DENVER (KDVR) — Tipoff for the NBA Finals Game 1 is just hours away, and FOX31 got the first look at the golden Larry O’Brien trophy being escorted into Ball Arena.
In a first for the Denver Nuggets, the team will face the Miami Heat for Game 1 of the finals at 6:30 p.m. But before the big game starts, crews have been getting Ball Arena ready.
FOX31’s Carly Moore was at the arena Thursday morning when she spotted the Larry O’Brien trophy entering the venue by police escort.
The trophy also arrived in style; it was sitting shotgun.
The championship trophy is named after the third commissioner of the NBA. O’Brien held that position for nearly a decade. According to Sporting News, he oversaw the expansion of the league from 18 to 23 teams.
He also merged the American Basketball Association with the NBA. This was an important part of history for the Denver Nuggets, as they were one of the ABA teams who merged into the NBA nearly 50 years ago.
According to ESPN, the iconic trophy got a makeover in 2022 when the NBA collaborated with Tiffany & Co., who has produced the trophy since 1977, and a Los Angeles designer named Victor Solomon. The team was tasked to bring a new look to the trophy.
The new design features the net and ball configuration shifting forward, symbolizing the league looking ahead to its future, according to the NBA. The trophy is made of 24-karat gold vermeil.
The Nuggets are just four wins away from hoisting the Larry O’Brien trophy a mile high and claiming the title of the 2023 NBA champions.