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Bowen Hobbs Redesigns the NBA — Part II

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By Phil Hecken, with Bowen Hobbs

Hey kids! It’s Jerry’s birthday today. What a long, strange trip it’s been…

Last weekend, I brought you Part I of Bowen Hobbs’ redesigns of NBA teams, and today we’re going to see the rest of the league. It’s not just uni concepts either — he’s done up a full set of logos plus courts!

You may remember, a couple weeks ago, I brought the art and artistry of Bowen Hobbs, via “posters” he has created. Not only has he done the posters and the NBA, but other major sports as well, which we’ll see in the weeks and months ahead. He’s even redesigned several defunct NBA teams, which will run shortly (but not today, sorry).

Without further ado, Part II of the Redesigning the NBA Series by Bowen Hobbs. Here’s Bowen (click on any of the images below to enlarge):

• • •

Southwest Division

Dallas Mavericks

The Mavs’ branding overhaul in 2001 left the team with a similar issue to their NFL counterparts: using both navy and black interchangeably. My redesign removes black for navy and re-renders the white stallion against a sheriff badge icon complemented by a more western font. The western details continue to the uniforms.


Houston Rockets

The current Rockets identity leaves much to be desired, especially with the treasure trove of design elements available. My concept refocuses the team on its NASA roots with a color scheme of Mars red, navy, athletic gold, and orange. The primary logo features a rocket blasting off against an illuminated basketball.


Memphis Grizzlies

The goal with the Grizzlies was to give the team more connection to Memphis. The redesigned logo features the neon of Beale Street. The uniforms rely heavily on dueling shades of blue and thin lines that feel like fluorescent trim.


New Orleans Pelicans

While the Pelicans currently have a beautiful logo, they missed an opportunity to have truly original look by defaulting to a color scheme previously worn by the Nuggets and Cavs. My logo fashions the Pelican into a fleur-de-lis with wrought iron details. Those same architectural details are displayed on the uniforms in decadent deep purple, emerald green, and metallic gold.


San Antonio Spurs

My Spurs concept adds a southwestern feel to the team’s brand, combining the Alamo, southwestern art, and a basketball to make the primary icon. The typeface plays on vintage ranch branding. Most of the uniforms feature the traditional black and silver, but the Pride uniform adds a splash of the Fiesta era.

• • •

Northwest Division

Denver Nuggets

The Nuggets’ most iconic look is their rainbow uniforms. I blended the powder blue from the Carmelo era with the rainbow motif, adding a beveled typeface that resembles bars of gold. The uniforms feature the rainbow across the chest in the player’s left leg.


Minnesota Timberwolves

With the plethora of navy-dominant teams residing in the Northwest Division, I decided to give the Wolves a heavy dose of lime green. A modified howling wolf logo is the primary, with a basketball/snowflake used for the secondary. The uniforms blend the current era with the tree theme of their previous branding.


Oklahoma City Thunder

It seems obvious that the Thunder created their logo before they named the team, focusing on abstract swooshes and the letters OKC. My redesign gives a proper image to the team. A stampeding bison running on a basketball in a shield combined with a color scheme of brown, teal, gold, and orange gives the team a look that is uniquely Oklahoma.


Portland Trail Blazers

The Blazers play in the Rose City and currently use a very clever abstract logo. My goal was to play on the flower theme with a rose/basketball icon and a hint of green to differentiate them from the other five or six red-and-black teams. The uniforms feature a thorned sash and a rustic font.


Utah Jazz

The current Jazz identity lacks originality using a navy and athletic gold combo similar to Denver and Indiana. I replaced the gold with copper to represent the state’s red rocks and mining history. A treble clef/basketball mark and a saxophone-J reinforce the musical theme. The side panels on the uniforms also reinforce the theme by using music staff striping.

• • •

Pacific Division

Golden State Warriors

While the team’s move away from Indigenous imagery in 1969 was ahead of its time, the team has never fully embraced a new warrior mascot outside of the short-lived “We Believe” futuristic fighter. My redesign combines the Golden Gate Bridge and trolley car marks with ancient elements like a Spartan helmet and W-key trim.


