The NBA announced on Thursday that the Conference Finals will have MVP awards named after Magic Johnson and Larry Bird. The Boston Celtics legend has reacted to the news and hilariously talked trash about his longtime Los Angeles Lakers rival.
NBA Deputy Commissioner and COO Mark Tatum broke the news to Bird via conference call. The three-time NBA champ showed his gratitude before making a comment about Magic.
"Well, thanks Mark. I just wish I could win one of them Magic Johnson trophies. That'd be a highlight of my career,” Bird said.
The NBA made the announcement on Thursday, with the Eastern Conference Finals MVP being named after Larry Bird. The Western Conference Finals MVP will be called the Magic Johnson Trophy. It's an incredible honor bestowed upon two of the greatest players of all time.
Bird is a three-time NBA MVP, three-time NBA champion and three-time NBA Finals MVP with the Boston Celtics. He won the Eastern Conference championship five times during his career.
Meanwhile, Johnson is a three-time NBA MVP, five-time NBA champion and three-time NBA Finals MVP with the Los Angeles Lakers. Magic won the Western Conference championship a whopping nine times during his career. Larry and Magic are often credited for saving the NBA with their legandary rivalry back in the 1980s.
Magic Johnson reacts to Western Conference Finals MVP being named after him
Magic Johnson reacted to the news of the Western Conference Finals MVP trophy being named after him via Twitter. Johnson was very thankful to the NBA for the honor, while also praising the trophy's design.
NBA also honors Bob Cousy and Oscar Robertson
In addition to introducing new Conference Finals MVP trophies, the NBA also renamed the Eastern and Western Conference championships to the Bob Cousy Trophy and the Oscar Robertson Trophy, respectively.
Cousy and Robertson were both instrumental in the improvement of the player's union. Cousy, a Boston Celtics legend, is often credited for forming the union and becoming the first ever president of the NBPA in 1954.
Meanwhile, Robertson was the NBPA president from 1965 to 1974. The Milwaukee Bucks legend is the reason why players became free agents due to the "Oscar Robertson Rule" that was caused by a class action anti-trust lawsuit against the NBA that was settled in 1976.
The NBA redesigned the Conference championships, as well as the Larry O'Brien Trophy and the Bill Russell Trophy. Victor Solomon is the man behind the new designs of the trophies and explained the reason behind the changes.
"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," Solomon said.