but this league and these players deserved something so much more thoughtful,” Solomon says. “What we’re making is time capsules, something that these players and organizations are going to have as touchstones going forward. These trophies had so much equity and connection to the sport that we didn’t want to throw it out the window or flip the table, we wanted to spin it forward. We wanted something visually appealing to them that also matches the height of what they achieved, something so cool that they may want to repeat that achievement even more.”