Basketball and art, have you ever though about how the two match? Well, as you have likely heard by now, all 30 NBA teams unveiled new alternate uniforms on Friday night, and they are even artsier than before. The unveiling was part of the leagues new artistic uniform contract with Nike, which will be marketing this new form of alternative layouts as “statement uniforms.”
And just what type of announcement are these uniforms making? Usually, the statement is “more of the same,” because about half of the 30 new designs are basically the identical alternative uniforms that teams had already been wearing. So if you’re expecting to find a new alternate uni in the Hawks, Bulls, Grizzlies, Heating, Bucks, Wizards, or a whole lot of different teams, you are out of luck. Those teams have all chosen to stay with their present alternative layouts (or, in a few instances, have made incredibly minor alterations that many fans will not even notice). Although, there have been a few touches made by NIKE so the artistic flair of the uniforms are a little different.
This is the most recent design uniform change in a series of artistic improvements, which have caught many fans by surprise. So it bears repeating: simply because a league has a new uniform outfitter, that does not automatically mean that each and every team will get new uniform layouts. Some teams are perfectly pleased with the designs they already have. That seems to have been the case with roughly half of the NBA teams with this round of alternative artistic designs. So what about the other half? Listed below are one observer’s picks for the five best new layouts:
Here we have the one straightforward winner artistic design from Friday’s release. The design echoes the Warriors’ classic “The City” design from decades ago but swaps in “The Town” (which is the usual expression for Oakland, where the team now plays). The oak tree displayed on the jersey is the exact same one shown on Oakland street signs, which in turn are based on the Oakland city flag. These new basketball uniforms have terrific design concept, excellent execution, and the most recent achievement for a franchise with a long history of great uniforms.
It has long been an article of faith among uniform lovers that the Nuggets and rainbow striping belong together. However, the team’s new alternative, which keeps the outline of the Denver skyline but scraps the rainbow striping, is a sin. It seems so much cleaner, so much crisper, and the based uniform amount is an enormous improvement also. Early returns on social media imply that fans do not like the updated layout, but give it a chance – the new artistic design is going to look sharp on the court.
This one is pretty easy to check. If you enjoyed the new white and navy uniforms and basketball hoodies that the Pacers introduced back in late July, you will probably enjoy this yellow version also. Your friendly uniform columnist believes the circular chest lettering looks great, and the yellow design is a fantastic addition to what is shaping up as a really wonderful uniform set.
Out of the 30 recently released alternate uniforms, this is the only one that is white. If you are thinking it looks much like the Knicks’ regular white uniform, you are right. But here is the thing, the alternative version is truly the superior design, especially once you compare the trimming on the collar, armholes, and waistband. Does it break new ground in basketball uniform layout? Not even a tiny bit. But will it seem good on the court? You bet it will.
This one seems likely to provoke either a love or hate response in many fans. The feeling here in Uni Watch HQ is that the minimalist layout works really well, even though it would rank higher on this list if they had gone with navy or green rather than yellow.