As time progresses in NBA history, so too does the look of uniforms, players, and logos. Teams being moved from city to city often lead to the greatest change in total appearance, but the aspect of that team that is advertised most is the logo. As recently as two years back, we saw the Los Angeles Clippers change their long time look to a new one. The Clippers aren’t alone when it comes to recent changes, as teams are constantly looking into re-establishing a clean and attractive look for their fan base. The Hornets were another team that did it and look to transition to an age of playoff contention with a new product on display.
Most of the time, we see these changes take place in order to associate the franchise with a new age, hopefully, one which will see more success than the past. As fans, logos play a bigger role in our psyche than we may realize. They often incite memories of games or a time frame of playing that is installed in our minds forever, for better or worse.
The most unfortunate aspect of these logo changes really revolves around the fact that there are certain adjustments or complete overalls that we simply despise. As a result, we are left either wanting to relive the days where we associated our favorite teams with a particular logo and image, or we simply despise what see today(maybe both).
Regardless, today TheSportster is bringing you 8 NBA Logos We Wish Would Come Back and 7 We Hope Get Dumped.
15. Come Back: ’90s Orlando Magic
If only Magic fans could somehow relive the days where Shaquille O’Neal and Penny Hardaway took the NBA by storm in the early stages of their career. Much to their dismay, that simply isn’t possible. However, it wouldn’t hurt to go back to their original Magic logo in order to remind both the franchise and their fanbase that they were once a relevant playoff contender in the East.
Even the days of Dwight Howard bringing Orlando to the playoffs has passed, and the Magic have become synonymous with losing ever since his departure. Jonathan Isaac and other promising young players hope to flip things around in the sunshine state, but starting things out with a nod to their once promising past wouldn’t be too bad of an idea.
14. Dump: Phoenix Suns
Phoenix hasn’t seen a great deal of success since Steve Nash left, but let’s not put all the blame on that. Management has been poor, coaching has been inconsistent, and apparently, the Suns have become obsessed with the color black. Gone are the days of the classic blazing basketball through a background of orange and purple. The main color scheme Phoenix has identified with all these years has begun to fade away.
To me, the Suns have fallen into a classic trap of trying to rebrand their team. In theory, it’s an excellent idea, but the execution has been lackluster, and the product has frequently been sub par. Maybe with the addition of Josh Jackson and the rise of Devin Booker, Phoenix will resort to their older more successful logo model (with some slight new renovations, of course).
13. Come Back: ’70s Knicks
New York’s current logo situation isn’t horrific, but they need all the change they can get at this point. With Carmelo Anthony’s inevitable exit looming, it would be a fun time to return to the ’70s logo (renovated ’70s logo with more color) that was actually synonymous with winning and winning a lot. I don’t know if there could be a better time for New York to shake things up back to some classic ways, given their plummeting state.
The old school orange Knicks font on top of a retro basketball is nothing flashy, by any means. That said, who cares about New York being flashy when winning is priority number one? A change like this may help fans stay on board during this storm of mediocrity, no matter how ugly it may look or get.
12. Dump: Memphis Grizzlies
I realize that there really isn’t a whole lot of wiggle room for Memphis in this situation, given their rather bland color scheme, but I think they have to try. Memphis really hasn’t been a team down in the dumps as of late, making the playoffs seven years in a row as of this past postseason, but taking a couple shots at a new logo wouldn’t hurt.
I understand the fear the Memphis Midnight Blue Grizzly head strikes into the hearts of opposing teams, but surely something can be changed. Who knows, with the Western Conference continuing to be as loaded with talent as it is, a change in logos couldn’t hurt too bad. It’s not as if Memphis will be winning titles anytime soon (I hate to say it Memphis, but the talent is not on your side), so the basic Grizzly head hitting the dumps could dawn a new, younger age.
11. Come Back: ’90s Cleveland Cavaliers
In all honesty, Cleveland has done a very nice job shaking their uniforms up with cleaner colors and a fresher look. Yet, I think their logo could stand for a change. The ’90s Cavaliers weren’t the title contenders the Cavaliers of today are, but their logo was just much smoother looking and had a simple basic feel to it.
Cleveland is another organization that really seems to have fallen a bit in love with the color black, so much so that their new primary logo is going to have a black background. I’m not sure how I feel about this though Cleveland, pretty soon both Kyrie Irving and LeBron James could be leaving town, so maybe going back to the look of the ’90s will remind Cavalier fans that they don’t need those two players to have some playoff success.
10. Dump: Indiana Pacers
Indiana is going through a bit of a rough stretch right now with the loss of their perennial all-star Paul George. Their team is getting younger though, so there’s no need to completely panic. One thing that isn’t getting any younger is their regular old Indiana Pacers logo. I’m sorry, it obviously gets the point across that it’s the Pacers, but is there really no movement to switch up the logo?
Normally, maintaining a classic look for a long time grows on people, and perhaps it has for the people of Indiana. That said, I’m not so certain that a P with a ball in the middle is still doing it for Pacer fans. Getting a bit more creative with a new logo could help launch a new positive mentality toward the future in Indiana.
9. Come Back: ’90s Portland Trailblazers
As a fan of the Pacific Northwest, restoring some of the ’90s glory days would be an awesome move for Portland with that retro red and black pinwheel. Portland is a team that clings for a playoff spot year in and year out but have the potential to emerge as an annual 4-6th seed type team. The current logo isn’t terrible, but it feels like the use of simple black text removes some of the individuality Portland once had.
