Who is in the NBA logo? Find out who the NBA logo is modelled after

Who is in the NBA logo? Find out who the NBA logo is modelled after

Steve Njuguna
February 7, 2023 at 11:08 AM

The NBA logo has over the years become a symbol of basketball brilliance as the league continues to grow in popularity globally. The image depicted is that of a left-handed player dribbling the ball. Today, we discuss this iconic logo and the basketballer who inspired it.

Today we discuss who the NBA logo is modelled after
Today we discuss the origins of the NBA logo. Photo by Scott Taetsch
Source: Getty Images

The logo is usually printed on every NBA arena and all player and referee clothing. It has also been copyrighted by the National Basketball Association and cannot be utilized for commercial purposes by anyone else.

When was the NBA logo created?

The current version of the logo was developed in 1969. It is the third logo since the beginning of the organization. In 2017 there were some minor changes to the font in its text.

Who designed the NBA logo?

Alan Siegel, a brand consultant for the National Basketball Association was the mastermind. He intended to create something that represented the fluid nature of basketball. He also applied the colours white, blue and red to represent the fact that the league was an American league.

Who is the basketball player on the NBA logo?

Legendary basketball player and coach Jerry West is the man in the logo. Designer Siegel confirmed that he took a photo of the then-LA Lakers star and silhouetted it to make the design. West has been in basketball circles since 1960 in various capacities including as a player, coach and executive.

Jerry West played for 14 years and won the championship with the LA Lakers in 1974. As an executive, he won multiple titles with the LA Lakers and Golden State Warriors. The latest NBA franchise to benefit from his services is the LA Clippers.

West later admitted that he does not like the publicity he got from being in the image. He disliked the nickname he was given by his fellow players, 'The Logo'. The NBA has never officially acknowledged West as the player the symbol is based on.

Who is the man in the NBA logo?
Jerry West is considered one of the best-ever players in the history of basketball. Photo by Stephen Dunn
Source: Getty Images


Jerome Alan West

Date of birth

May 28, 1938


84 (2023)

Place of birth

Chelyan, West Virginia

Height in feet

6 ft 3

Height in centimetres

193 cm



Hair colour


High school

East Bank high school


University of West Virginia

NBA draft year


Playing career period


Teams he played for

Minneapolis Lakers, LA Lakers

Playing position

Point guard

Coaching career period


NBA executive career


Teams he has been an executive in

LA Lakers, Golden State Warriors, Memphis Grizzlies LA Clippers

The year he was inducted into the Naismith Hall of Fame



Mr Clutch, The Logo

Number of Championships won as a player, manager and executive


How much is the NBA logo worth to the organization?

Experts from the international consulting firm Siegel Gale estimate that the league makes $2 billion annually from licensing deals regarding the logo. Certified branded NBA merchandise is also sold all over the world.

The NBA logo is based on Jerry West
Former NBA player Carmelo Anthony, wearing a headband with the NBA logo. Photo by Glenn James
Source: Getty Images

The NBA emblem is a unifying symbol for all the 30 teams in the league and the fans. Future logo changes will have to be epic to supersede the popularity of this one. Jerry West's legacy will forever include being the man who the NBA logo is modelled after.

READ MORE: How much do overseas basketball players make? The average salary of hoppers in Europe, Asia and Africa

Sports Brief recently did a breakdown of how much overseas basketball players make. The modern NBA has increased the number of overseas players gradually. Some elite players in the league are from overseas like two-time MVP award winners Giannis Antetekoumpo from Greece and Nikola Jokic from Serbia. How much do these stars earn? Click on the link above to find out!

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Steve Njuguna
SEO Editor
LA Lakers