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The best and worst NBA logos from each team

The Utah Jazz recently unveiled a revised primary logo, making it the fifth in franchise history. While the general consensus seems to be one of approval for the logo change, many NBA teams have had truly atrocious logos over the 60-year span of NBA history. Let’s take a look at the best and worst primary logo for each team over the last 60 years.


ATLANTA HAWKS


Best logo

The current Hawks logo is the best they’ve unveiled yet. The updated look makes for a great court as well, forever ridding us of the awful brown sidelines we’ve seen in years past.

Worst logo

While trends come and go and what is hip now will probably be strange in the future, I doubt this was ever “hip.”


BOSTON CELTICS


Best logo

Forget best team logo, this icon is easily one of the best across the NBA. When a logo only requires adding color since the 1976 inception, you know you’re doing something right.

Worst logo

From 1950-1968, the Celtics had a variation of this logo. The mustard color behind the full-grown man jumping for joy doesn’t quite do it for me.


BROOKLYN/NEW JERSEY NETS


Best logo

From 1997-2012 the New Jersey Nets had this as a logo. Not one of the best logos of all-time per-se, but definitely better than the pure black-and-white logo Jay Z drew up for Brooklyn.

Worst logo

Oh the ’90s. Home to tie-dye shirts, jean shorts, Furbies and this atrocious logo.


CHARLOTTE HORNETS/BOBCATS


Best logo

The newly redesigned Hornet prevails. This logo is the perfect combination of scary yet wearable.

Worst logo

After finishing with the worst winning percentage in NBA history in 2013, I can see why a complete name and logo change were in short order. As far as worst logos go, this one isn’t too shameful though.


CHICAGO BULLS


Only logo

For your viewing pleasure, the best logo in the NBA. The Chicago bulls nailed this logo the first try, and never touched it again. Great decision. This logo is as intimidating as all-get-out with the penetrating scowl and the blood-tipped horns. The Bulls should never have to update this timeless, perfect logo.


CLEVELAND CAVALIERS


Best logo

The original Cavalier logo looks pretty neat. The bright yellow and red may be a bit much for today’s more conservative logos, but the duel-ready cavalier is certainly more exciting than the present logo.

Worst logo

Even if this were a logo for the Nets, I would say no. The hoop doesn’t even have a rim, the colors go together as well as chocolate and ketchup, and there is no integration with the team name. Be glad this logo is forever gone.


DALLAS MAVERICKS


Best logo

This logo is pretty sharp. I especially like the hidden M in the horse’s bangs. The horse may look a little too tame to be intimidating, but Dirk’s rainbow jumper has petrified enough players over the years to compensate.

Worst logo

A typical ’80s logo worked well in the times but wouldn’t translate to a good logo today. Not too shabby for a worst logo though.


DENVER NUGGETS


Best logo

I’m not a huge fan of any logo from the Nuggets. The current colors are too ordinary, but the past colors are a bit ugly. The logo here is fine, but the colors look awful on a jersey without toning down the yellow to a near-invisible level.

Worst logo

This logo looks like a guy just escaped an asylum and grabbed the first tool available … and a basketball. It also looks a bit like he really messed up his legs hopping the fence on the way out.


DETROIT PISTONS


Best logo

An infamous icon of dirty play during the Bad Boy Pistons days, this logo has enough history and aesthetic appeal to be considered the best.

Worst logo

This logo from the Fort Wayne Piston days is interesting. On one hand he is made up of the team namesake. On the other his body looks like a water heater, and he’s way too happy to be going for a layup.


GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS


Best logo

Interesting tidbit: The bridge in the logo is not the Golden Gate Bridge, it is actually the Bay Bridge.

Worst logo

Enough said.


HOUSTON ROCKETS


Best logo

Maybe a bit boring with lack of color, but otherwise a good logo.

Worst logo

Houston, you certainly did have a problem.


INDIANA PACERS


Best logo

Pretty timeless logo. I anticipate little to no change in the coming years.

Worst logo

Not the only team to use a human arm as a part of a logo, it’s just not cool.


LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS


Best logo

It’s pretty sad when the best logo a team has ever had still looks terrible. The Clippers are yet to produce a single good logo, this is literally the best they have.

Worst logo

I think Steve Balmer had some problems with the font size in Word. Instead of using 30, he used 300. Maybe 3000. As future reference for the Clippers, use some fan art as inspiration.


LOS ANGELES LAKERS


Best logo

For a franchise whose logo has remained essentially unchanged for over five decades, it’s hard to pick a best and worst L.A. logo. I’m convinced the Laker logo would probably look terrible, but it’s been attached to so many successful franchises for so long we’ve been tricked into thinking that it looks good.

Worst logo

To find a worst logo we go back to the Minneapolis days; this logo is the main reason the Lakers fled the land of 10,000 lakes.


MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES


Best logo

A good color scheme plus terrifying eyes, now that’s a recipe for a great logo.

Worst logo

OK, seriously, what is up with those feet? I only know of one bear that looks worse than this one.


MIAMI HEAT


Best logo

Hats off to Miami for a terrific logo, I get serious NBA Jam nostalgia every time I see it. “He’s on fire!”

