|The Bucks' logo from 1968-93|
There’s nothing wrong with the idea, but the basketball appears to be an uninspired throw-in in too many logos.
Equipment is also a common feature of MLB logos, but is less popular with NFL and NHL logos.
Basketballs are a tempting element to include given how they can easily fit a logo. A basketball is simple and recognizable, works big or small and is easy to interact with for mascots in the logo. Baseballs are similar.
Just because a basketball's easy to include doesn’t mean it should be included. It has to add something.
The argument that a basketball in the logo makes it clear the team plays basketball seems like a poor excuse.
There are instances of a basketball doing more than letting the uninitiated know what sport the team plays. Here are some examples of a basketball benefitting a logo.
Milwaukee Bucks, 1968-93
The pose and expression of the buck, the sweater and the spin marks surrounding the ball are all top-notch. The buck’s carefree confidence is uncommon among mascots on NBA logos nowadays.
Seattle SuperSonics, 1975-95
An example of a basketball working as a logo outline. The semi-circle shape and colours help a lot, as does Seattle having something to make its skyline distinctive.
Utah Jazz, 1979-96
The word mark is fantastic, and UTAH fits nicely above JAZZ. The colours also work well. But the centrepiece and strongest element is the basketball note: it’s relevant, simple and appealing.
Washington Wizards, 2011-present
The wizard isn’t just holding the ball. It looks as though he’s got it hovering over his finger, or he’s just released a finger roll. The colours and the W formed by his beard are other highlights. The second basketball, the crescent-shaped one, is unnecessary.
Anaheim Amigos, 1967/68 (ABA)
It’s not a great logo given the word mark is just ok and the colours are bland. But the hat on a basketball is likeable, even if the ball itself looks poor.