NBA Logo


“The organization has players who combine a high professional level and a passionate love for basketball,” the NBA logo says. The emblem is full of expression and movement. Promises spectacular performances and virtuoso possession of the ball.

NBA: Brand overview

Founded:June 6, 1946
New York, NY, U.S.
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

NBA Logo History

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.

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.

1950 – 1953

National Basketball Association Logo 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

National Basketball Association Logo 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

National Basketball Association Logo 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

National Basketball Association Logo 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 – today

National Basketball Association Logo 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.

NBA: Interesting Facts

The National Basketball Association (NBA) is a major professional basketball league in North America, one of the top men’s sports leagues globally.

  1. Start: Founded on June 6, 1946, as the Basketball Association of America, it merged with the National Basketball League in 1949 to become today’s NBA, marking a new chapter in professional basketball.
  2. Global Reach: The NBA has played a key role in popularizing basketball worldwide, with players from across the globe and games broadcast in over 200 countries in more than 40 languages.
  3. Iconic Players: The league has been home to legends like Michael Jordan, LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, and Shaquille O’Neal, who have become international icons beyond basketball.
  4. Trailblazing Coach: Bill Russell became the first black head coach in the NBA and any major U.S. sport in 1966, setting a precedent for racial equality in sports leadership.
  5. Diverse Talent: Today, the NBA boasts about 100 international players from over 40 countries, reflecting the sport’s diversity and global appeal.
  6. Dominant Teams: The NBA has seen several dynasties, such as the Boston Celtics in the late 1950s to 1960s, the Chicago Bulls in the 1990s, and the San Antonio Spurs from the late 1990s through the 2010s.
  7. Draft Lottery: Introduced in 1985, the NBA Draft Lottery determines the draft order to prevent teams from losing games intentionally for a better pick, adding randomness to draft selections.
  8. Game Innovations: The NBA has adopted new technologies and rules, like the shot clock in 1954, to make the game faster and more competitive.
  9. NBA Cares: This social initiative, started in 2005, tackles social issues of education, youth support, and health and wellness.
  10. Economic Force: The NBA generates billions annually from broadcasting, merchandise, ticket sales, and sponsorships, significantly impacting its cities’ economies.

From its beginnings to its status as a worldwide sports phenomenon, the NBA’s history is marked by significant achievements, cultural impact, and contributions to society in the U.S. and globally.

Font and Colors

NBA 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.

NBA Symbol

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.

NBA color codes

Dark Cornflower BlueHex color:#17408b
RGB:23 64 139
CMYK:83 64 0 45
Pantone:PMS 7687 C
Philippine RedHex color:#c9082a
RGB:201 8 42
CMYK:0 96 79 21
Pantone:PMS 185 C

Why is Jerry the NBA logo?

Jerry West ended up in the NBA logo because of a good photo. Designer Alan Siegel, tasked with designing the league’s flagship sign, found this image among thousands of other photographs and decided it was a great reference. He admitted that he chose Jerry not because of his fame and regalia but because of the stunning image in the photo.

Who is on the NBA logo?

The elongated figure of the athlete in the NBA logo is a tribute to Jerry West of the LA Lakers. It was sketched from a real photo of a basketball player.

Is the NBA changing their logo?

The NBA logo was changed in 1969 when Alan Siegel developed the design still in use today. And although Jerry West, depicted on the emblem, asked to be replaced by another athlete, and fans demanded to immortalize the image of the deceased Kobe Bryant, the league has no plans to change anything in its identity yet.