By Garret Heinrich

The NBA this off-season has already seen six brand reboots and remodels.  The Hawks, Clippers, 76ers, Raptors, Bucks and Wizards all created new logos,  that all have one thing in common; circles!

The Hawks, Raptors, Wizards and 76ers all pulled out the NHL’s long over-used circle crest look with the logo in the middle and the team name written around the logo in the circle.  The Bucks also did this for their secondary logo and the Clippers almost did it with their basketball secondary logo.

The difference is that the circle crest logo in the NHL has three things going for it:

1. It looks awesome on the front of a sweater.

2. It is exclusively used as a secondary logo.


The NBA decided to jump to these logos all at the same time for a few reasons:

1. It’s trendy right now, and when you reach out to a design firm, their job is to do what people like.

2. It’s simple.  This has something to do with No. 1.  It is very trendy right now to have simple clean easy to look at logos and circular logos always ALWAYS look clean and simple.  It’s hard though not impossible, to clutter up the circle logo.

3. Basketballs are circular in 2D.

This being said, I’m not here to grade, rank, list or go off on the new logos and uniforms released this offseason (or postseason if you’re the Wizards).  Can I just say I’ve never heard of “Phila” Pennsylvania?

We are here to look at the teams that really need to redo their brands, circular or not.

5. Los Angeles Clippers


Yes, they just redid their brand, logo, & uniforms literally a few days ago.  Yes, they need to do it over again.  The only redeemable thing in their current reboot is the LAC logo on its own.  It’s not bad.  It goes together well, it represents the city.  It’s a very solid secondary logo.  You never want the secondary logo to be the best logo.  When that happens people clamor for the secondary logo to become the primary logo.  Then people realize they don’t really like that logo as a primary logo and they ask for a full rebrand. So just avoid the eight years it takes to go through that horrible situation, just rebrand it now.

4. Oklahoma City Thunder


I give Oklahoma City a lot of credit for their bold choice of going with a blue and orange color scheme.  It isn’t something a lot of teams would do.  I actually really like the colors they use.  The problem is the logo sucks.  It actually isn’t really a log as a bunch of colors and word marks with a basketball thrown in there for good measure so we know what sport they play.  The real problem is actually the team name.

It is impossible to visually represent thunder.  Go ahead, give it a try. You can’t do it.  You probably just drew lightning or maybe a cloud.  Not thunder.  Let’s think of a new name for the Oklahoma City team real quick:

Oklahoma City Buffalo (State Animal)

Oklahoma City Racoons (State Furbearer)

Oklahoma City Okies (We have the Houston Texans, so there is zero way to say you can’t name it after a state.)

Oklahoma City Gryphons (How is there no team named after one of the most amazing mythical creatures ever?)

I’m going with Gryphons.  One, the name is unique. Two, Gryphons represent something that works for basketball players: strength and speed on the ground and gracefulness and power in the air. And because Gryphons are mythical creature’s colors need not apply.  Oklahoma City can have an orange and blue gryphon.  There will be no one that says, “That isn’t a proper depiction of a gryphon.” It’s all up to the mind’s eye.

3. Houston Rockets


The Houston Rockets are stuck, like a lot of teams have been, in their late 1990’s early 2000’s logo redo and haven’t quite made the choice to go back to something better.  They have used their mustard and ketchup color-scheme more as a secondary look, but the logo is still bad.  It’s too simple; while trying to be complex. Hiding a rocket in the ‘R’ is cute, but it just doesn’t work.  Keep the mustard and ketchup colors and change the logos and the Rockets will jump near the top of the NBA in rankings.

2. Orlando Magic


The Orlando Magic were sadly caught in the late 80’s early 90’s team naming phenomenon that was naming a team after something that doesn’t pluralize. See Miami Heat, Tampa Bay Lightning, Colorado Avalanche.  Magic is cool, but is it NBA team name cool? I don’t think so.  Orlando could have many many different team names.  But they need a new look, even if they keep the “Magic” name.

1. Brooklyn Nets


BLACK AND WHITE!? REALLY! Jay-Z I expected so much more from you.  The logo isn’t horrible, but because it is black and white, it’s way too boring.  Add one color to your color scheme and you are in good shape.  It can be orange (like the rim a net hangs on) or green (not enough green in the NBA) or anything else from the color wheel, because everything goes with black and white. Jazz it up Brooklyn.  Brooklyn is better than that.