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Who Has The Best Court Design In The NBA?

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The staff at Sonics Rising have ranked NBA court designs from top to bottom.

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Today's Team Previews

When the Sonics come back to Seattle, I'm looking forward to watching basketball again. I'm looking forward to having a winter sport in Seattle. I'm also looking forward to the little things, such as wondering what the design of the basketball court will look like.

Continuing on our NBA rankings kick, your Sonics Rising staff has ranked court designs around the league from the best to the worst. I myself chose not to take part in this vote or any other of the rankings. Instead, I chose to write the summaries for the rankings and take a few pot shots at my colleagues in the process. Here we go.

Rank: 30 - Oklahoma City Thunder
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28
30 28.8

Truthfully, this is a pretty sharp looking court with a good color scheme. It is far from the worst court design in the NBA. As a matter of fact, I might put it in the top five. The staff likely would've gotten a higher ranking if it had more green, more gold, less blue, less white, a different logo, and a different location -- say somewhere in the Pacific Northwest. Then again, wouldn't any NBA basketball court look better in the Pacific Northwest? I think it was incredibly unfair to rank this design so low, but I probably would've given in to the dark side myself on this one.

Rank: 29 - Houston Rockets
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20
30 27.1

To me, this is one of the more underrated courts in the NBA. I was surprised that my fellow staff members voted this court so low. I like the natural wood look and the simplicity of the Rockets logo. Paint isn't always the answer. Sometimes you just need a different shade of wood stain. If I were James Harden, I would be proud to score as many points as I can and play as little defense as I can on a court like this. Well done.

Rank: 28 - Cleveland Cavaliers
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18
30 24.5

It's not the best looking court in the NBA, but I think the center court logo has a certain elegance to it. The sad part here comes with perspective. While our staff has rated this court towards the bottom in the NBA for design, it may very well be the most attractive thing in Cleveland. It should serve as no small consolation, however, that the best player in the league will make the court's occupant an instant championship contender.

Rank: 27 - Utah Jazz
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20
29 24.0

The Jazz have done the impossible here. They have taken Seahawks colors and twisted them into this odd and, let's face it, unholy combination. The result is just ugly. The center court logo is not good. Instead of spelling Jazz, it seems to spell either Razz or Azz. How my colleagues didn't rate this one as worst in the league will forever remain a mystery.

Rank: 26 - Sacramento Kings
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17
25 23.3

Here they play. Past differences between our fan bases aside, this is a sharp looking court. It's really hard to go wrong with purple. The center court logo is well done, from the crown art to the font.It will be interesting to see how much this design might change when they move into the new place. I'm guessing there will be an NBA 3.0 reference somewhere on the court.

Rank: 25 - New York Knicks
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17
27 23.1

It's not a terrible looking court, but there is too much orange. Orange in the keys. Orange in the logo art and logo font and, speaking of that center court logo, a basketball? Really? That's the most imaginitive they could get? Come on, man. They should, at least, do a logo of Carmelo Anthony chucking threeballs. I would've put this court closer to the bottom.

Rank: 24 - Phoenix Suns
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13
28 22.6

If the Knicks used a little too much orange, the Suns went completely overboard. I get it. The court is enveloped with the glow of the sun, but that's what the roof on the arena is supposed to prevent. In addition, the font for the word Phoenix looks strange. The 'n' doesn't look like it fits with the rest of the word. Not good.

Rank: 23 - New Orleans Pelicans

DISCLAIMER: The Pelicans are set to debut a new court this season, but as of voting it had not yet been revealed.
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15
29 21.6

This one has a similar feel to the Jazz court, which is funny because the Jazz used to be in New Orleans, but it's a little better done. For one thing, the logo clearly spells New Orleans and not Ew Orleans, so it's go that going for it, which is nice. Also, are those Saints logos I see inside the three point arc? I know the Pelicans have the same owner and home town as Team Brees, but let's not cross pollinate the identities of the two franchises.

Rank: 22 - Minnesota Timberwolves
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12
26 19.6

Great center court logo. Nice color scheme. Another example of making use of different shades of wood stain. I think it would look a lot better if they flipped them -- put the darker stain on the inside of the arcs and the lighter stain in the middle. Decent logos for the wolf, both at center court and next to the keys. I can see Minnesota resident Chris Meirose howling like a wolf from the cheap seats.

Rank: 21 - Los Angeles Clippers
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14
24 18.3

It's hard to go wrong with a red, white, and blue color scheme, especially when you keep it simple, as the designers of the Clippers' court did. In fact, the red will be a close match to the color of the bald dome of Seattlite Steve Ballmer as he shouts boisterously and jumps up and down from his courtside seats. Simple center court logo. Nothing too cluttered.

Rank: 20 - Milwaukee Bucks
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10
23 17.1

I like everything about this court, except the center court logo. The buck is a bit too pronounced and his facial expression is a bit too serious for my taste. Lighten up, dude. You are a deer who will never be hunted because you are a beloved Milwaukee icon. Think of your brothers and sisters in the wild. Other than that, great use of green and multiple stains.

Rank: 19 - Miami Heat
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7
24 16.6

The center court logo looks like a fireball going through a toilet seat, which has disturbing connotations. Red and yellow do go together, but they should have flipped the colors in the keys. Come on, Heat -- errr --- Let's go Heat. Make the fireball go through something more appropriate and fix the colors in the paint. Now that LeBron is gone, maybe Miami fans will notice the defects and insist on a change.