LA Clippers

For a long time, the Clippers’ identity looked like the Lakers’ little brothers. Then came the Microsoft WordArt era. My redesign carves out its own niche with a Sailor Jerry tattoo theme fitting of LA. The primary logo replaces the rectangle LAC with a ship’s steering wheel.


Los Angeles Lakers

The Lakers are Hollywood’s team. To that end, I developed a Lakers redesign that played heavily on the Hollywood sign and the Walk of Fame. The uniforms feature sublimated spotlights on the back while the court has its own Walk of Fame with each of the team’s championships listed on the sideline where the stars sit.


Phoenix Suns

The Pacific Division has three purple teams while the NBA has no black and orange teams. One way to address that is to update the Suns’ color palette. The new logo plays heavily on the Arizona flag with a western-inspired typeface to complement it. The uniforms feature a sun on the front and sublimated rays on the back. Purple is still retained as a trim color.


Sacramento Kings

With the Kings, I made sure to maintain the team’s regal theme while making it specifically Californian. The primary logo features a lion mimicking the pose of the state flag’s bear. The typeface blends athletic block angles with medieval details.

• • • • •

Wow. Thanks Bowen — that quite a lot of effort! And now we’ve completed the current NBA teams — but Bowen’s not done yet. Coming soon, Bowen will give you his redesigns for some defunct NBA teams! Readers, what do you think? Please let Bowen know (good or bad) in the comments below.

Guess The Game…

from the scoreboard

Today’s scoreboard comes from ojai67.

The premise of the game (GTGFTS) is simple: I’ll post a scoreboard and you guys simply identify the game depicted. In the past, I don’t know if I’ve ever completely stumped you (some are easier than others).

Here’s the Scoreboard. In the comments below, try to identify the game (date & location, as well as final score). If anything noteworthy occurred during the game, please add that in (and if you were AT the game, well bonus points for you!):

Please continue sending these in! You’re welcome to send me any scoreboard photos (with answers please), and I’ll keep running them.

A Very Special Kreindler’s Korner

Hey guys & gals. You’ve enjoyed Kreindler’s Korner for several years now, mostly on the weekends, on Uni Watch, but with the recent coronavirus outbreak, Graig’s time is just too precious and he needs to tend to other things besides coming up with a new writeup each weekend.

However — for a very small segment of the population (and Uni-Verse), today is a very special day, and as such, I asked Graig if he’d share a non-sports painting he did a few years back, which is absolutely one of my favorites. If you know me, you know why (and Graig’s description kinda sums it up for me too).

Happy 78th Jerry…

Here’s Graig:

• • •

Title: “Jerry Waving”
Subject: Jerry Garcia, 1969
Medium: Oil on linen mounted to board
Size: 10” x 8”

Rather than posting a painting of an old ballplayer, how about one of somebody who’s been a never-ending source of inspiration since I was 16?

There’s no need to go into the history or lore of the Grateful Dead — it’s very well documented by people who are a LOT more articulate than I. Also, with this being a website about the minutia of uniform aesthetics, it’s not really the right place to do so. But, I will say, that day-in and day-out, his music has been (to me) the prime vehicle to wade in the endless myriad of human emotions. And for that I am ever grateful.

Happy birthday, Jer.

• • •

Thanks, Graig! You can (and should!) follow Graig on Twitter.

And now a few words from Paul

Hi there. Just wanted to bring you up to date a few merchandise items, starting with our Uni Watch Key Rings, which launched this past Monday. I made 200 of these are there are now fewer than 60 left. They’re available here while supplies last.

While we’re at it:

• There are also fewer than 60 Uni Watch Pin Club bobble-pins remaining. Those are available here. (The August pin will soft-launch this weekend on my Twitter feed, and then I’ll give it the full showcase treatment here on the blog on Monday.)

• In case you missed it on Friday, we have a new shirt product line called Uni Rock, which honors classic music logos. Check it out here.

You can see the rest of our current merchandise offerings here. My thanks, as always, for your consideration.

