The NBA is a North American sports organization whose full name sounds like the National Basketball Association. It is one of the major professional leagues, on par with National Football League, Major League Soccer, Major League Baseball, and National Hockey League. It was founded in New York in 1946, initially called The Basketball Association of America, but was renamed after the merger with the National Basketball League in 1949. It now includes thirty teams from two conferences, divided into divisions. The participating countries are Canada and the United States.
Meaning and History
What is NBA?
This is the abbreviation for the National Basketball Association, a men’s basketball league created in 1946. Originally known as The Basketball Association of America, it was renamed after merging with the National Basketball League. The sports organization has 30 teams: one from Canada, the rest from the United States.
The National Basketball Association logo acquired its recognizable style in 1969. Before that, it looked standard: artists periodically put the NBA’s full or abbreviated name on balls of different shapes. But the men’s professional league has had to rethink conservative branding views to compete with the American Basketball Association, which has embarked on a tender war and has attracted many star athletes.
1950 – 1953
A series of basketball emblems appeared in 1950, following the renaming of The Basketball Association of America to the National Basketball Association. The first version was dedicated to the 1950-1951 season, as evidenced by the number “1950-51” shown on top. In the center of the white circle, NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION was written in big red letters. The words, divided into three lines, looked unusual: the first curved upward, the second expanded towards the middle, and the third had the shape of an arch.
1953 – 1962
The 1953 redesign did not bring significant changes in terms of concept. Only the colors, proportions, and some elements changed: the ball turned brown and acquired a pronounced oval shape, the long name of the league disappeared, giving way to the abbreviation “NBA.”
1962 – 1969
In 1962, the National Basketball Association introduced a new logo – again white and round, as in 1950. The original version is distinguished by black arched lines crossing the ball and forming two crescents. In the center is the inscription “NBA.” The letters are arranged diagonally from left to right.
1969 – 2017
In the face of unequal competition with the American Basketball Association, the men’s professional league had to undergo a global redesign. While experienced referees and basketball players ran to ABA, the NBA began to lose its athletes and fan support. Ultimately, it was decided to update the brand name to contrast the NBA’s flamboyant personality with ABA’s original play style.
The solution to this problem was entrusted to Alan Siegel, the founder, and CEO of the Siegel + Gale branding company, who once personally oversaw the MLB symbol’s development. As a result of painstaking work, the National Basketball Association has an emblem with the image of a basketball player, a ball, and the inscription “NBA” inside a red and blue rectangle with rounded edges. It debuted in 1971 and remained an integral part of the brand to this day.
2017 – present
In 2017, the designers did the final touch: they changed the abbreviation’s font, making the lines thinner. The rest of the elements are left unchanged. Jerry west NBA logo has become more contrasting and attractive.
Font and Colors of the Emblem
The modern NBA logo, created by Alan Siegel in 1969, is based on a real photo. However, National Basketball Association officials from the early days denied the apparent similarity. After all, according to Siegel, they sought to institutionalize the image, not individualize. The league representatives did not want the corporate symbol to be associated with any particular basketball player; they tried to divert the personality’s focus.
Despite this secrecy, the player on the emblem is easily identifiable. This is the legendary Jerry West of the Lakers, captured during the match by photographer Wen Roberts. True, an athlete can only be recognized by the way he dribbles: the artist deliberately did not go into details, depicting an impersonal white silhouette. As Alan Siegel admitted, he found a reference in a sports magazine and noticed how accurately the picture conveys the game’s dynamism and essence. Jerry West himself admits that his image is used in the logo but considers himself unworthy of such honors.
In the lower-left corner of the emblem is the inscription “NBA.” It’s in a simple sans-serif typeface that vaguely resembles Horrible Jefe Font and Helvetica Pro Black Condensed. The typefase is specially designed for the professional league.
The classic scheme contains white, blue, and red. There is also a black and white print version. It is intended for newspapers, magazines, and other publications if the visual context involves using a monochrome palette.