There can be no denying that history plays a major role in the National Basketball Association. We can’t help but look at today’s game and compare it with that of the past. We look at everything from rules to style to teams to talent, comparing and contrasting generations and attempt to see how different eras have influenced the game. That’s the beauty of the sport as a whole. While the general parameters of the game have remained the same, so much of basketball has evolved. And one area where that holds increasingly true is the team logo.
Not only is a team’s logo a representation of the organization itself, but it also reflects the times we live in. How can it not? If change is inevitable, then so too is a club’s need to stay current and modern. Therefore, teams are constantly upgrading their logos to keep their appeal alive. However, that doesn’t mean the past should be overlooked. In fact, now more than ever, teams appear to be eager to acknowledge the past. And we as fans love a good throwback.
But have you ever wondered what it would look like to see an old school logo mashed up with a current one? If you have, then you’re in luck. Logo artist and Imgur user Tmac6886 has done the heavy lifting for you by merging each NBA team’s logos together to create something new. And we have to admit, we think they’re pretty excellent. Of course, we did find ourselves drawn to a few particular symbols. Therefore, with that in mind, here’s a look at the five ultimate NBA logos.
1. Memphis Grizzlies
The intention behind this pretty sweet Memphis Grizzlies logo was to merge the one from the Vancouver era with that of the current team. We think tmac6886 did a great job of utilizing the best of each particular logo. The ferocious bear clutching the basketball is the perfect tribute to the original expansion look. On top of that, we love how he chose to use the old school blocked 3D font for the “Grizzlies.” The current and fresh part of this mashup is the grizzly bear’s face, the overall color scheme, and the two-tone “Memphis” lettering — all of which make today’s look feel like a beautifully cohesive symbol worthy of club’s recent string of success.
2. Denver Nuggets
In an attempt to merge the old with the new, the artist went all the way back and built off the mosaic logo that the Denver Nuggets sported from the 1981-82 season to the 1992-93 season. The unique font used in this particular merger was also from the early days of the franchise. However, where this look gets current — and therefore truly works — is with the color scheme — light blue, yellow gold, navy, white — and the snow-capped mountain peak overlooking the entire piece. Since the early ’80s, Nuggets logos have incorporated the gorgeous Denver peak. Yet, the modern symbol has featured a more detailed and defined mountaintop; which we believe is a better representation of the city itself. This mashup logo is the perfect blend of the past and present.
3. Indiana Pacers
Unlike the current Indiana Pacers logo, the one from the early Reggie Miller days used a lighter blue for the “P” and incorporated the “INDIANA” wordmark into the official symbol. However, the major distinguishing feature of the throwback look, is the hand gripping the yellow basketball. We love the addition of these classic features, as they help bring back a more “homey” feel to the logo. Yet, there are some elements of the modern shield we believe were a solid upgrades over the original. We dig the lower-case “Pacers” wordmark and think the thicker font is more definitive. Also adding extra lines to the yellow basketball and having them streak is a cool touch, without being overwhelming. In our eyes, this merger truly shined.
4. Portland Trail Blazers
If it seems as if we’re always paying tribute to the Portland Trail Blazers logo, that’s because we are. This symbol is simple, smart, cool, and creative. We love everything about it. And while the current look is edgy,cool, and modern, we find ourselves drawn to the Blazers logo of yesteryear — which is why we really like these merged logo. The artist chose to focus on the Bill Walton era by using the originally vertical “pinwheel.” Not only that, but we are huge fans of the bold lowercased lettering the team used from 1971 to 1990. The current feature used in this logo is border; one we believe does an excellent job of confining the symbol. Once again, you can’t go wrong with the Portland Trail Blazers logo.
5. San Antonio Spurs
How can you not like the paint brush logo used by the San Antonio Spurs from 1990 to 2002? After all, this symbol was called the “Fiesta” logo and was meant to represent a flag of teal, pink, and orange. However, it’s the use of the modern “SPURS” wordmark, the more stylized spur itself, and the outlined border, that make this merged logo truly shine. If the overall intention of this experiment was to combine the best of both the past and present, then there is no better example than the one used on the organization that’s defined NBA excellence for the better part of two decades. We would love to see the Spurs rock this logo during the 2015-16 season; it’s perfect.
To see the rest of the Ultimate NBA Logos, click here.