NBA introduces Larry Bird Trophy for Eastern Conference Finals MVP

BOSTON (CBS) — The NBA announced some big changes to its postseason awards on Thursday, including new trophies that will be given to the MVPs of the Eastern and Western Conference Finals. Those two trophies will fittingly be named after a pair of legends: Larry Bird and Magic Johnson.

It’s hard to imagine two better players to have their names adorning those trophies. Bird and Johnson brought the NBA back into the spotlight in the 1980s, carrying their collegiate rivalry to the famous Celtics-Lakers rivalry.

Bird had a great reaction when he and Johnson were alerted to the news on Thursday.

“I just wish I could win one of them Magic Johnson trophies,” Larry Legend joked. “That would be the highlight of my career.”

Larry Bird learns about the new Larry Bird Trophy, awarded to the Eastern Conference Finals MVP, from NBA Deputy Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer, Mark Tatum.

— NBA History (@NBAHistory) May 12, 2022

Bird won three straight MVPs from 1984-86, and took home Finals MVP in both 1984 and 1986. Johnson was a five-time MVP — winning the award in 1980, 1982, 1986, 1987, and 1988 — and Finals MVP in 1980, 1982, and 1987. The Celtics beat the Lakers in the NBA Finals in 1984, while Los Angeles defeated Boston in both 1985 and 1987.

Celtics legend Bob Cousy will also have his name on an NBA postseason award going forward. The Eastern Conference trophy will don his name, the NBA announced Thursday, while the Western Conference trophy will now bear Oscar Robinson’s name.

The NBA Finals MVP award had already been renamed for Bill Russell, who was an 11-time champion and five-time MVP during his illustrious career with the Celtics.