Why is Jerry West the Figure in the NBA Logo?

Why is Jerry West the Figure in the NBA Logo?

Why is Jerry West the Figure in the NBA Logo?

The NBA logo is one of the most iconic symbols in sports, it's up there alongside the Yankee Cap, and the NFL insignia. The silhouette of a basketball player dribbling the ball is instantly recognizable to basketball fans around the world.

However, there has been some debate and speculation over the years about the identity of the player in the logo.

One prevailing theory is that the logo is based on the legendary player Jerry West. In this article, we will delve into the reasons why Jerry West is believed to be the figure in the NBA logo.

Jerry West: The Basketball Legend

Playing Career

Jerry West, also known as "Mr. Clutch," is widely regarded as one of the greatest basketball players in the history of the NBA. He had a remarkable playing career, spending the entirety of his 14-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers from 1960 to 1974.

West was known for his exceptional shooting, ball-handling, and defensive skills, which made him a force to be reckoned with on the court.

Achievements

Throughout his illustrious career, Jerry West achieved numerous accolades and milestones. He was a 14-time NBA All-Star, a member of the All-NBA First Team 10 times, and a defensive stalwart, earning a spot on the NBA All-Defensive First Team four times.

He also propelled the Lakers to the NBA Finals nine times, although he only secured one championship in 1972. West's impact on the game was further recognized when he was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1980.

The Creation of the NBA Logo

Designer and Inspiration

The NBA logo was created in 1969 by Alan Siegel, a prominent graphic designer. Siegel drew inspiration from a photo of Jerry West that captured his dynamic and fluid playing style.

The iconic image showed West dribbling the ball with his left hand while in a full sprint, portraying the agility, skill, and determination that defined his playing career.

Siegel's Account

In various interviews, Alan Siegel has affirmed that Jerry West was indeed the inspiration for the NBA logo. Siegel has recounted the process of selecting the image of West for the logo, emphasizing the significance of capturing the essence of the sport and the athleticism of the players.

The image of West perfectly encapsulated the spirit of basketball and was chosen as the basis for the enduring logo.

The NBA's Silent Acknowledgment

While the NBA has never officially confirmed that the figure in the logo is Jerry West, there have been subtle indications that reinforce this belief.

West's Endorsement

Jerry West himself has acknowledged the widespread speculation and has spoken about being the figure in the NBA logo. In interviews, he has expressed his pride in being associated with the iconic symbol of the NBA and has humbly downplayed his role, attributing it to being in the right place at the right time.

NBA's Tribute

The NBA has subtly paid tribute to Jerry West's legacy by featuring him prominently in various events and ceremonies. From his involvement in the NBA as an executive to his enduring impact on the sport, the league has subtly celebrated West's contributions, further cementing the association between the logo and the basketball legend.

The Logo's Enduring Legacy

The NBA logo has evolved into a symbol that transcends the sport of basketball. Jerry West's influence on the game and his embodiment of these qualities during his playing career make him a fitting representation for the iconic logo.

The belief that Jerry West is the figure in the NBA logo is supported by compelling evidence, including the designer's account and the subtle acknowledgments from both Jerry West and the NBA itself.

 As the logo continues to inspire and resonate with basketball fans worldwide, Jerry West's legacy as the figure in the logo remains an enduring testament to his profound influence on the game of basketball.


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