The Larry O’Brien Trophy made a grand entrance into the Mile High City before Thursday’s Game 1 of the NBA Finals.
Professional skydivers provided the aerial escort for the coveted golden trophy. The NBA shared video of the flight on Twitter before Game 1.
The trophy-bearing skydivers landed outside Empower Field at Mile High before being fastened into a white SUV and driven into the bowels of Ball Arena.
It’s a bird. It’s a plane. It’s The Larry O’Brien Trophy skydiving to Heat/Nuggets for Game 1 tonight at 8:30pm/et on ABC! pic.twitter.com/SVF8sZNCLH— NBA (@NBA) June 1, 2023
The stunt is part of a “bucket list” marketing promotion put on by the league leading up to the Finals. The trophy’s official Twitter account documented an alleged trip around the world, including stops in Paris, Brazil and more.
Last year, the league gave the trophy a makeover, reorienting the seams of the ball at the top of the trophy and creating a “more literal basketball net” down the column, among other subtle changes.
Nuggets fans, of course, hope the trophy makes more permanent residence in Denver. It will likely travel to Miami for Games 3 and 4 of the series, but the Nuggets got off to a strong start in their campaign to bring the Larry O’Brien Trophy to Colorado for the summer, handily beating the Heat in the Finals opener.
The NBA champion franchise, in many cases, allows its players to spend time with the trophy – similar to how NHL champion players get individual time with the Stanley Cup.