Designer KC’s NBA team concept goes viral and sparks debate

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — In the midst of another blockbuster NBA Finals, Kansas City and its rabid basketball fan base are on the outside again.

“It would mean a lot to have a team here,” said Robbie Poulain, a graphic designer at Lenexa.

Poulain longs for the return of the Kansas City Kings.

“I feel like the culture here has grown a lot in terms of basketball,” Poulain said. “Look at the players we’ve produced, from Landry Shamet to Willie Cauley-Stein. Then we have Ochai [Agbaji] coming.

A daytime graphic designer for the Kansas City Royals, Poulain’s hobby brings Kansas City’s newest NBA franchise to life.

“Although we still don’t have a returning team, I created one for fun,” Poulain said in a tweet on June 5.

The culmination of nearly two years of work and procrastination, Poulain’s design for the KC Reign includes four different jersey mockups, a comprehensive style and logo guide, and fake game day images at the T-Mobile Arena in the downtown KCMO.

“The amount of excitement the fans bring in every night separates Kansas City from most sports towns in my opinion,” he said.

That childhood dream was almost a reality, with KCMO vying to host the relocated Toronto Raptors at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“If the Toronto Raptors are to play elsewhere, Kansas City is the most attractive place they can choose in the United States of America,” KCMO Mayor Quinton Lucas said in October 2020.

Attempts to bring the league have yielded little fruit in recent years. Athleticism announces an upcoming WNBA the expansion will not include Kansas City.

Alas, Poulain gives hope to the heads of the hoops of the KC.

“I hope it inspires all the youngsters who love the league but don’t have a team to support,” he said.

For the full Kansas City Reign design concept, folks can visit this link.

James C. Tibbs