This is classic overthinking. There are also some new secondary marks coming. New York Knicks. The easiest solution: shift a revised version of their gorgeous secondary logo, featuring a wolf howling into the night sky, onto center stage. “To some extent, we are committed to the idea we have,” Byrnes says. The small white “Philadelphia” within a blue circle, a new feature, has a throwback feel that meshes with Philly’s traditional marks. © 1991 Mark Fox / BlackDogThe league contracted Fox to design a new Pistons logo in the 1990s, when they eventually settled on a flaming horse head perched above exhaust pipes. The giant block letters, leaning a few degrees backward, are meant to mimic skyscrapers as seen from below. Higher-ups also wanted an inclusive message after a racism scandal engulfed both ownership and the front office one year ago. At the turn of the millennium, the Warriors had one of the most obnoxious jerseys ever — sporting giant comic book bang! We're entering the trying-too-hard phase of the rankings, and Indiana earned this spot with its circle lettering and number in the middle. The bird is immediately identifiable as a pelican, and the menacing stare and blood-red beak provide appropriate aggressiveness for an attacking NBA mascot. Maroon is a difficult color to work with. “I wish we had pushed back more,” Lim says. Filed Under: NBA, Boston Celtics, Brooklyn Nets, New York Knicks, Philadelphia 76ers, Toronto Raptors, Chicago Bulls, Cleveland Cavaliers, Detroit Pistons, Indiana Pacers, Milwaukee Bucks, Atlanta Hawks, Charlotte Hornets, Miami Heat, Orlando Magic, Washington Wizards, Dallas Mavericks, Houston Rockets, Memphis Grizzlies, New Orleans Pelicans, San Antonio Spurs, Denver Nuggets, Minnesota Timberwolves, Oklahoma City Thunder, Portland Trail Blazers, Utah Jazz, Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Lakers, Phoenix Suns, Sacramento Kings. You could transfer the same combination of triangle, basketball, and font to any team.The logo wasn’t supposed to be this bland. San Antonio has centered more of its marketing on the stand-alone spur logo, and it wouldn’t shock anyone at the league office if they eventually used a version of it as their primary mark. That was an accident. So was letting one team color — the wine shade — dominate the mark, instead of trying to mix two strong ones. The classic colors and lettering are still a winning look. “It might be the best D-League logo ever made,” says Tom O’Grady, who served as the NBA’s first creative director before leaving to found Gameplan Creative, a Chicago-based branding consultancy. 14. Everything in here sends the same message: This team belongs to the city. Designers played around with grays and the team’s new “Volt Green,” but team officials decided the primary mark should only feature red and white — now and forever. “It feels awake and energetic,” Fox says. This thing is perfect, right down to the red on the tips of the horns, which suggests that this mean motherfucker just gored some poor sap. We’re open to modernizing the logo, but we don’t have an appetite to overhaul it.”. But the Cavs don't do themselves any favors with YMCA-like outlines for home unis and a giant "C" for the main away jersey. Is it timeless because it’s timeless, or because it never changed?”. “The default NBA logo is a basketball with the name typed across it,” Fox says. The basketball-as-jazz metaphor is a cliché now, but it’s a cliché because there is truth at the heart of it. Orlando Magic. 22. An old version of the red ball carries some Bad Boys–era nostalgia, but I’d take the flaming horse or the original Fort Wayne Pistons robot man over the current version. The sunburst should be a no-brainer top-10 mark, but the Suns have imprisoned it within a black jail cell. Unless you’re a raging Laker-hater, when you see this logo, some happy signal fires inside you. “It had a great run,” Sakahara says of his old hawk. The Mavs' home and away unis are like the generic version of what the Dallas Cowboys have to offer. “I think it might have scared the league,” Fox says, laughing. The team experimented with marks closer to the famous “City” logo, and with straight-on views that mimicked what drivers see as they get on the bridge. Either let that baby soar without boundaries, or go back to the purple-blue background that set the league on fire in the mid-1990s: “That mark literally changed the way logos were done,” O’Grady remembers. When the biggest news in sports is centered around a documentary about a team that played two decades ago, we're hurting as fans. New Orleans Pelicans. Another '90s graphic jersey franchise (the Vancouver unis have reappeared as an alternate), the Grizzlies have simplified things and leveraged their powder blue and navy color combination. Charlotte Hornets. It’s just hard to get by the bubbly font, which also infects an otherwise pristine court design. The team's "Miami Vice" alternates are some of the best in NBA history. 2 on my name rankings — can transform a ho-hum logo scheme into something greater. It describes the origins of the name with more clarity than the blah mountainscape and without smacking you over the head like the coked-up Maxie the Miner cartoon Denver used in the 1970s. 21. But the Warriors wanted to slap the logo onto the front of the jersey, and Adidas reminded them that they needed space for numbers. Still a franchise trying to establish its identity, the Nets aren't quite there yet with the basic black and white. “The nostalgia of that mark is unquestionable,” says Rodney Richardson, owner of RARE Design in Mississippi, which has consulted with several NBA teams. The purple-and-black combination is nice, and unique in the NBA,2 but there’s not quite enough black here. The NBA’s worst team name doesn’t present a ton of options, so this is a nice first shot for the Brooklyn era. The most enjoyable forms of entertainment tiptoe to the border of kitsch without crossing over, and that’s right where this logo stops. 15. Houston used the logo as a springboard into insanity. Washington punted on the two-dimensional leaping wizard, but it’s politically difficult — maybe impossible — for them to revisit any of the beloved Bullets imagery. Washington went back to a vintage look from its time as the Bullets, featuring red, white and blue stripes. © 2020 USA TODAY, a division of Gannett Satellite Information Network, LLC. There is just too much going on here for a team that already has to fit 21 letters into this mark — too many trees, too many colors, and too much dramatic shading on the wolf’s face.
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