Providence College Investigates: NBA

by The Cowl Editor on September 30, 2021


Should the NBA Logo Be Changed?

Will Murphy ’23

Sports Staff

Yes, There’s A Better Choice

The NBA’s logo is one of the most, if not the most, recognizable logos in the world of professional sports.

The NBA has kept the same logo for upwards of 50 years since it was originally established. The logo famously consists of a silhouette of Jerry West, an NBA All-Star guard for the Los Angeles Lakers throughout the 1960s and early 1970s.

Although the NBA has never publicly acknowledged that West is the logo, it is common knowledge that it is West who is represented in the iconic silhouette. One would think that being the logo of the sport they played professionally is one of the highest honors that could be bestowed upon them.

West has publicly stated that, although he is honored to be depicted in the logo, it also embarrasses him to some extent.

In recent years, West has even gone as far as to advocate for the NBA to change the logo.

The game today is almost unrecognizable from the game that was played in the 1960s; there was not even a three-point line yet when the logo was instituted back in 1969. The NBA deserves a logo that evolves with the game and that can more accurately represent the spirit of today’s game.

Since West’s retirement in 1974, there have been countless players who have made a profound impact on the NBA, providing a wealth of options to choose from. Michael Jordan, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and LeBron James are just a few of the players who have left a remarkable impact on the NBA.

One player, however, may be even better suited to become the new face of the NBA: Kobe Bryant.

Kobe Bryant
Photo Courtesy of DeAngelo Vaxter

Bryant played for the Los Angeles Lakers for the duration of his 20-year career in the NBA. Throughout his career he racked up countless individual accolades, including 18 All-Star appearances, one Most Valuable Player award, and two years spent atop the league’s scoring leaderboard.

In addition to his individual accomplishments, he also led one of the most successful dynasties the league has ever seen to five NBA championships. Bryant has had one of the most storied NBA careers in the history of the league.

Bryant embodied the loyalty of a true star, remaining with the Lakers for his entire playing career. In every aspect of the game, Bryant’s hardworking nature was evident, which allowed him to gain the respect of opponents and become a fan favorite around the league.

Unfortunately, Bryant died in a tragic helicopter accident on Jan. 26, 2020. What better way to honor Bryant than to reward all the work he put into the league by memorializing his trademark fadeaway as the new NBA logo? 



Joseph Quirk ’23

Sports Staff

No, Keep It the Same

There is no good reason, be it social or economic, that the NBA should change their logo.

The narrative that the NBA should consider this change really began to pick up steam in the past year since the passing of NBA legend Kobe Bryant.

Prior to Kobe’s death, the discourse around altering the logo was not present, or at least it was not nearly as prominent as it is now.

I agree that Kobe should be immortalized; his behavior on and off the court as well as his impact on the sport will be forever remembered by fans and the league; however, changing a logo is a big deal for a couple of reasons.

Firstly, the NBA logo has been a symbol of the league for a number of decades. The NBA as we know it today is still relatively young and the game never really exploded in popularity until the 1980s.

Jerry West is the figure on the league’s current logo. He has been one of the best guards in league history, one of the best talent evaluators in league history, and the face of the Los Angeles Lakers organization before the “Showtime” Lakers of the 80’s.

Needless to say, he is an iconic NBA player and an integral part of league history. The man nicknamed “The Logo” has represented the league for years.

The current logo is everywhere: on NBA video games, apparel, hats—that is to say, if you own or watch something NBA-based, you recognize it as the NBA.

If you change that, not only do you outdate all of those broadcasts and merchandise, but you have to pay to replace it all. You also confuse everyone who has for years associated that specific image with the league. The fans may not easily recognize the new logo. Those are just a couple of good reasons that the logo shouldn’t be changed.

All in all, there is no justifiable reason for the NBA to change its logo.

