We all know the trademark registration of the NBA logo is Jerry West, even though nobody in the leagues front office will officially admit it. But since we’re all such a curious bunch that demands logo justice.
You’ll be happy to know that Alan Siegel who created the logo used by the NBA since 1969, has finally confirmed what we already knew in an interview with the LA Times. That yes, “It’s Jerry West”.
Siegel also explained why the NBA won’t acknowledge that the silhouette used is of Jerry west.
“They want to institutionalize it rather than individualize it,” he says during an interview over lunch near his office in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan. “It’s become such a ubiquitous, classic symbol and focal point of their identity and their licensing program that they don’t necessarily want to identify it with one player.”
David Stern would not comment on this issue when the LA Times contacted him for a statement.
Siegel who also oversaw creation of the similar looking logo used by major league baseball. Designed between 40 and 50 versions of the future NBA logo based off of the Wen Roberts photograph of West he stumbled on that caught his eye.
“I found this picture of Jerry West dribbling down the court,” Siegel says, “and, of course, growing up in New York and my father having season tickets for college and pro games at Madison Square Garden, I’d seen West play a lot.”
“It had a nice flavor to it,” he says, “so I took that picture and we traced it. It was perfect. It was vertical and it had a sense of movement. It was just one of those things that clicked.”
J. Walter Kennedy, the NBA’s commissioner from 1963 to 1975 picked the logo we know today.
Pretty cool, huh?
H/N LA Times