A picture can speak a thousand words! Photographs tell a story. They capture a moment and immortalize it forever. This is true for personal moments but also sports photography. Whether it’s a snapshot of a winning moment or a team photo with players long since retired, photos are important to the NBA.
When we look back at NBA photographs, we have to check out some of the greatest teams, like the San Antonio Spurs, Boston Celtics, and the Los Angeles Lakers. Even casual fans can look at one of their photos and pinpoint WHEN that image was taken and the EMOTIONS behind it. From time of Bill Russell to Lebron James, sports photographers have capture some of the most iconic times and made them last forever.
Let’s check out some of the most incredible, memorable photographs from the NBA.
- This photo is a perfect snapshot of possibly one of the best draft classes, if not THE best draft class the NBA has ever had. The 1996 draft class had Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, Allen Iverson, Stephon Marbury, and Ray Allen. All of these remarkable athletes left their mark in the NBA. This picture shows their collective ambition together in one shot.
- Possibly the most famous picture of the NBA is the picture that eventually became the NBA logo. This snapshot showed Jerry West at his best, being quick and dynamic while showing off his many faces. The logo does not give direct credit to Jerry West. It is meant to not have any individual identify in order to make it more relatable. However, a vast majority of fans know the truth. This is Jerry West. The Jerry West image helps remind fans of his legacy as one of the best players of the game. He is the only player in NBA history to be Final MVP of the losing team and a one time NBA Champion. His silhouette in the logo is trademarked and brings in 3 billion dollars a year. That makes it one of the most popular images of all time!
- This famous picture shows the incredible amount of the hard work and dedication athletes have for the game. It was taken from the “Flu Game,” which was Game 5 of the 1997 NBA Finals. Michael Jordan was exhausted and dehydrated but, even still, he managed to put up 38 points. In his own words, Jordan explained, “I almost played myself into passing out just to win a basketball game.” This incredible dedication to the game is why Michael Jordan’s career is so legendary. His hard work shines through clearly in this image. It captures not only the pain and suffering Michael Jordan was facing but also his drive to overcome everything in his path.
- Wilt Chamberlain’s 100-point game is a record that nobody may be able to overcome! The closest to that recently was Kobe Bryant at 81 points. This picture celebrates Chamberlain’s success and challenges future players. As things stand, he is possibly the greatest player to ever step onto the court. He holds records of scoring, rebounding, and durability. It’s a simple photo but showing his 100 points is possibly the best way to describe his stellar career. Being a 2-time NBA Champion and a one time NBA Finals MVP, Wilt Chamberlain is immortalized in this photo.
- Tim Duncan’s recent retirement was a shock to the world! When looking back at Tim Duncan, we remember the humblest, most giving person to ever step foot in the court. This photo of his 5th NBA ring showcases those amazing traits. It was taken after the championship game against the Miami Heat, where Tim Duncan cemented himself as possibly the best Power Forward to ever play the game. Duncan’s career is unforgettable, from his time with David Robinson during the San Antonio Spurs first NBA Championship to his 2014 Championship with Kawhi Leonard, Tony Parker, Manu Ginboli, and Greg Popivich. He has always been a silent force that has driven the San Antonio Spurs to be one of the greatest franchises in NBA history.
- Another Iconic image is the matchup of Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan. Jordan and Bryant are possibly two of the greatest players in the NBA. Understandably, this leads to them often being compared to one another. It always seemed like a race with Kobe Bryant trying to beat Michael Jordan. Instead of one clear winner, however, both emerged as legends. This image shows a young Kobe speaking to Michael Jordan. They are showing their respect for the game and for one another. An image like this withstands the test of time. Here are two of the greatest players passing of the torch from one to the other. Kobe Bryant retired this past year. Looking back, we can see the impact Michael Jordan made on his career and the impact both of them made on the world.