Jerry West and the letters 'NBA' have become as iconic as Coca-Cola from a marketing standpoint. There isn't a person on earth, unless you live under a rock, who doesn't know who LeBron James and Kobe Bryant are. These dudes have become household names from America to Australia and everywhere in between. And let's not forget about the various outreach projects the NBA conducts in Europe, Africa, etc. A rise in foreign-born players over the last few decades has done wonders to build the NBA as a brand as well.
The NBA has evolved into a globally recognized brand.