Rank: 18 - Washington Wizards
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2
22 16.4

I like the elegance of this court, especially the 'dc' logo. Love the red stain inside the three point arc. The one change I would make here is the placement of the word 'wizards'. Instead, it should be placed as the word 'bullets', the team that fell to the 1979 Supersonics in five games. Nice court though.

Rank: 17 - Atlanta Hawks
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3
26 15.0

The center court logo destroys what would otherwise be a nice looking layout. The white inside of it stands out like a sore thumb. Also, it looks less like a Hawk than it does the red outline of a geoduck, which looks like something else. Not good at all. Whoever winds up owning this franchise in the near future should make this first thing on the list.

Rank: 16 - Detroit Pistons
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3
25 13.6

Yup. That's a basketball court all right. It doesn't look bad, but it doesn't look great either. There is nothin to like or hate about this design. That's probably why the staff at Sonics Rising ranked this in the middle of the pack. I do think the Pistons could stand to create a new logo. This one is just kind of blah. On the other hand, the court looks better than the team plays.

Rank: 15 - Dallas Mavericks
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1
22 13.6

Here we have another middle of the pack entry. Not great and not terrible. Not elegant and not uncouth. Here also is another case of the logo being somewhat forgettable. The team isn't called the Horses or the Mustangs. It's called the Mavericks. Instead of a logo of a horse, I suggest a logo of a cowboy or a Texas law man. Another option would be a comic book version of Senator John McCain with a balloon that says "I'm a maverick."

Rank: 14 - Philadelphia 76ers
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6
22 13.4

Once again, it's hard to go wrong with a simple red, white, and blue scheme. It reminds me a lot of the Clippers court above. Not spectacular, though. Nothing stands out and makes you gasp.

Rank: 13 - Memphis Grizzlies
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3
20 13.3

Lose the yellow and I would like this court a lot. Love the Grizzly face, though I would reduce the size of it if I were the Grizzlies. Love the baseline font. Love everything, but the yellow, which seems out of place.

Rank: 12 - Golden State Warriors
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2
24 13.1

There's a lot of love these days for the Golden State Warriors and a lot of yellow on their court. It works well with the blue accents, however, and the logo looks good. One change I would make would be to add a bit more of the blue to accent the key.

Rank: 11 - San Antonio Spurs
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5
29 13.0

Let me just say this. My colleagues are out of their minds for ranking this court out of the top ten. Silver and black looks good every where, but on a Raiders uniform. The center court logo kicks butt (or the side of a horse) and I love the alternating shades of wood. This is my second favorite court in the NBA.

Rank: 10 - Denver Nuggets
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4
18 12.5

This is a very nice looking court. The only change I might make would be to make the blue in the center court logo match the blue on the baseline. As good as it looks, however, I would've ranked this court second to last because of the 1994 playoffs. One would think that I'd be over it after 20 years, but one would be wrong.

Rank: 9 - Toronto Raptors
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4
27 12.0

It's a nice looking court, ovarall. The center court logo needs work. It looks like a bird's foot print. I know the Raptor was a bird, but this looks like any old bird print. Were Yoda writing this blurb, he might say "Focus not on the footprint of the Raptor. The Raptor, itself, you must emphasize."

Rank: 8 - Los Angeles Lakers
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5
24 11.0

I hate the Lakers with the fire of a supernova, but they've always had a nice looking court. They have their identity and they are sticking with it. Iconic colors and logo. This should never change. What should change for the Lakers is the players who play on the court. Kobe should retire and the Lakers should go into complete rebuilding mode.

Rank: 7 - Indiana Pacers
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8
17 11.0

Love this court, especially the dark wood of the playing area, contrasted with the lighter wood of the baselines. It reminds me of the wood on my guitar. It's a very rustic and elegant look.

Rank: 6 - Portland Trail Blazers
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1
16 19.3

I never have liked the Blazers and losing the Sonics didn't change that. Their court is another matter, however. The Blazers have always had a great color scheme and logo. It works here in spades. Love the darker tone between the three point arcs. This is my third favorite court in the league.

Rank: 5 - Brooklyn Nets
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2
30 7.5

I absolutely love this design. The black and white color scheme works well with the V shaped pattern and wood stain in the non painted areas of the court. This, to me, is the best court design in the league. As for the V shaped floor pattern, I think this would look really good some day to go along with a nice green and gold paint scheme.

Rank: 4 - Boston Celtics
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1
23 6.6

It's very hard to argue with putting the Celtics' court in the top five of the league. They have the best center court logo in the NBA, hands down. It's iconic. One of the most storied franchises in professional sports continues to stay true to tradition. It works very well.

Rank: 3 - Orlando Magic
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5
9 6.1

Very similar to the Brooklyn court with the black and white colors. This one has a bit more variety with the blue keys and blue logo. The floor pattern is similar to the one in Boston. Overall, this is solid design.

Rank: 2 - Chicago Bulls
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1
13 5.5

This looks a lot like the court the Bulls played on in the 90s. Once again, tradition works very well for the Bulls. If I were them, I would never make dramatic changes to their team colors, logo, or court design. I would also hope to heaven that their super star point guard doesn't sustain any season ending injuries this season.

Rank: 1 - Charlotte Hornets
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1
7 2.8

Earlier I listed Brooklyn's court as the best in the league. Well, there is a tie at the top. This court is just awesome. Love the color scheme. Love the logo. Love the floor pattern. I hope the Charlotte fans are truly excited to get their colors and team name back. I can't wait to get ours back.