We like the Grantland rankings of NBA court designs better than we like the ESPN Future Rankings and not just because the Nets are fourth in one (the design) and 30th in the other (the future). Both are subjective, but one is a simple discussion of what looks good, the other a look into a (dark, foreboding) future where nothing is certain.
Zach Lowe writes of the Nets design in glowing terms...
It might seem sacrilegious to give such a young court this lofty perch, but wait until you see what comes next. The black-and-white look stands out in a league of bright colors, and like black-and-white film, it lends the Nets a sheen of effortless cool. The central logo, just a basketball with words around it, is another testament that less can be more in design.
The ideal court is idiosyncratic without resorting to garishness. The Nets’ dark herringbone floor is a perfect example. It’s unique in the NBA, and it looks great without being distracting. Even the corporate logo, usually an annoyance, is rendered in a soft blue that the herringbone almost eats up.
The Nets use the same theater lighting system as their crosstown rivals, and though the effect is noticeable in person, it’s even more dramatic on television. I’m not sure any court looks better on TV.
And what of the unique herringbone design? Where did it come from? We don't know for sure, but we are told reliably that the design is reminiscent of many Moscow apartments ... and was adopted by ONEXIM for its grand reception room, pictured here.
The Definitive NBA Court Design Power Rankings - Zach Lowe - Grantland