Friday, February 6, 2009

Introduction and Welcome to the Basketball Courts Blog

Welcome to my latest blog, devoted to the artistic design aspects of basketball courts. My focus will be on NBA and college courts in the United States, but if you know of any courts at other levels (e.g., international, high school) that look interesting to you -- in either a good or bad way -- please let me know.

I have been regularly attending basketball games and watching them on television since around 1970, when I was seven years old (although I believe the first game I attended was in the mid-1960s at the L.A. Sports Arena when I was very young). As we know, basketball court designs can range from ones as plain and simple as the one at Indiana University's Assembly Hall... ones as colorful and busy as the one at Boise State's Taco Bell Arena (original source)...

Several issues have always fascinated me:

*Painted-in vs. empty keys (the latter makes a mockery of the term "points in the paint," but I think an empty key can look good in the right context).

*Three-point lines (or sometimes painted-in areas). This issue has been quite salient this year at the college level, now that the three-point distance is different for men's and women's.

*Mid-court logos (and specific to the college game, whether state universities include the shape of the state in the decor, as Indiana does).

*Naming of the court per se, often with the honoree's signature as part of the design, in an arena that has a different name. One example is Oklahoma State's "Eddie Sutton Court" at Gallagher-Iba Arena.

*Permanent vs. one-time court designs, the latter exemplified by NCAA tournament games or all-star games.

I expect to post quite often during basketball season, less so in the off-season. Please feel free to send me suggestions, comments, or questions via the comments section.

The basketball court (website) is now in session!


  1. I'd suggest the classic floor at the old Milwaukee Arena, painted by pop artist Robert Indiana. My Uni Watch membership card carries that design. The colors are brighter than on the card.

  2. Oh yes. I'm here via the mention in UniWatch. If there is one thing that I like more than uniform aesthetics, it's the patterns on a basketball court. Seriously, it's one of the biggest reasons I watch as many NCAA tourney games as I can. I want to see the floor as well as the teams playing on it. Also, I agree 100% about the idea that the key should have some paint in it. I'll make exceptions for floors that have color between the key and 3-point line, but never for plain schools like Indiana or Michigan.

  3. I've spent many a night discussion with a referee buddy what makes a good court design.

    My personal beliefs:
    It needs to look clean and crisp (unlike, say Boise State.
    Consistent font usage (see Syracuse for example of a culprit of too many fonts)
    Unmistakable team logo at mid-court (I prefer big)