The NBA Logo And The Debate Over RoyaltiesBy Martin B April 11, 2023
Jerry West, a former NBA player and executive, is widely believed to be the inspiration for the NBA logo. The silhouette of a basketball player dribbling the ball with one hand and reaching out with the other is believed to be based on a photograph of West taken in 1969.
While West has never officially confirmed that he is the inspiration for the logo, the resemblance is uncanny, and many fans and analysts have pointed to this fact over the years.
Despite this speculation, it is not widely known whether Jerry West receives royalties for being the NBA logo. The NBA has not officially acknowledged that West is the model for the logo, and as such, they have not been obligated to pay him any royalties.
In fact, the NBA has been relatively tight-lipped on the subject, and the use of the logo has been generally attributed to a “generic” basketball player.
However, in a 2011 interview with ESPN, West did confirm that he did not receive any royalties for being the inspiration for the NBA logo. He stated that he was proud to be associated with the league in any way but that he had not received any compensation for the use of his likeness.
It is worth noting that the use of an individual’s likeness in a logo or branding can be a complicated legal issue. If West were to officially claim that he is the inspiration for the NBA logo, he may be entitled to compensation for the use of his likeness.
However, given the ambiguous nature of the situation, it is unlikely that West will pursue any legal action. While this may be a disappointment for some fans who believe that West deserves recognition and compensation, it is ultimately up to the NBA to decide how they choose to handle this situation.