Sharks

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Sharks

Editor's note: Twice a week during this sports hiatus, we'll answer questions that Bay Area sports fans long have debated in "Ever Wonder?"  This installment: What's the story behind the Sharks iconic logo?

The Sharks logo arguably is one of the most unique in all of sports. Think about it: A shark demolishing a hockey stick with its razor-sharp teeth.

Talk about iconic.

But the birth of the logo actually began in the midst of another sport: Basketball.

Terry Smith, the symbol’s creator, was playing basketball at Stanford where his hopes of NBA dreams would not come to fruition -- that was just the reality of the game -- but he was able to turn his passion for art into a career in sports.

“I was glad I could do art, and in a weird way art kept me in sports,” Smith told NBC Sports California.

But basketball would come back full circle as the Sharks logo grew very popular … but it wouldn’t outdo a legend.

“Nobody was going to beat Michael Jordan,” he laughed. That was back in the early 90s when MJ was the king -- anything associated with him was going to be the best, so the 'Bull' reigned supreme. But the Sharks were perfectly OK being second best behind the legend.

Believe it or not, in the beginning, the NHL individuals in charge weren’t a big fan of the logo. 

You see, for starters, the logo itself had the shark mascot biting the hockey stick, which was shown as almost a sign of disrespect. The teal color was also not embraced right off the bat due to the fact it didn’t blend in with the traditional colors that represented hockey.

 

“I give the Sharks a lot of credit,” Smith added. “They said, ‘No, this is the direction we want to go.’”

Smith has continued to offer his hand in many logos around sports in the Northern California area. And despite a few alterations over the years, he is happy to know the Sharks have stuck with the iconic logo and unique colors.

You can learn all about it at the video atop this page.

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