Saturday, 24 April 2021

They Share Arenas

There aren't many sports that share a common home. NFL teams don't usually give up their home fields to any other teams, and Major League Baseball has homes that are entirely suited for baseball as opposed to other sports. There are a handful that crossover, but none moreso than basketball and hockey. There are eleven arenas that have both an NBA team and an NHL team that call those arenas home, so it struck me that there might be a logo mashup opportunity here as we inject some Canada West into NBA logos!

I'll be honest in telling everyone that, outside of the main stories that appear on sports highlight shows, my knowledge of the NBA isn't what it once was when I was in high school playing basketball (poorly). I know where the stars play and who scored 41 points last night thanks to SportsCentre and Sports Central, but I haven't careda about the NBA since I shelved my Air Jordan XII shoes and retired my rather mediocre game. And yes, I had to look up what model of Jordans I own because I didn't commit that to memory.

My lack of knowledge not withstanding, I do know that the NBA has some of the more unique logos in the professional sports world, so I went out searching for NBA teams whose logos would represent the Canada West teams I follow closely. With some Photoshopping, I can proudly say that all nine Canada West hockey teams now have an NBA-style logo that they can claim.

Will they? Probably not since my artistic skills are still very limited, but let's take a peek at what the Canada West women's hockey teams would look like if they were represented by NBA logos!

UBC Thunderbirds

NBA Team: Atlanta Hawks

The Thunderbirds have a decent logo, but I've always felt that they should be an angrier bird based on how they play the game on the ice. They're fast, they're physical, they can score in bunches, and they don't shy away from the areas of the ice where things get gritty. That being said, the Atlanta Hawks have a great logo on which one can base the T-Birds' logo as the angrier Hawk looks good in Thunderbirds' colours. Teams will fear the T-Birds with that logo!

Trinity Western Spartans

NBA Team: Golden State Warriors

There was only one team who used a spartan-like logo in the history of the NBA, so this made it pretty easy to choose the stylized Golden State Warrirors logo for the Spartans. With Trinity Western Spartans jumping into U SPORTS for the 2021-22 season with a number of young players, the program will look to emulate the recent success of the Golden State Warriors which saw a number of young, talented players form the foundation upon which the program will build and, perhaps, win championships as well!

Alberta Pandas

NBA Team: Memphis Grizzlies

Like the Spartans, there aren't a lot of bears to choose from in the NBA logos, so the Grizzlies get the nod by default. Whereas the Grizzlies are relatively new to the NBA in terms of their founding in Vancouver, the longevity of the Pandas program has seen Howie Draper build a program that no longer defines excellence in terms of wins and losses, but in championships won. Like the NBA franchise, there's a bit of a rebuild happening with the Pandas as they've recently seen a number of talented players graduate out of the program, but there's never a time where one can or should count the Pandas out of the hunt for another championship banner.

MacEwan Griffins

NBA Team: New Orleans Pelicans

A little imagination went into this design as there has never been a griffin/gryphon logo in the NBA that I can recall, but the New Orleans Pelicans' logo fits nicely for what we're trying to accomplish here! Like the Pelicans, the Griffins are one of the new teams in the Canada West circuit, and it's expected they'll play hard and fast like the NBA team does. The Griffins will need to adjust quickly to the pace and style of Canada West after winning the ACAC three years in a row, but there's enough talent on this roster that they'll be able to run-and-gun with the best of Canada West.

Calgary Dinos

NBA Team: Toronto Raptors

There should be zero surprise about which NBA team was chosen to represent the Calgary Dinos. The Raptors have begun the rebuild after winning the NBA Championship, and the Dinos have just gone through their own rebuild after winning the U SPORTS National Championship. The Dinos have assembled some very good talent to give them the ability to play any style of game, and the reigning CanWest Player of the Year is still protecting the net for them. After some lean years, might this be the year that the Dinos rule the conference once more?

Mount Royal Cougars

NBA Team: Charlotte Bobcats

Surprisingly, there are very few cat logos in the NBA. I had to pull this off the defunct logos pile, but the front-facing Charlotte Bobcats logo is very similar to the front-facing Mount Royal Cougars logo. The Cougars had been the newest team in Canada West, joining the fray in 2012-13, two seasons before the Bobcats, the newest team in the NBA in 2004, changed their name and logo to "Hornets" as a return to their previous incarnation. While both teams went through some growing pains, the Cougars have since elevated their games to new heights with their first trip to the U SPORTS National Championship. This won't be the last time we're talking about the Cougars pushing for a national title.

Saskatchewan Huskies

NBA Team: Minnesota Timberwolves

Like the cats, there aren't many dog logos in the NBA, so the Timberwolves are the default for the Huskies. This NBA franchise seems stuck in neutral which is very unlike the Saksatchewan Huskies who are always in the mix for a conference championship. The similarity, however, is that both have very few banners to hang in their arenas as the Huskies have captured the Canada West title just once in 2013-14 while the T-Wolves have just one division title that came in 2004. Unlike the NBA team, though, the Huskies are well-coached and have a deep roster of talent that will put them in the conversation for a championship again this season. Could it be a green-and-white year?

Regina Cougars

NBA Team: Charlotte Bobcats

Again, very few cats means very few logos, so I had to grab a second Bobcats logo to make the NBA-style Regina Cougars work. Honestly, though, if the Cougars had a logo like this, I might defect to become a Cougars fan because this one looks pretty darn good! Like the Bobcats, the Cougars have seen some leaner years in recent times as they work to restock the roster after some key departures, but the recruits like one of the best classes they've had in years. Combine that with the players they added one season ago, and the foundation for the Cougars looks stronger than ever. If they find these younger players find their scoring, this Cougars team could be dangerous for years to come!

Manitoba Bisons

NBA Team: Chicago Bulls

Admittedly, the creative liberties taken with the Chicago Bulls logo here were many in order to turn the Bulls into the Bisons. Like the Bulls, the Bisons are restocking their roster as well following a long and successful run that saw them win a U SPORTS National Championship and play in a second National Championship tournament. The rebuild appears to be strong with a number of quality recruits in the mix for 2021-22, and that bodes well for a return to championship status. There aren't any Jordan- or Pippen-type players on the roster for either club, but the road to a championship will come from solid teamwork, growth as a squad, and overcoming some challenges that will make them better in the long run!

That's a second Photoshop article in a week as I look to improve my skills in that area. Granted, any new skill learned would be an improvement since I have very few in the Photoshop department, but "a win is a win" as the saying goes. I'm not complaining about learning new skills.

Are these logos winners? Let me know in the comments as HBIC gets a very slight dose of basketball on the page today. Of course, you might be a basketball traditionalist and hate all these, and that's ok too. Discussion is good! Let me know if I missed on any other logos that could have been used as well since my NBA knowledge is about as deep as my Photoshop knowledge is!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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