Logos are supposed to separate teams, not connect them. With the new changes this past offseason, Portland’s text almost looks like the Clippers, which is never a good sign. The black bolded font with red outlining was a much better look that could never be mimicked to the same level of originality the Trailblazers had claimed.
8. Dump: Houston Rockets
The Rockets’ logo serves as the epitome of plain for me. You could consider the text to be creative, and the R to be unique, but it hasn’t really cut it for me over the last 15 years (nearly). I think my biggest complaint with the current logo, is the fact that the jerseys are also plain because of it. I actually enjoyed when Houston went with their red and gold/yellow trim because it gave the impression that they had some tradition to their name.
The Rockets are arguably as good now as they’ve ever been, and the Chris Paul-James Harden era shouldn’t begin with that boring logo. Even if they could just renovate the current logo just a little bit, it would be better. But to go as long as they have with the same logo, it’s a bit of a surprise.
7. Come Back: ’70s/’80s Seattle SuperSonics
Look, I realize that they don’t exist right now and that OKC has replaced them, but it’s still a logo people want to see returned to the game at some point. Seattle is destined to return and when they do, a renovated version of that Seattle skyline trimmed with emerald green text and lining with a gold background will be a sight for sore eyes.
The excitement that the 90’s Sonics brought to Seattle was unparalleled at the time, and what better way to pay homage to the greats that were a part of that, then by restoring that vintage logo( yes, I am completely biased towards Seattle)? If nothing else, the logo provides a color combination that is nonexistent in the league at the moment, and would absolutely provide distinction for the other Pacific Northwest NBA franchise.
6. Dump: Oklahoma City Thunder
Speaking of the Seattle Supersonics, I’m not going to sit here and say that everything about OKC’s logo and their team is abysmal, but I do believe that they need to ship out the logo they’ve had since they entered the league. The crest with orange, blue and white has been around for nearly a decade, and although it’s lasted that long, that doesn’t mean it is great looking.
I could definitely see some extra flare being added to the un-ornamented look they stand with right now, and I don’t believe it would really rile up any animosity among fans. The only positive to the logo they’ve had is the fact that it has existed as the main logo for as long as it has. Now, they should be able to renovate it and upgrade their image.
5. Come Back: ’70s/’80s Utah Jazz
The Utah Jazz of today have actually returned to a look that is very close to the days of both Pistol Pete Maravich in the ’70s, and the early Stockton and Malone days. The music note J in Jazz always fit well and provided a sleek appearance for the franchise. That said, think they would benefit from bringing back the majestic purple they used to don, as opposed to the current navy.
That flavor of purple expresses a little bit of distinction between the common navy blue of the NBA. For whatever reason, that purple, gold and green combo works well together, and with the Jazz transitioning into an interesting period without former star Gordon Hayward, it would be a nice tribute to the old success of the Utah Jazz…..not that they didn’t have success with the later logos.
4. Dump: Toronto Raptors
There’s a good chance that I am in the minority here, but I for one thought the original Raptors logo combo was a safe bet. Too often have we seen teams go to the red, white and black color combination. The red, black and purple combo with the raptor as the center piece provided a unique look for Canada’s only NBA franchise.
Again, preference of logos often can be swayed by team success, and clearly, Toronto enjoys what they have created in their new clawed ball surrounded by Toronto Raptors text. It is difficult to fault Toronto, given their playoff berths over the last couple of years, but I felt like Toronto maintained a classic logo with their old form, and threw it away with their new one.
3. Come Back: ’80s Dallas Mavericks
The current logo for the Dallas Mavericks has stood for over 15 years, and it isn’t bad, but the blue and green combo is something that would be fun to bring back. The cowboy hat on top of the M is a nice touch to both Dallas and the state of Texas, while the green basketball in the background tops off all of their colors.
Even the period in which Dallas played with these logos was promising, going as far as seven games in the 1987-88 Conference Finals against the eventual NBA champion LA Lakers. This logo is just another example that brings classic great vibes to a franchise that really has begun to blossom into a legitimate threat to the Western Conference, the biggest example being their 2011 Finals title.
2. Dump: Los Angeles Clippers
While the introduction to this article mentioned the Clippers announcing a change in logos and uniforms, I didn’t discuss the verdict on whether or not they were good changes. To clarify, the new logo was a disappointment to fans around the league. Some claimed it looked like a child drew them, others couldn’t believe how little creativity appeared to go into it, but regardless, it wasn’t a great outcome.
Not that their logos before were too much better, but it really is in the best interest of the Clippers to scrap this logo, before it’s too late. Interestingly enough, the Clippers have been a successful franchise in terms of making the playoffs the last five years or so, but apparently, they felt the need to shake up the look of their team. Whatever the reason was, Balmer and LA need to rethink their franchise’s (relatively) new image.
1. Come Back: 2000s New Jersey Nets
I understand that Brooklyn really doesn’t have much to work with given their color scheme, but the old New Jersey logo really looked better. It had a unique color scheme with the silver, red and white combo, and sported the shielded crest look very well. Back in the early 2000 days where New Jersey was making the Finals (which is crazy to think about now), this logo was in full effect.
Obviously, I’m not calling for a movement of the entire city back to New Jersey. However, I felt like this logo could have stood for a lengthy period of time had the team not been relocated. At this point, we’ll never know, but Brooklyn can’t hurt to try something new for their murky future. Maybe the logo will bring back a taste of what Jason Kidd once brought to the franchise, and transfer it directly to D’Angelo Russell.
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