The NBA logo: a history

NBA logo on red
(Image credit: NBA)

The NBA logo is an institution all of its own. For the majority of fans, the striking white silhouette of ‘Logoman’ dribbling the ball is the first image that comes to mind when thinking about the National Basketball League.

Like a lot of the best sports logos, the NBA emblem has proved its well-deserved iconic status simply through endurance. While the NBA was first founded in 1946, its early years were uncertain and marked by competition with the American Basketball Association (ABA). Ultimately, the NBA won out, with the ABA effectively ceasing to exist following a merger in 1976. There’s an argument to be made – and plenty of people have made it – that the strong brand identity created by the debut of the iconic logo in 1969 helped propel the NBA to the dominance it still enjoys today.

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Jon Stapley

Jon is a freelance writer and journalist who covers photography, art, technology, and the intersection of all three. When he's not scouting out news on the latest gadgets, he likes to play around with film cameras that were manufactured before he was born. To that end, he never goes anywhere without his Olympus XA2, loaded with a fresh roll of Kodak (Gold 200 is the best, since you asked). Jon is a regular contributor to Creative Bloq, and has also written for in Digital Camera World, Black + White Photography Magazine, Photomonitor, Outdoor Photography, Shortlist and probably a few others he's forgetting.