The Best and Worst NBA Logos (Central Division)

I’ve gone through my logo rankings for the NFL and MLB, so now it’s time for the NBA! If you want to see which logos I picked as the best for those leagues, I’ve provided this handy reference page. Otherwise, let’s do some roundball logo reviews. I’m going to take this at an easier pace than I did with football and baseball, so this will be running throughout the NBA 2012-13 regular season.

Up next are the five teams of the Eastern Conference’s Central Division — the Chicago Bulls, Cleveland Cavaliers, Detroit Pistons, Indiana Pacers, and Milwaukee Bucks.  As always, most of these are sourced from Chris Creamer’s outstanding logo website.

Chicago Bulls

Best

Chicago Bulls primary logo (1966 - present)
Chicago Bulls primary logo (1966 – present)

Well, this is an easy choice. The Bulls have had the same primary logo since they came into the league for the 1966-67 season. Luckily it happens to be a winner, so I feel pretty good about this choice.

Worst

n/a

Cleveland Cavaliers

Best

Cleveland Cavaliers primary logo (1970 - 1983)
Cleveland Cavaliers primary logo (1970 – 1983)

To be honest, I’m not in love with any of the Cavs’ franchise branding. But at least this one, their original logo, has the benefit of being original and bold. Even if it screams 1970s.

Worst

Cleveland Cavaliers primary logo (1994 - 2003)
Cleveland Cavaliers primary logo (1994 – 2003)

This, on the other hand, is nothing more than generic basketball clip art. Makes me want to use Windows 95 all over again.

Detroit Pistons

Best

Fort Wayne (Detroit) Zollner Pistons primary logo (1941 - 1948)
Fort Wayne (Detroit) Zollner Pistons primary logo (1941 – 1948)

How can you not love the Piston Man? Other than the fact that he’s entirely metal but has human hands — which is admittedly creepy — this is awesome. This logo predates the modern NBA itself. The “Z” stands for Zollner, by the way, as in team founders Fred and Janet Zollner.

Worst

Detroit Pistons alternate logo (2005 - present)
Detroit Pistons alternate logo (2005 – present)

Wow, is this ever horrible. Yeah, putting the D inside the P is a bit clever I guess, but everything else about this looks like it was produced by a first-day intern in the Pistons’ marketing department.

Indiana Pacers

Best

Indiana Pacers primary logo (1990 - 2005)
Indiana Pacers primary logo (1990 – 2005)

Clean, sensible, and so very Midwestern. This could easily be the logo for an arena too, but it works for the team. And of course this will forever be linked with the Reggie Miller era.

Worst

Indiana Pacers primary logo (1976 - 1990)
Indiana Pacers primary logo (1976 – 1990)

I really want to like this, but I can’t get over the fact that it looks like that hand is dunking a giant tennis ball. The original version is even worse.

Milwaukee Bucks

Best

Milwaukee Bucks primary logo (1968 - 1993)
Milwaukee Bucks primary logo (1968 – 1993)

Loved the logo, loved the color scheme, loved the uniforms. Had to snag this one from a vintage sticker on eBay.

Worst

Milwaukee Bucks primary logo (1993 - 2006)
Milwaukee Bucks primary logo (1993 – 2006)

I’m going to have nightmares about this one. Those creepy purple eyes are staring right into my soul. Also, each league should be allowed one team — max — with purple.

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