NBA Logo


The NBA logo was introduced in 1969. Its creation can be considered a result of the rivalry between the American Basketball Association and its newly-created rival the American Basketball Association.

Who is depicted on the NBA logo?
Since 1969 the famous NBA logo was built around the silhouette of Jerry West, who was a legendary LA Lakers basketball player. After playing for the Lakers, Jerry West started coaching the club. He is considered to be one of the most popular and successful NBA players in history.

Meaning and history

NBA logo history

The iconic NBA logo, unveiled in January 1969, symbolizes a historic moment in sports logos, born from the competitive spirit between the National Basketball League (NBL) and its contemporary challenger, the American Basketball Association (ABA). This classic logo, a masterpiece of logo design, encapsulates the essence of the league’s rich heritage and its journey through the annals of basketball history. Its silhouette, inspired by the legendary Jerry West, embodies grace and excellence on the basketball court, forever linking his nickname, “The Logo,” to the NBA’s visual identity. The creation of this emblem marked a pivotal chapter in the history of the NBA logo, showcasing the league’s evolution and its ongoing saga against the backdrop of sports and design.

In the years following the official announcement of the logo, the NBA has witnessed monumental moments, including the dramatic duels in the NBA Finals and the emergence of titans like Wilt Chamberlain, who, like West, has left an indelible mark on the league. The design, often compared to the MLB logo for its dynamic and evocative portrayal of the sport, continues to stand as a beacon of excellence, mirroring the NBA’s commitment to showcasing the pinnacle of basketball talent. As the league moves forward, the logo remains a testament to its storied past, from the fierce rivalry of its early days with the ABA to its current status as the only NBA franchise that commands global attention, celebrating legends such as Kyrie Irving and commemorating iconic teams like the Minneapolis Lakers. This emblem, much more than a mere design, is a symbol of the NBA’s enduring legacy and its profound impact on the world of sports.

1950 — 1953

NBA Logo 1950

The logo introduced by NBS in 1950 was composed of a circular emblem, where the whole basketball was depicted. The red lettering was placed on its upper and middle parts, leaving the bottom one free. The upper parts comprised the datemark in bold lines, while the main wordmark was in the middle segment of the ball, with “National” and “Association” arched along the stitches, and “Basketball” in a straight line, written in all capitals of a bold sans-serif typeface.

1953 — 1962

NBA Logo 1953

The redesign of 1953 made the basketball red, and the lettering white. The ball was placed slightly diagonally, and the inscription was now composed of just three letters, “NBA”, written along the bottom line of the emblem, in strict and clean sans-serif capitals.

1962 — 1969

NBA Logo 1962

With the redesign of 1962, the ball becomes white again, but the stitches and letters gained a new color, black. The “NBA” wordmark in all capital of a solid serif typeface was placed diagonally, from the upper left corner to the bottom right one, inside the middle segment of the basketball. This emblem stayed with the association for seven years.

1969 — 2017

NBA Logo 1969

The iconic vertical NBA badge was introduced in 1969 and stayed completely untouched until 2017. It was a rectangle with its corners rounded, left part in the red and right one — in blue. The white silhouette of a man with a basketball was placed in the middle of the badge, separating the rectangle into two parts. It was a stylized image of Jerry West, a legendary player. The “NBA” wordmark was placed in the bottom left corner of the emblem, executed in all capitals of an extra-bold sans-serif typeface, in white.

2017 — Today

NBA logo

The redesign of 2017 changed only the style of the lettering on the NBA logo, keeping all other elements unchanged. The inscription of the current badge version featured thinner lines and narrowed shapes of the letters, with clean contours and distinct cuts of a traditional sans-serif typeface.

NBA Logo

A silhouette of which basketball player is drawn on the NBA logo?
The NBA logo, designed by Alan Siegel in 1969, depicts a white silhouette of Jerry West, placed on a red and blue background. The legendary basketball player from LA Lakers has been a part of the NBA visual identity for over 50 years, and only in 2020, it was thought to replace him with Kobe Bryant.

How much does the symbol earn?

