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If nostalgia is a drug, then Tom O'Grady is Albert Hoffman. A scientist that unknowingly set an entire generation's minds on fire. O'Grady's laboratory was the NBA league office, where he served as the first creative director from June 1990 through early 2003.

There were no creative services, no in-house design, or branding. Before sports design was an actual industry, O'Grady reported to only two bosses - Rick Wells and commissioner David Stern. O'Grady and his team created the best uniforms the league would ever see, which stand the test of time.

If O'Grady is the chemist, Mitchell & Ness is Ken Kesey. The company has exploded in popularity thanks to fans enduring love of throwback uniforms and authentic apparel. I had the great pleasure of speaking with the mastermind behind so many of our favorite uniforms. 

NBA commissioner David Stern speaks during a league announcement that 2011 NBA Draft will be held at the Prudential Center.
Phoenix Suns forward Charles Barkley (34), Cedric Ceballos (23), Kevin Johnson (7), Oliver Miller and A.C. Green wait during a time-out against the Dallas Mavericks at Reunion Arena during the 1993-94 season.
Shaquille O'Neal of the Orlando Magic in action against the Miami Heat at the Orlando Arena during the 1993 season.
Feb 14, 1997; Atlanta, GA, USA; FILE PHOTO; Atlanta Hawks guard Mookie Blaylock (10), Tyrone Corbin (33), Jon Barry (17) and Dikembe Mutombo (55) against the Chicago Bulls at the Omni.
Jan 17, 2022; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young (11) celebrates a three-point basket during the fourth quarter against the Milwaukee Bucks at State Farm Arena.
Apr 13, 2022; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Atlanta Hawks center Clint Capela (15) reacts with guard Bogdan Bogdanovic (13) after scoring a basket against the Charlotte Hornets during the first half at State Farm Arena.

Since leaving the NBA, O'Grady has started his own company, which works closely with professional sports teams and leagues. Gameplan Creative is a brand agency comprised of a multi-talented team of corporate branding agency professionals with extensive creative and technical skills in sports design, advertising, animation, brand identity, graphic design, marketing, and video production. Huge thanks to Tom for his generosity, candidness, and gift to the game.

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