The NBA awards fans have come to know and love will look a little different going forward. On Tuesday, the league announced that some of the biggest individual awards will now bear the name of an NBA legend. The league also introduced some amazing trophies of these legends’ likeness to go alongside the new names.

Michael Jordan headlines the new award names, with the Michael Jordan Trophy going to the league’s MVP. Wilt Chamberlin received the nod for the Rookie of the Year Award, while Hakeem Olajuwon received it for Defensive Player of the Year. The NBA honored George Mikas with the Most Improved Player award and John Havlicek with the Sixth Man of the Year award. The association also introduced the brand-new Clutch Player of the Year Award, named after Mr. Clutch himself, Jerry West.

These new award names continue the recent trend of naming awards after NBA legends. First, the league renamed the All-Star Game MVP Award after Kobe Bryant following his tragic passing in 2020. The trend continued earlier in 2022 when the league introduced Conference Finals MVP awards, named after Larry Bird for the Eastern Conference and Magic Johnson for the Western Conference.

This trend is great for emphasizing the NBA’s storied history. However, there is still room to grow this trend even further by adding more legends to the list.

With that said, here are a few more NBA legends who should have their own awards.

3. Steph Curry

Steph Curry has revolutionized the game of basketball throughout his career. His amazing shooting from 3-point range has inspired teams, players and fans across the league, and many current trends started with him. Clearly, the league’s greatest shooter deserves his own award.

As it stands, though, there isn’t an award that fits Curry perfectly. Maybe one day he could take over the MVP trophy, as he is the only unanimous MVP in league history. However, it is very hard to justify Curry over Jordan for the league’s most prestigious award.

Instead, it might be best to create a new award for Curry. An award for the best guard could work, although basketball has less distinction between different positions and wouldn’t fit the sport too well. In that case, the best path would be an Offensive Player of the Year award, similar to what the NFL does. After all, a scoring award named after the league’s greatest shooter would only be fitting.

2. LeBron James

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Many basketball fans see LeBron James as the greatest player in NBA history, so he simply must have an award of his own. Fortunately, there are plenty of awards that could easily bear James’ name. In fact, there may be too many options.

The first option is the NBA’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Introduced in 2017, only Bill Russell, Oscar Robertson, Larry Bird, and Magic Johnson have won the award throughout its short history. The award does not have any player’s name associated with it, so James would be an excellent candidate if he is still involved in the NBA after his playing days.

Alternatively, James could become the new namesake for the Finals MVP Award. He has won the award four times, trailing only Jordan for most in league history, so it certainly fits. If this were to happen, then the NBA could move Bill Russell’s name to the Lifetime Achievement Award.

The NBA could even make a new award to honor James. No matter what form it takes, James needs an award of his own.

1. Gregg Popovich

Unfortunately for basketball fans, Gregg Popovich’s legendary coaching career is likely nearing its end. The 73-year-old is in the final year of his contract with the San Antonio Spurs, and any season could be his last. With Popovich likely retiring soon, it’s important to remember just how much he has accomplished.

Popovich is one of just five coaches to ever win five titles, and he has an Olympic Gold Medal to boot. He led the Spurs to 22 consecutive winning seasons, the longest streak in NBA history. Most impressively, though he is the winningest coach in NBA history with 1,353.

Popovich is the perfect person to name the Coach of the Year Award after. He is one of three coaches to ever win the award three times, but he is the only one to win all of them with the same team. Simply put, Popovich embodies what it means to be an NBA coach.

Red Auerbach, who coached the Boston Celtics to nine titles in the 50s and 60s, is the award’s current namesake. If anyone were to replace him for that title, though, it would be Popovich. Renaming the award after Popovich after his retirement would be the ultimate gesture to arguably the game’s greatest coach.