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Jerry West: Story of the NBA Logo man

Lakers' Legend Jerry West
Davion Moore
Modified 13 Dec 2018

The National Basketball Association (NBA) is a league known throughout the world. Basketball fans from different places of the world follow the league with a passion. The league's logo is a logo recognized by all.

But, how many of us know the backstory of its logo? For example, some fans may not know which player is the model for the logo. What player's silhouette was used for the logo? The answer is Jerry West.

The NBA Logo
The NBA Logo

Jerry West is a legendary Lakers guard. West was the second pick of the 1960 NBA Draft. The Lakers drafted him after the Cincinnati Royals drafted Oscar Robertson. West was a guard out of West Virginia University. He grew up in East Bank, West Virginia, where his favorite activity was playing basketball. West stayed with the Lakers for his entire career. He also coached the Lakers from 1976-1979.

His accomplishments range from being an NBA champion in 1972, a Finals MVP in 1969, a 14-time NBA All-Star, and NBA Scoring Champion in 1970. His jersey was also retired by the Lakers. During his career, West became known as "Mr. Clutch". He received the nickname due to his ability to make clutch shots or plays. He even made a 60-foot buzzer beater that tied Game 3 of the 1970 NBA Finals.

West is a Hall-of-Famer and one of many Laker legends. In 1996, West was even named one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History during All-Star Weekend. He had a variety of skills including his scoring ability, his tenacity on defense, and his passing ability. It is said that he could do anything his team needed him to do.

His best scoring season was in 1965-1966. He averaged 31.3 points, which is slightly better than the year he became the scoring champion. He also averaged 7.1 rebounds and 6.1 assists. His career average was 27.0 points, 6.7 assists, and 5.8 assists. He also has the record for highest points per game average in a playoff series with 46.3 points. West was a phenomenal player during his career. It makes sense why he became the NBA logo.

The NBA logo was created by a designer named Alan Siegel. Siegel was the founder of a branding firm called Siegel+Gale. The NBA assigned Siegel the task of creating their logo. They wanted to rebrand their league due to their competition with the American Basketball Association. Siegel drew inspiration from an image of Jerry West. He created the logo in 1969. Siegel confirmed that West is the logo, but the NBA neither confirmed or denied it.


Over a year ago, Jerry West was on ESPN's show "The Jump". West revealed that he is the logo, but he wishes it was someone else. He also gave suggestion on who should be the new logo.

Jerry West is a basketball legend. Now, he is an executive board member for the Los Angeles Clippers. Although he wishes the NBA would change its logo, he deserves the honor of being the logo. His image should be used for years to come. Many of us recognize the current NBA logo, but may not have known who it was. Now, we know that it is the legend known as "Mr. Clutch". Let's keep the logo and West's legacy alive by preserving the original logo.

Published 13 Dec 2018, 11:17 IST
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