Worst logo

This logo barely even happened. It was used for only the first year of the franchise before they instilled their better colored NBA Jam logo.


MILWAUKEE BUCKS


Best logo

It was close between this logo and the logo with the majestic purple. The neck bulges on the purple logo pushed it over to this, their current look.

Worst logo

It took me a while to figure out that the buck isn’t licking the ball, it’s just a swoosh mark by his mouth.


MINNESOTA TIMBERWOLVES


Best logo

Though not as good as the alternate logo, this logo is the best Minnesota has ever had. Extra credit for a contending court design as well.

Worst logo

Instead of a gray basketball in the background, couldn’t you have the wolf howling to a basketball crescent moon?


NEW ORLEANS PELICANS


Only logo

OK, so it’s not really their only logo because the Pelicans were previously the Hornets. We have already seen a Hornet logo so I think we’ll just call this terrifying pelican good. If you’re not intimidated by pelicans, take a peek at this vid and reconsider.


NEW YORK KNICKS


Best logo

Maybe another case of a logo that’s not that good but we’re just so used to seeing it we pass it off as OK. Who knows, but this is the best Knicks have had to offer.

Worst logo

Instead of Jerry West, this ought to be the silhouette in the official NBA logo.


OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER


Best logo

I have never been fond of the Thunder’s logo. It looks OK, but how about having some thunder integrated into the logo? While they were deciding on a team name, I liked the Barons the best anyway, what do I know?


SEATTLE SONICS


Best logo

I couldn’t mix the two cities’ logos under the same name as I have done with a few other teams. This logo brings back some awesome memories, as well as a bit of annoyance at the NBA for moving this franchise in the first place.


ORLANDO MAGIC


Best logo

I always liked the star logo better than the block letter logo. If a wizard popped up and had a sign that said magic with block letters, I’d be a little disappointed.

Worst logo

Same dance to different music; first logo, short stint, switched to something new. The stardust basketball is interesting though.


PHILADELPHIA 76ERS


Best logo

I always liked this logo the best. Instead of going back to the retro logo, I think they should have simply redone the color scheme to pure red, white and blue on this logo.

Worst logo

This is essentially the same as every other logo the 76ers have ever had. It’s just …boring.


PHOENIX SUNS


Best logo

The logo of the Nash era. I really like everything about this logo, and the team that played under it with Nash, Stoudemire, and Marion was just too much fun.

Worst logo

This abomination was the Suns' logo for nearly 25 years. Yikes.


PORTLAND TRAIL BLAZERS


Best logo

Everyone in the NBA community is well versed in this Portland Logo. It’s pretty cemented by now, but the logo never made sense to me. After some research the logo made even less sense to me. Each side of the logo (gray and red) has five stripes to represent the five players. They are slanted at 45 degrees to represent the flow of the game. Um … OK? Because we all know that 55 degrees means something else entirely.

Worst logo

I’m telling you, the ’90s were a lot of fun, but looking at the ’90s logos can be not a lot of fun.


SACRAMENTO KINGS


Best logo

This newly unveiled logo is a beut! Far better than any previous Kings logo. I’m interested to see how they use the new alternate logo, which is sharp as well.

Worst logo

This logo is left over from the Cincinnati Royal days. Forget a face only a mother could love, this belongs in a scene from a horror flick for sure.


SAN ANTONIO SPURS


Best logo

San Antonio wins the award for sharpest looking jerseys, and have seamlessly produced a sharp looking logo relative to their era throughout their franchise history.

Worst logo

Sure, it looks like it belongs on a bag of Tostitos, just blame ’90s again.


TORONTO RAPTORS


Best logo

I never understood why the Raptors get a bad rap for having a team name inspired by Jurassic Park. Not every team has a location-based inspiration, and the claws coming out of the shoes mixed with the roaring raptor looks pretty sick. Toronto got their logo right the first time. …

Worst logo

… then ruined it. The color and court scheme work out just fine, but the claw marks on a (popped? flat?) basketball just don’t look as cool as a fierce raptor.


UTAH JAZZ


Best logo

The note is perfect, classy and perfectly integrated into the Jazz logo. The newest logo for the Jazz looks fantastic, and I daresay the new court looks better than any previous court; that being said, keeping the pure Mardi Gras colors produces a great jersey. The first logo for the Utah Jazz barely edges out the newest logo, no worries, it still rocks.

Worst logo

I am so glad we never have to see this logo again! The mountain logos were all worse than the note, and this primary logo never even made it onto the court. After a few years of the secondary note logo being more popular than the actual primary logo, the Jazz switched it up, much to the relief of their fans.


WASHINGTON WIZARDS


Best logo

This is a sharp logo, but it has nothing to do with the Wizards. I kind of wish they’d change their name to something to go along with the Patriots, Nationals, Revolution, etc.

Worst logo

I never understood the change in color scheme for the Wizards. Either play off of the fact you are in D.C., find a name that fits red, white and blue, or don’t. The old Wizard logo colors were fine. Did it have anything to do with D.C? No. But this whole patriotic wizard idea is pathetic.

Dustin Jensen is a Utah native. He is studying accounting at the University of Utah, enjoys running, and is a Utah Jazz fanatic. You can e-mail Dustin at big_jazz_fan@hotmail.com.