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The NBA Is Renaming The MVP Award In Honor Of Michael Jordan

The NBA has named its MVP trophy after Michael Jordan, and renamed other top awards for great NBA players.

The NBA Is Renaming The MVP Award In Honor Of Michael Jordan
John Swart / AP
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If there is any doubt that Michael Jordan is the greatest basketball player of all time, just check out the NBA’s new most valuable player trophy.

The league is renaming its MVP award in honor of Jordan — the very player former NBA Commissioner David Stern once described as "simply the standard by which basketball excellence is measured."

Until now, the trophy had been named after the NBA’s first Comissioner, Maurice Podoloff — a trophy Jordan himself won five times as a Chicago Bull over the course of his career. 

The new trophy pays tribute to Jordan’s career with unique details like its height and weight, 23.6 inches and 23.6 pounds — 23 being Jordan’s longtime jersey number and six being the number of NBA championships he won. 

Cheryl Raye-Stout, heard on WBEZ in Chicago, has covered sports in the Windy City for over 40 years — including most of Jordan’s career. 

"A lot of people don't realize what his career, the impact he had, not just on the court, how he was able to transition the NBA to the world," Raye-Stout said. 

"Michael and I would have conversations all the time. He agreed to be one on one every time I asked and including when he came back to the NBA. To have ever seen Michael Jordan play in person, it was always an event. He put his feet on the court — anything could happen," Raye-Stout said. 

Raye-Stout says the renaming of the trophy signifies just how powerful a legacy Jordan has left in the game. 

"But can you imagine that? Holding that trophy saying it's Michael Jordan and that you're being compared to him because you're an MVP? I think that's going to mean a lot to a lot of the players, especially whoever wins it," Stout said.  

Other top league awards are also getting new names honoring past stars, including Hakeem Olajuwon, Wilt Chamberlain, John Havlicek, George Mikan and Jerry West. 

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