Oct 30, 2023; Denver, Colorado, USA; General view of the Denver Nuggets 2023 Larry O’Brien championship trophy before the game against the Utah Jazz at Ball Arena. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The biggest honor in the NBA is up for grabs once again. The Boston Celtics and the Dallas Mavericks have fought their way into the NBA Finals where they will compete for the Larry O’Brien trophy. While the wait continues for Game 1, there has been a lot of speculation about the NBA trophy. Many people even believe that it is made completely of gold. But is this true?

The Claim:

The trophy has an iconic look that’s not seen elsewhere in the world of sports. Over several decades, so many legends of the game have had an opportunity to pose with the trophy, which has only made it more recognizable across the globe.

The Larry O’Brien trophy’s golden color and shine have made many believe that it was made out of gold. And on the surface, it does seem to make sense. After all, why wouldn’t the winner prize be made completely out of gold?

The Fact:

Unfortunately, this does appear to be nothing more than a misconception. However, just because it’s not made of gold doesn’t make the most desired trophy in basketball any less valuable.

The Larry O’Brien trophy has a 24k gold vermeil, which means that it’s a solid silver piece with a thick layer of gold on top of it. This unique combination makes the appearance of the trophy much more aesthetic and makes it seem like it’s made out of gold completely. Interestingly, the trophy went through a makeover in 2022.

Three major changes were added to the trophy two years ago. In the new version, the sterling silver highlights are more visible. The net and ball configuration of the trophy is more visible, and it has been shifted forward to symbolize “the league looking ahead to its future.”

The third major change in the trophy was made at the base by adding an additional plate to the one-plate concept in previous trophies.

The American luxury jeweler, Tiffany & Co. has been involved in designing the trophy for the NBA since 1977. So, it is due to them that the Larry O’Brien trophy stands at 25.5 inches of magnificence. It also weighs a rather heavy 30lbs, which only justifies NBA players’ initially going through a bit of a struggle to pick up the prestigious award.

Now, with only two teams still in contention to take the award in their arms and kiss it, who will win the honor in the end? Will it be Luka Doncic and the surging Dallas Mavericks? Or Jayson Tatum, and the dominant Boston Celtics?