The NBA is one of the biggest sports leagues in the entire world. The amount of views it brings is truly astounding. However, one of the major aspects of the NBA is the logo. Not many know the history behind it. Over the years, many people have tried to figure out who the player in the logo could be.
For those who don’t know, the NBA commissioner at the time, J. Walter Kennedy approached a designer known as Alan Siegel back in 1969. Siegel let the world in on the facts and inspiration behind his creation that we’ve been witnessing for decades.
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Alan told the NBA, Kennedy wanted to improve the reputation the league had at the time. In addition to that, he wanted to increase the reach it had. Siegel mentioned that Kennedy’s goal to have some sort of connection to the Major League Baseball (MLB) logo at the time also played a role in his vision for the NBA.
Was former LA Lakers player Jerry West the inspiration for the NBA logo?
Speaking of his inspiration for the symbol, Siegel said, “Dick Schaap was a close friend and editor of Sport Magazine. So I called him and wanted to come over and look at his photo file. I saw the picture of Jerry West. Of course I watched him in college and the NBA.”“I always admired him, but I liked the picture because it was a nice vertical and had this motion to it. I was a fan of his and he was one of those people who had an important history in the NBA. But in designing the logo, I never mentioned it was based on a picture of him. It was just discovered years later,” Siegel added.
Over the years, fans were trying to figure out who the player on the logo was. It was only discovered later that it was former LA Lakers player Jerry West. He has revealed in the past that he did not want the world to know that it was him on the logo. The reason for that would be his wish to keep his life private and away from the public eye.
One of the main reasons why Siegel chose West was his history with the NBA. He may have only won one championship, but his association with the league is never understated. West was one of the very few players to be an All-Star in every year of his career. In addition to that, fans also regard him as “Mr. Clutch”, after his obvious ability to step up for the Lakers when needed.
DID YOU KNOW: The man on the NBA logo was a former player? The logo is a silhouette of Jerry West. He is one of many players that are featured in the NBA hall of fame. Jerry West went on to a 14-year pro career with the Los Angeles Lakers and played in 14 all-star games. pic.twitter.com/yIIEgDKGOP
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Kennedy wanted a logo that will let the world know of the league. And it will be safe to say that Siegel delivered with no compromises. The NBA has become one of the biggest stages in the world where every player would be proud to play.