NBA Logo
Photo Courtesy of NBA

There is no controversy around it, and it hasn’t become outdated or the cause of outrage. The logo, an established visual of the league, doesn’t have to be changed.

The NFL hasn’t changed theirs in the last couple decades. Neither has the MLB or NHL, and all of those leagues, you could argue, have worse logos than the NBA.

Why change a piece of the league’s history, a change that may not help the expansion of the league to fans and could cost the league extensively financially for absolutely no good reason?

No, the league should certainly not change their logo.



In Memorium: Kobe Bryant

by Meaghan P Cahill on January 30, 2020

Professional Sports

Laker Great Leaves Behind an Unparalleled Legacy

By Cam Smith ’21

Sports Assistant Editor

I was eleven years old as I sat on the couch, eyes glued to the TV on June 16, 2010. The Los Angeles Lakers were in the midst of a dramatic Game Seven against my beloved Boston Celtics, a game that was the perfect finale to a perfect series. Fresh off a victory over the Orlando Magic in the NBA Finals the previous year, Kobe Bryant was looking for his fifth championship overall. He was also firmly set on crushing my dreams.

I still remember the shot that ended it. No, it was not the game-winner, in fact there were still five minutes left on the clock, but for all intents and purposes the game was over.

Bryant took the ball at the top of the key, guarded by the Celtics’ Ray Allen. A quick jab to the left sent Allen reeling, allowing for Bryant to quickly take one dribble to the right. Somehow, almost immediately, the “Black Mamba,” true to his namesake, was in the air hoisting up his patented fade-away jumper.

The ball found nothing but net. As the Staples Center went berserk, I stormed off to my room, frustrated and angry because Bryant had the lead in the fourth quarter of a Game Seven, and there was no way he was going to give it up.

This particular moment perfectly encapsulates what everyone referred to as the “Mamba Mentality:” a mentality of hard-work, grit, and a smooth and unbreakable confidence. These traits, in addition to his basketball prowess, elevated his status to that of a living legend, one celebrated with a retirement tour unlike any other during his final season.

Truly, Bryant just seemed invincible. He had transcended the bounds between sports and pop culture. More than a basketball player, he was a cultural icon that showed that the NBA could thrive post-Michael Jordan.

That is why his death on Sunday in a helicopter crash, along with nine others, including his 13-year-old daughter and fellow basketball savant Gianna Bryant, is so difficult to come to terms with. Bryant was supposed to be around for decades to come, gracing playoff games and award shows much like the legendary Bill Russell does.

Instead, the world got a stark reminder of the fragility of life, an idea made all the more poignant by the passing of fellow passenger and former Cape Cod Baseball League coach John Altobelli. A man who, much like Bryant, devoted his life to the love of the game. Altobelli tragically perished alongside his wife Keri and daughter Alyssa.

In lieu of everything, it bears mentioning that Bryant did not lead a life without controversy. He was accused of sexual assault in Colorado in 2003, although the charges were dropped after his accuser refused to testify. On the court, he often got into spats with his teammates due to his lofty standards, most notably with fellow All-Star Shaquille O’Neal.

Nevertheless, he was the reason so many kids fell in love with the game. If the last generation wanted to be like Mike, then this generation wanted to be like Kobe: a 5-time NBA champion, 18-time NBA All-Star, 2-time Olympic Gold Medalist, and 1-time Academy Award winner.

Bryant was far from perfect, but his commitment to the sport of basketball was unparalleled. So too was his commitment to his children.  Indeed, the ill-fated helicopter was en route to Gianna’s travel basketball game, where Bryant was set to coach and Gianna was set to play. Their intended destination makes the untimely passings all the more devastating.

Ten years ago, in Game Seven of the NBA Finals, Kobe broke my heart. On Sunday, my heart broke again: for  the Bryant family and for all the lives lost in the tragic accident. 

Kobe Bryant Los Angeles lakers dies in plane crash in memorium
Photo Courtesy of Harry How/Getty Images