When millions of people tune in this June to see who will win the 2023 NBA MVP award, they’ll be staring at a brand-new trophy that was made in Wisconsin!
What It Is
“The Michael Jordan Trophy” is the NBA’s new MVP prize. Standing 23.6 inches tall and weighing 23.6 pounds, a nod to Jordan’s jersey number and the number of titles he won with a team 90 miles south of Milwaukee, there’s a good chance it could stay in the Cream City.
Who’s Behind It
Vanguard Sculpture Services, the shop behind iconic sculptures like downtown Milwaukee’s Bronze Fonz, was approached to help make the trophy more than six months ago. They were sworn to secrecy and, at first, even they didn’t know the design would become the new MVP trophy.
Nike and Michael Jordan himself collaborated on the design, which is intended not to represent any one player (although the athlete’s gesture is reminiscent of Jordan.)
How It’s Made
The first step is simple: an artist creates a model out of clay or stone. The shop then begins a complicated nine-step process, which involves working with 1,350-degree metal to transform the model into bronze! The statue will last about 4,000 years, but the patina, the green film that forms on top, will need to be maintained every few years.
Vanguard made five Jordan trophies in total: one for each of the next five years, so it’s possible at least one could stay in the city that made it! The Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo won consecutive MVP awards in 2019 and 2020 and is still in the race for his third, according to oddsmakers.