The logos for professional sports franchises are big business: People see the Yankees “NY” symbol and think about their grandfathers and Jay-Z (occasionally at the same time), or the big orange C of the Chicago Bears and feel an emotional connection to being eight years old again. The logos in the NBA have a similar effect, but unlike the classic and iconic symbols that have represented some franchises for generations, most of the logos in the NBA include a history of stylistic evolution.
Reddit user r/gordontrue captured that evolution in one sweeping animated GIF, which features every NBA team’s logo as it evolves from its original, whimsically hideous form (big ups to the Denver Nuggets’ insane goldminer! Were the Knicks originally repped by Sonic the Hedgehog?) through the pastel-colored hues of the ’90s (what’s cooler than silver and black, San Antonio? Pink and teal!) and onto the sharpened, slick images that every team has cultivated into the present day.
The logos reflect the design sensibilities of their time, which means that there’ll probably be a future iteration of this GIF in which the block lettering and vaguely retro iconography that today’s teams use will prompt a smirking reflection of a crazy time gone by–but for now, the gallery represents an evolution not just of the NBA, but of design. Except for the Chicago Bulls, of course, whose logo has remained unchanged since the team’s inception in 1966, whether in its right-side-up “red bull” form or in its upside down “sad robot reading a book” iteration.