What is the history behind the name of the ‘Larry O’Brien’ trophy and what is its make and subsequent worth?
As the Golden State Warriors and Boston Celtics continue to duke it out tonight in Game 6 of the 2022 NBA Finals, let us visit what the two teams, along with the other 28 throughout the regular season, fight for.
The Larry O’Brien championship trophy is the name that has been given to the trophy that the last team standing hoists at the end of each year’s NBA Finals. However, who is Larry O’Brien and what had he done to have such an honor bestowed upon him.
Larry O’Brien served as the NBA’s Commissioner from 1975 (the first season of the merger between the NBA and the ABA) to 1984. He’d done a bevy of things for the betterment of the NBA during his tenure such as negotiate two key CBAs, introduce the salary cap, and try to tackle the NBA’s rampant drug problem.
In order to honor Larry following his retirement in 1984, the championship trophy was named after him. His name would replace the previous name that was given to it, the Walter A. Brown trophy. This trophy was active from 1946-1977. 1977-1984 saw the current design of the trophy under that same name until the name change.
What is the Larry O’Brien trophy made of and what is its worth?
With the 2021-22 NBA season being the league’s 75th season, they decided to remodel the Larry O’Brien trophy after not having done so the past 45 years. This was done to commemorate the first 75 years while also looking ahead to the next 75.
A designer from Los Angeles named Victor Solomon collaborated with Tiffany and Co to bring to life the newest design. It starts off with 16 pounds of sterling silver being shaped into a ball, a net, and two discs with the names of each of the past championship teams etched into them.
The sterling silver is then masked with 24 karat gold in appropriate areas and then all pieces are assembled together.
The total cost of the trophy with materials and the man-hours put into making it is about $14,200 with this new updated model.