And now on to the ticker…

The Ticker
By Anthony Emerson

Baseball News: The guy who operates the fake crowd noise at Globe Life Park gave a rundown on how it works on Reddit (from Colin, who didn’t share his last name). … Nationals Park played “OK Blue Jays” during the Jays’ “home” game in DC on Thursday (from Wade Heidt). … The ESPN app used the wrong Brewers logo in a graphic about game postponements caused by COVID-19 outbreaks (from Geoff Poole). … A Chicago sports radio station posted an article naming the most “star studded numbers in baseball” — or, the uni numbers that currently worn by multiple really good players (from Steve Sher). … The team behind Super Mega Baseball, a baseball video game that lacks both the MLB and MLBPA license, is selling jerseys of their fake teams and players (from @valleyshook).

NFL News: Washington has asked fans to submit ideas for new nicknames (from Mike Chamernik). … Johnny Garfield has sent along this screen grab of Brett Favre in a five-stripe Packers jersey in 2000 — a look they stopped wearing after Super Bowl XXXI in 1997.

College/High School Football News: McKinney (Tx.) High’s new $70 million football stadium has cracks in the concrete before even opening (from Kary Klismet).

Hockey News: The KHL’s Sibir Novosibirsk released a new uniform to honor medical workers (from Mike Chamernik).

NBA News: Mike Chamernik sends along a full list of NOBs from the bubble. … Also from Mike: The “smart rings” the NBA has given players to monitor their health are largely untested and may not even work. … ESPN’s digital on-court ads bled through onto the Bucks’ Cream City jerseys and players’ skin during last night’s Bucks/Celtics game (from multiple reader). … Nets C Jarrett Allen’s social justice NOB is “Sí Se Puede,” Spanish for “Yes, it is possible” but usually translated as “Yes We Can.” It was made famous by Latino civil rights activists Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta. … Blazers C Jusuf Nurkić wore “Ravnopravnost” — his social justice NOB translating to “gender equality” — in the first half, but came out in his usual jersey in the second half. Since his NOB is above his number and other players who have opted against having a social justice statement on their unis have had their NOBs below their numbers, it was probably a spare jersey. Maybe the “Ravnopravnost” one had a tear or some other issue (from Etienne Catalan). … A cream vs. green matchup for the Bucks-Celtics game last night, with the Bucks being the first teams to wear their city unis in the bubble. Interesting scorebug, too, with both teams secondary logos (from Nicklaus Wallmeyer).

College/High School Hoops News: New court for West Virginia Wesleyan (from Kary Klismet).

Soccer News: Barcelona have unveiled some classy-looking black-and-gold away kits (from multiple readers). … Scottish clubs will have sleeve ads for the first time in the upcoming season. Motherwell FC’s will be a suicide prevention charity (thanks Jamie). … Also from Jamie, Scottish Premiership side St. Johnstone have revealed their new home kit. … One more from Jamie: Scottish third tier side Airdrieonians have unveiled their change kit. … Celtic have officially revealed their new away kit, and it looks significantly more green than it did in the leaked pics (from Ed Żelaski). … Also from Ed, English fourth tier side Forest Green Rovers have revealed their new kits. … Bundesliga club Mainz 05 have unveiled their somewhat wild new kits (from S.J. Moonlaw). … Another Bundesliga side, Schalke 04, have unveiled their new home, away and third kits.

Grab Bag: The following are all from Kary Klismet: The Massachusetts State Senate has unanimously passed a bill creating a commission to redesign the state’s flag and seal … New renderings for Budapest’s 20,000 seat arena have been unveiled. It’s scheduled to host the 2022 European Handball Championship. … Simon Fraser University, the only Canadian college to compete in the NCAA, has broken ground on a new outdoor stadium project for its football, soccer, and track and field teams. … The Nottinghamshire Cricket Club has new hats. The old version depicted a leaping stag (from Robert Griffiths). … There’s a movement building to reverse the US military’s ban on the LGBTQ pride flag, among other banners (from Timmy Donahue).

And finally… big thanks again to Bowen for sharing his NBA concepts — some of these are really really interesting and there are a bunch of unis that would make for fine NBA uniforms for sure. Also, thanks to Graig for sharing his JG painting (love that one so much). Let your inspiration flow!

Hope everyone is holding up OK — to the UWers on the southeast coast, from Miami up through the Carolinas (and beyond), let’s hope Isaias just gives a few strong gusts and some big surf — you guys stay safe! Oh, and some of the beaches near me have closed due to shark sightings. We don’t need any more angst. *Checks calendar — Oh, yeah, it’s still 2020*. At least I had another successful semester in grad school. One more to go! The rest of you please stay well and safe. I’ll catch ya back here again tomorrow.