NBA symbol

The international design firm Siegel+Gale claims that every year the National Basketball Association symbol brings over $3 billion a year in licensing. Although this information may certainly be biased, as it comes from the company that worked on the logo, it is still obvious that the emblem does generate a lot to its owner as it is very popular around basketball fans all over the globe.

Who is the player in the emblem?

emblem NBA

Siegel claimed that he used a photo of Jerry West from the Lakers as an inspiration for the emblem. He explained, he had found the photo while looking through old pictures form the Sport magazine and was astonished by the way this shot captured the essence of the game. He also was impressed by its dynamism.

However, NBA does not acknowledge it was really Jerry West in the logo. The organization’s spokesperson Tim Frank mentioned that he had never seen any proof for the fact. Siegel explained this with NBA’s desire to make the picture an abstract emblem that could refer to any player rather than a specific one.

NBA big logo

Interestingly enough, Jerry West also said he knew it was he in the picture. He mentioned that he was told about it by the late commissioner, Walter Kennedy, and then read about it in New York Times. Although Jerry West found it flattering, he claimed more than once that he does not feel he deserves such attention and did not like to be called The Logo. When asked who should be depicted in the NBA logo, West suggested Adam Silver or Michael Jordan.


The iconic NBA Icon was inspired by a photo. Dynamic, upright, functional – that’s how the branding specialist described West’s photo from Sport magazine, taken by photographer Wan Roberts.

This silhouette from the famous photograph inspired the marketing expert to create a new logo for the NBA, where the central white figure of West shared a blue and red background – the three colors of the American flag, which once again reminded viewers that basketball is a national sport, which should be practiced, supported in the stands and watched on television.

And until today this white, blue and red icon is strongly associated with the National sport of the ISA and its famous player.

NBA iconNBA icon 2NBA icon 3NBA icon 4


Font NBA Logo

The emblem uses a customized type resembling Helvetica Pro Black Condensed. Also, it looks rather close to Horrible Jefe Font.


Color NBA Logo

In contrast to many other commercial logos that can be given in a variety of colors, in case with the NBA emblem only one palette is acceptable: the combination of red, white, and blue. However, in monochromatic visual contexts (in a newspaper ad, for instance), a black-and-white version is possible.

Who is on the NBA logo?
The basketball player Jerry West is believed to be the person depicted on the NBA logo. To be precise, the logo was inspired by a particular photo published in Sport magazine. The author of the mark, Alan Siegel, chose this picture as it seemed to be an excellent representation of the essence of the game.

National Basketball Association Team Logos

Is the NBA changing its logo?
The logo of the National Basketball Association has stayed almost without any changes since 1969, with just a slight refinement of the color palette in 2017. And NBA stays loyal to its iconic blue, red, and white badge with the player’s silhouette on it. The association has no plans to change its logo.

Why is Jerry the NBA logo?
Jerry West was already a cult figure at the time. He was the only player to win the Finals MVP award without becoming champion. The man who regularly made the finals, but invariably lost. One of the best white defensemen in history with a resume of 10 first-team All-Star appearances, 14 All-Star Game appearances, and a telling combination of first team All-Star defense and top scorer and top assist regalia. Most importantly, West had an uncanny ability to make fans fall in love with him, even the teams the Lakers were beating.

Who is on the NBA logo?
The man is depicted in a white silhouette in the iconic NBA logo of Jerry West, one of the most legendary basketball players of all time. The creator of the logo, Siegel, has only recently begun to openly say that the silhouette on the logo is West’s. He has not previously acknowledged that West is on it, but he says that it is based on a photograph of a player. Somehow people tracked down the original photo, and there was no point in hiding the truth anymore.

Is the NBA changing its logo?
Although after the death of Kobe Bryant, one of the most famous and talented basketball players of all time, there were a lot of talks, that the white silhouette in the NBA logo had to be changed as a tribute to the sportsman, the Association kept it in its original state. The last time the NBA logo was redesigned happened in 2017, with just a slight refinement of the colors, and the refreshed typeface of the lettering, compared to the original version of the badge, designed by Siegel in 1969.


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