A B.C. teen says he is pleasantly surprised that a petition he created to get Kobe Bryant on the NBA logo has garnered more than 900,000 signatures as of Monday afternoon.
Sixteen-year-old Nikyar Moghtader says he set up the online petition after hearing the Los Angeles Lakers guard died in a helicopter crash that claimed the lives of eight others, including Bryant’s daughter, Gianna.
“He was an inspiration and role model to countless fans including myself and he deserves to be commemorated as one of the greatest of all time,” Moghtader said in an email to Global News.
He said he had initially hoped to get about 100 signatures, but the petition quickly went viral after he posted it.
Following Bryant’s death, several public figures shared their condolences online, but Moghtader says he’s unaware of any NBA players or other celebrities who gave his petition a boost on social media.
Instead, he attributes the petition’s success to Bryant’s huge online fan base.
Designer Alan Siegel used an image of Lakers legend Jerry West dribbling down the court as an inspiration for the silhouetted player on the current NBA logo.
In addition to winning an NBA championship with the Lakers as a player, West won six championships as the team’s general manager and was instrumental in bringing Bryant to the Lakers in 1996.
West has said he wished the fact that he was the inspiration for the logo was never made public and he would like the league to change its logo.
“Who better to pass the torch to then his close friend Kobe Bryant?” Moghtader says.