An NBA fan has become the voice of more than 2 million people in the wake of the deaths of Kobe Bryant, his daughter and seven others in a helicopter crash in California on Sunday.
The fan, identified as Nick M. of Vancouver, Calif., started a petition to make Bryant the new NBA logo, replacing Jerry West – a legendary Los Angeles Lakers player in his own right. The petition was started Sunday night and as of Tuesday, it had gained more than 2.3 million signatures.
According to Change.org, celebrities such as Snoop Dogg, Justin Bieber and Vanessa Hudgens have all signed the petition.
“Wow. I truly cannot express this, the support from you guys has been overwhelmingly amazing...I want to thank everyone who has contributed to this petition and made it possible,” Nick M. said in a press release. “All of this is for Kobe! I wish Kobe was still here and I never had to make this petition to begin with. But sadly that isn’t the case, my condolences go out to the Bryant family and everyone who was involved in this accident.”
Michael Jones, the managing director of Change.org, said the petition was the fastest growing on the site and the first to reach more than 1 million signatures this year.
“As the world comes to terms with the death of someone as famous and well-known as Kobe Bryant, Nick has given basketball fans an outlet to create a permanent memory of someone who made history in the NBA,” Jones said.
As word of Bryant’s death trickled down, fans immediately went to social media to urge the NBA to change the logo.
West commented on Bryant’s passing in an interview with CBS Los Angeles.
“To hear this news this morning, frankly, at first I was shocked,” West said. “I really felt like a surrogate father to him … this has been one of the most horrible days of our life.
“The thing that I will share with you is how, to me, the maturity I saw him grow into, I saw him deal with press that was negative at times because he played the game with a flair, and anytime you play the game with a flair you’re susceptible to making mistakes. I was his biggest supporter but I had some very serious talks with him.”