Ask of the Sports Logo Pundit and you shall receive. Replicant, I have both good news and bad news for you on the Tulsa D-League nickname and logo front. On Friday the team announced that they will be called the Tulsa 66ers and will use the logo shown above. It's a very nice logo that thankfully doesn't sport the red, white and blue ball the D-League is going to use in games this year and the name does a great job of reflecting the city and region that it represents. It is one of the better looking and most thoughtful minor league logos and nicknames that have been released in recent years.
Or it would be, if there wasn't just one little problem. A team has already claimed this "unique" nickname and logo. That's right, the Inland Empire 66ers of San Bernadino beat the Tulsa 66ers to the punch by three years. It isn't exactly the same, that is true, but they probably shouldn't call it "unique" since it copies both the name and the idea of putting the logo in the middle of the highway sign which is an essential and pivotal part of making both logos very successful in their design.
Despite their best intentions the Tulsa 66ers and the NBA's creative marketing team have produced a knockoff. It is a great looking knockoff, I will give it that, but it is still a knockoff and it makes me wonder how this group of presumably high priced graphic designers that work for the NBA are churning out such unoriginal designs for these teams. I would have figured that these guys would be top notch, but so far they have yet to impress me with their D-League quality work.