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The silhouette in the NBA's logo belongs to Jerry West. You know it, I know it and, after 55 years, straight from the mouth of the most powerful figure in the league, it's official.

"The NBA logo was created long before I joined the league but there was never any doubt in my mind, or in Jerry West's, that his image was the inspiration for it," NBA commissioner Adam Silver told the New York Times' Benjamin Hoffman on Wednesday. "But Jerry also made clear that he was uncomfortable being known as 'The Logo.' He felt that the logo should stand for something bigger than him.

"Typical Jerry."

West, a legendary player and executive, died on Wednesday at the age of 86. While he was known as "The Logo," he would have preferred to never have acquired that nickname. (This is one of the reasons that "Mr. Clutch" is the moniker that honors him best.) Seven years ago, in an interview on ESPN, he said it was "flattering" to have inspired the logo but he wished it had never become public knowledge and, in many ways, wished the league would change it.

In his 2011 memoir, West by West: My Charmed, Tormented Life, co-written with Jonathan Coleman, he writes: "Though I never talk about this and it has never been officially confirmed by the league, the commissioner at the time, Walter Kennedy, quietly told me one day, 'Jerry, that's you,' and his son later confirmed this, that his father had initiated the idea with the graphic designer Alan Siegel, and that he wanted it to be based on a likeness of me."

Siegel told the Los Angeles Times in 2010, unequivocally, "It's Jerry West." In response, then-commissioner David Stern declined to comment, saying he didn't know whether or not West was the player in the logo.

In 2021, Siegel told that he'd called his friend Dick Schaap, then the editor of Sport Magazine, and asked to "come over and look at his photo file." Siegel found a photo of West dribbling down the court, and he liked that it was vertical and had a sense of movement. That photo turned into the silhouette that has symbolized the league since 1969.

"I was a fan of his and he was one of those people who had an important history in the NBA," Siegel told "But in designing the logo, I never mentioned it was based on a picture of him. It was just discovered years later."

In the same story, West is quoted saying, "It almost feels like I have to apologize for that symbol. It's not fun."

Before West's death, Silver had only winked at the true identity of the man behind the iconic image. At a press conference during the 2021 All-Star weekend, the commissioner said, "While it's never been officially declared that the logo is Jerry West, it sure looks a lot like him."