(Los Angeles) The NBA announced Thursday the creation of two new individual accolades, rewarding the best players in the conference playoff finals, with trophies named after the legendary Magic Johnson in the West and Larry Bird. to the East.
“Larry Bird and Earvin ‘Magic’ Johnson helped define the modern NBA through their individual talent and success” with the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers, the North American basketball league said in a statement.
Their rivalry — they met three times in the Finals — provided some of the finest hours of the NBA Finals.
Magic Johnson, now 62, remains as one of the most spectacular players in history. In his wake-and that of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar-L. A. moved into the era of “Showtime” version of basketball, with five championship titles in the 1980s.
“Thank you NBA for naming my new Western Conference Finals MVP trophy, I’m honored,” the former “purple and gold” idol tweeted.
Bird, 65, led the Celtics to three victories in the same decade, contributing to the revival of the NBA, which would continue with the advent of Michael Jordan to the Chicago Bulls in the 1990s. .
The league also unveiled design changes to its trophies on Thursday, to mark its 75th anniversary.
The Larry O’Brien trophy, designed since 1977 by jeweler Tiffany
The NBA also paid tribute to two other players who marked its history, Bob Cousy and Oscar Robertson, who will now give their names to the trophies awarded to the winners of the Eastern and Western conferences.
The conference playoff semifinals are currently underway.