Who is the Silhouette in the NBA Logo?

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The NBA logo is one of the most iconic sports logos in the world. Featuring a simple silhouette of a player dribbling a basketball, it is instantly recognizable and has come to represent the NBA brand. But what is the story behind this logo, and why is it so significant?

Before the red, white, and blue logo that we know and love today, the NBA’s logo was very different when it was first introduced. Here’s a quick dive into NBA logo history:

1950: Introduction of the First-Ever NBA Logo

In the 1950s, during its early years, the logo was as rudimentary as a white ball with a red text spelling out “National Basketball Association.” However, as the years went by and the association grew, the logo was changed several times.

1953: First Redesign

The first revision game was in 1953, with the most significant change being the abbreviation of the text from the “National Basketball Association” to a much shorter “NBA.” The shape of the ball was also changed to a more oval shape.

1962: Polished Design

The 1962 logo revision, however, is much more subtle. The designers made the ball rounder with the grooves better depicted. They also brought back the white color of the basketball.

1969 Modern Logo Launch

It was only in 1969 that the new NBA logo we recognize today came about.

The NBA logo is one of the most recognizable symbols in sports. The simple design features the white silhouette of a man seemingly driving to the basket, bisected by a red and blue rectangle. Though it has undergone some minor changes over the years, the essential elements of the logo have remained the same since it was developed by the world-renowned branding expert Alan Seigel. 

2017 Slight Redesign

The NBA retouched the logo in the 2017 season, but it was only a minor font change.

They designed the logo to be eye-catching and easy to reproduce and use as an emblem on jerseys and the courts, and it has undoubtedly achieved both objectives.

The red, white, and blue theme is also meant to convey a sense of patriotism which it achieves perfectly. At the same time, the silhouette is supposed to represent the dynamism of the league and its players.

As one of the most iconic logos in the history of sports, the player that the logo is inspired by is surprisingly never officially mentioned by the NBA. But, because of the striking similarity to one of Jerry West’s photos in a 1960s edition of Sports Review, the Laker’s legend became the top player who is presumed to be the silhouette on the NBA logo.

Later on, in interviews, Alan Siegel would confirm that he took inspiration from one of West’s photos, but the silhouette wasn’t meant to represent the Laker great.

Other than being an excellent player, Jerry West’s skills made him stand out from the rest, Siegel admitted. He handled the ball well, made outstanding basketball plays, and scored exceptionally well, especially as a guard in a league dominated by Wilt Chamberlain and Bill Russell. 

The fact that West wasn’t the league’s biggest star also played a part in the decision to base the design on his Sports Review photo.

The game has gone a long way since the current NBA logo was unveiled. Some fans and NBA insiders have expressed feelings that the logo no longer captures the essence of the game and that it may be time to redesign the logo to represent the modern game better.

Naturally, some fans have a preference on who the next logo should be based upon.

Stephen Curry

Many believe that Stephen Curry should be the new face of the league. There are several reasons why Curry is the perfect choice for the NBA’s new logo. 

First of all, he is one of the most popular players in the league, and his incredible shooting ability has made him a global superstar. 

Secondly, Curry is a symbol of the NBA’s modern era. He is a player who relies on skill and athleticism rather than size and strength, and his success has helped to change the perception of what it takes to be a successful NBA player. 

Finally, Curry is an ambassador for the game of basketball. He is a role model for young players, and he has shown that anyone can succeed in the NBA if they work hard and believe in themselves. For all these reasons, it makes sense for the NBA to choose Stephen Curry as the new face of its logo.

LeBron James

While some may think that it’s too soon to make a new NBA logo, there are several reasons why LeBron would be the perfect choice for the latest NBA logo. 

First, he is one of the league’s most popular and successful players. 

Second, LeBron is an active and vocal supporter of social justice initiatives, which the NBA has been increasingly focused on recently.

Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bryant is one of the NBA’s most popular and successful players, and fans worldwide love him. After his untimely death in 2020, many people called for the NBA to redesign its logo to honor Kobe. 

Naturally, the buzz of redesigning the logo in Kobe’s image started to grow in 2020 when there was an outpouring of support for the fallen Laker. NBA logos, after all, are not simply about aesthetics; they’re about conveying the essence of the league. And there’s no doubt that Kobe embodied the NBA’s core values of hard work, determination, and excellence. So a Kobe-inspired NBA logo would be a fitting tribute to one of the greatest players of all time.

Michael Jordan

While LeBron and the other players on this list are undoubtedly deserving candidates to be the new logo of the NBA, there’s only one logical choice for the next NBA logo: Michael Jordan. Here’s why. 

First and foremost, Jordan is the greatest player in NBA history. His accomplishments on the court speak for themselves, and his impact on the game is still felt today. 

Second, Jordan is synonymous with Nike, and his Air Jordan brand is among the most successful and recognizable in all sports. 

And finally, Jordan is a global icon with massive appeal across all demographics. In other words, he’s precisely the kind of ambassador that the NBA needs right now. So when you think about it, there’s no other choice than Michael Jordan for the next NBA logo.

Should the NBA Logo be ChangedShould the NBA Logo be Changed?

There’s been a lot of talks lately about the NBA logo.

On the one hand, the NBA has undergone many changes over the past 53 years. For example, the game is faster and more athletic than when Alan Siegel designed the original logo. Additionally, the league is now global, with players coming from all over the world. It makes sense that some people believe the NBA logo should be updated to reflect these changes.

On the other hand, there’s something to be said about tradition. The current NBA logo is one of the most recognizable designs in sports. It’s been around for more than half a century, and it’s become synonymous with the league. Changing the logo would be a bold move, and some people believe it wouldn’t be worth risking such an iconic design.

Ultimately, it’s up to the NBA to decide whether or not to change the logo. But whichever decision they make, I’m sure it will be controversial!

The Jerry West NBA logo unveiled in 1969 has become one of the most recognizable logos in the world. It depicts a simple silhouette of a basketball player, but it is incredibly effective. 

The NBA logo is instantly recognizable, and it has helped to establish the NBA brand worldwide. The NBA logo is also versatile, as it can be used on a variety of merchandise, from hats to t-shirts. The NBA logo is a true classic, and it is no surprise that it has stood the test of time.

So, whether you’re for a logo redesign or for keeping the old Jerry West NBA logo, there’s no denying that the logo is an important part of what makes the NBA such a successful league.

We hope you enjoyed this post! If you did, be sure to check out our other basketball FAQ articles here.

Hoops Addict
Hoops Addict

Hoops Addict was created to help basketball fans of all ages learn more about the sport and find the best basketball gear to improve their ability to hoop. He has been a huge basketball fan for decades, watching thousands of basketball games through the years to learn the ins and outs of the game.

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