Larry O'Brien Championship Trophy

For other similarly named awards, see O'Brien Trophy (disambiguation).
Larry O'Brien Championship Trophy
Awarded for Winning the NBA Finals
Presented by NBA
First awarded 1977
Currently held by Cleveland Cavaliers
Official website

The Larry O'Brien NBA Championship Trophy is the championship trophy awarded annually by the National Basketball Association (NBA) to the winner of the NBA Finals. The name of the trophy was the Walter A. Brown Trophy until 1984.

The current design, depicting a basketball over a hoop and basket, was first awarded in 1977[1] still under its original name, which was changed in honor of former NBA commissioner Larry O'Brien who served from 1975 to 1984. Before joining the NBA, O'Brien was the United States Postmaster General under President Lyndon B. Johnson from 1965 to 1968.[2]


The trophy, made of 14.5 pounds of sterling silver and vermeil with a 24 karat gold overlay, stands two feet tall. Valued at $13,500, the trophy is manufactured by the Tiffany & Co. Silver Shop every year. The winning team maintains permanent possession of the trophy. The year and winning team names are engraved on the trophies, and are often prominently displayed in the winning team's arena.[3][4][5]


The O'Brien trophy displayed for the 2005 NBA Legends Tour in the New City Gas NBA Store

Although the Larry O'Brien Trophy has been compared with the National Hockey League's (NHL) Stanley Cup, it has never been as prominent as the NHL trophy.[6] To reduce this discrepancy, the NBA has been actively promoting the O'Brien Trophy in recent years to generate more recognition and an iconic status for the trophy.[7] After the Detroit Pistons won the NBA Finals in 2004, the trophy was toured around the state of Michigan, marking the first time the trophy toured around the state of the winning team.[8] In 2005, the NBA Legends Tour was launched in New York City. As part of the tour, the O’Brien Trophy was showcased in various cities—including those that were hosting the playoffs—for fans' autograph and photo sessions. It was escorted by many former players, including Julius Erving, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Bill Russell.[5][7] In May 2007, the NBA unveiled the NBA Headquarters on Second Life, an Internet-based virtual reality environment. With this launch, fans could take pictures with the championship trophy in the virtual Toyota Larry O'Brien Trophy Room.[9] In August, the trophy traveled to Hong Kong for the first time as part of the NBA Madness Asia Tour.[10]


  1. "O'Brien acknowledges problem". The Star-News. May 16, 1977. Retrieved June 17, 2009.
  2. "December 2004: Picture This". National Archives and Records Administration. Retrieved October 17, 2008.
  3. "The trophies". St. Petersburg Times. April 10, 2003. Retrieved July 26, 2008.
  4. "Larry O'Brien Championship Trophy". Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. Retrieved July 26, 2008.
  5. 1 2 "NBA Legends Launch 2005 NBA Legends Tour: Destination Finals". Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. Retrieved July 26, 2008.
  6. Sandomir, Richard (June 9, 2004). "This Trophy Is Fickle, And Her Name Is Larry". The New York Times. Retrieved October 19, 2008.
  7. 1 2 "NBA championship trophy going on tour". The China Daily. April 15, 2004. Retrieved October 17, 2008.
  8. Bremmer, Daniel (September 27, 2004). "The Trophy Tour". The Michigan Daily. Retrieved October 17, 2008.
  9. "NBA Headquarters Unveiled in Second Life". Business Wire. May 1, 2007. Retrieved October 17, 2008.
  10. "DHL delivers the NBA Championship Trophy to "NBA Madness" in Hong Kong". DHL. August 17, 2007. Retrieved October 17, 2008.

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