Back before the Atlanta Hawks (briefly) became the best team in the Eastern Conference, they were arguably best known as the home of Dominique Wilkins and for their deliciously Pac Man-esque logo, which they brought back (sort of) last season. The original logo may have served for inspiration to Mark Kenny, who went through the NBA’s teams and gave them each a video game-inspired logo. If this is sounding kind of familiar to you, it’s because Kenny is the same artist who redesigned NFL logos with Disney characters.
Some of them are hits, some of them feel a little arbitrary, but we’ve rounded up the five best and are happy to present them to you here.
1. The Milwaukee Ducks
Combining the futility of Milwaukee basketball with the inevitable defeat of Duck Hunt — seriously, you can’t win the game — is our first entry, the Milwaukee Ducks. If you never played/heard of Duck Hunt, it was a game for the original Nintendo. You can see it in action here.
2. The Los Angeles Kirbys
A photo posted by AK (@ak47_studios) on Jan 20, 2015 at 10:57am PST
While we’re still a little confused as to why Kirby gets matched with the Clippers (although we suppose the K and the C sound somewhat similar, phonetically), the fact that it matches up so well with the original logo means we can’t avoid giving it some props.
3. The Washington Magikoopas
Maybe our favorites — it’s worth pointing out that the rebranded Washington Wizards would have been able to pull off the Super Mario connection even if they had kept the Bullets moniker, since Bullet Bill is very much a thing. This also looks way cooler than the real Wizards logo.
4. The Portland Space Invaders
One minor quibble with this one — the word “space” doesn’t appear anywhere in here, and at a quick glance it looks as though the logo just replaces the Blazers from the original with Invaders. It does not. It is, in fact, an epic Space Invaders homage. We love it. You love it. Just like this year’s Blazer team.
5. Astro Boy, The Houston Rocket
OK. Astro Boy is probably more of an iconic cartoon than a video game, but it’s an awesome logo, and there was an Astro Boy video game made back in 2009, so it totally counts.
For the rest of the National Basketball Arcade, you can check out Kerry’s Instagram here.