The first NBA In-Season Tournament tips off this Friday, and the league has just revealed the 30 new court designs — one for each team — that will be used for the tourney games.
ESPN’s Zach Lowe has an excellent (if somewhat credulous) article on how the courts were designed — highly recommended. Here’s the key passage:
By late July, [the league] had settled on a template: the bulk of the court in one color linked to each team’s City Edition uniform, with one central strip the width of the in-the-key painted area running from baseline to baseline in another shade — meant to evoke an airport runway, and the idea that each group play game had the teams on their own runway to the tournament’s final four in Las Vegas.
A giant in-season tournament trophy would serve as the center-court logo, superimposed on each team’s individual logo. A tipped-over version of the trophy would be squeezed inside the foul line on both ends of each court.
So the Celtics’ design, for example, looks like this:
That’s one of the better-looking ones. Most of the others are brutal, and of course the whole “runway” concept is beyond stupid.
Here’s the full rundown:
Golden State Warriors
Los Angeles Lakers
New Orleans Pelicans
New York Knicks
Oklahoma City Thunder
Portland Trail Blazers
San Antonio Spurs
I think a lot of these designs are fun when viewed in a vacuum. They’d make good wall hangings, serving trays, or dartboards. But as basketball courts? Well, we’ll have to wait and see to know for sure, but it certainly seems like they’re gonna look dreadful. Moreover, since the colors are based on the teams’ City uniforms, which the teams will be wearing in the In-Season Tourney, I suspect we’ll have a lot of situations where the uniforms blend in with the courts. (You can see all 30 City designs here.)
Can I just say one more time how stupid the “runway” concept is? Like, if you want to have a big stripe running down the center, then fine — have a big stripe! But reverse-engineering a “story” for the stripe is just sad, and making that “story” about a runway is pathetic. How do these people look in the mirror every morning? Jeez!