Comments (24)

    Bowen’s work shows a ton of commitment and attention to detail. Bravo all the way around for coming up with thoughtful and individual designs. Creating bespoke fonts for an entire league is tough. One thing I did. Price is how dark the color palettes have gotten today. Bring back the Wolves’ brighter royal blue and the Suns’ vivid purple!
    HBD, Jerry – had some on in the car on the way to my kids’ virtual and social distancing-enforced swim meet.

    Re: Ticker Item about Simon Fraser University stadium. They broke ground well over a year ago. Not a big facility being built. Have not heard any updates but stadium is supposed to be close to completion by now.

    SFU’s football team played their entire season last fall off campus at Swangard Stadium in Burnaby because the work was already happening at the stadium site on campus.

    At Briggs Stadium in Detroit no less. I’d recognize those bleachers anytime. Great memories up there.

    “MILL” (sic) and “PHIL” seem to be written on otherwise blank NL score boxes – in chalk! There was a game between those two teams on Aug. 26, but not on the 27th. My guess is there was a shortage of blanks in the scoreboard’s NL team size, so they turned some around. Unfortunately, someone had written the name of the team that the other side showed, because that’s helpful…

    More misses for me this week than last time, but his Spurs, Thunder, and Clippers concepts are among my favorite basketball concepts ever. If the Clippers adopted that old nautical-tattoo-style lettering, I’d root for the team on aesthetic grounds alone. Nicely done!

    Agreed. I love both of those! OKC desperately needs the update to a proper visual identity.

    It looks like the Farve 5-stripe jersey has built-in hand warmer pockets. I imagine the Packers didn’t have a 3-stripe jersey with them and pulled an old one out of the equipment room.

    That’s exactly what happened. I’m pretty sure it also had an extra layer in it.

    It was bitterly cold that day, the wind chill was 15 below. The Packers didn’t have a updated Nike-branded cold-weather jersey on hand, so somebody in the equipment room pulled out an old Starter jersey from at least four years earlier, ripped the logos off, and that’s what Favre wore that day.

    I really like the Suns going with orange as their primary color, but I don’t like the black in place of purple. And the white uniform should have ”Suns” and not “Phoenix”.

    That “guy” is the great Michael Gruber, a Dallas area legend, and he works at Globe Life Field, not Park.

    The Rockets logo is absolutely stunning! Playing into the Houston theme with the NASA reference AND the Tequila Sunrise elements…Perfection!

    Agreed. Those were the two things I loved most about the Rockets design. With just that little bit of orange added to the existing red and yellow colors it helps bring a consistent theme to all of the Houston teams (well, other than the Texans). And the logo was a huge improvement.

    The tiny lettering on the Suns’ and Rockets’ jerseys needs to be bumped up, but on balance a better batch than last week’s.

    Johnny Garfield has sent along this screen grab of Brett Favre in a five-stripe Packers jersey in 2000 — a look they stopped wearing after Super Bowl XXXI in 1997.

    I remember that game!

    Favre was wearing an old jersey because that game against Tampa Bay was bitterly cold (wind chill -15), and Favre wanted to wear a cold-weather jersey with a built-in handwarmer.

    Nike, who took over the team’s contract starting with the 1997 season, hadn’t made jerseys with built-in handwarmers, so the equipment team grabbed an old Starter cold-weather jersey instead. They took a seam-ripper to the Starter logo patches, and Favre wore his old jersey with no logos on the sleeve.

    IIRC, by the time the 2001 season rolled around, Nike had cold-weather jerseys available, marked with the swoosh.

    Great work on all of this. I appreciate the enormity of the project. My favorites ones were LAC, OKC, HOU, and DEN. Great stuff.


    you may want to take a look at the date on that article regarding the McKinney ISD Stadium. It’s from 2018.

    I NEVER leave comments like this but I had to give peaise to Bowen’s incredible uni redesigns. He, along with many other pro sports reconceptualdesigns over the years prove time and again how much better these reimagined unis embarrass the high dollar firms most of these sports teams hire, only to produce a horrible disaster of an update. Awesome job!!!!

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