The Top 5 New Nike Uniforms in the NBA
Between the rise of new super teams and dramatic storylines, this 2017-18 season is set to be one of the most interesting in recent history. And it’s not just Chris Paul in Houston or Kyrie Irving beefing with Cleveland, fans will even recognize a drastic difference in on-court product: Nike has taken over apparel rights from Adidas and these new kits are already making a buzz in the league and bringing a new perspective to some of the A’s classic and iconic uniforms. Using the following criteria — design, franchise direction, and usage of Nike’s swoosh — let’s break down the five nicest Nike uniforms that have been released thus far:
5. Los Angeles Clippers – Sometimes, Simple is Better
Breaking into the top five: The Los Angeles Clippers. Change is good. Chris Paul left, Danilo Gallinari and Milos Teodosic joined, and a Nike rebrand seems to have come at the perfect time. The previous jersey was a train wreck with an awkward font, weird incorporation of the color black, and strange alternates that used the Clippers logo as a centerpiece. The Clippers needed a redo in the worst of ways. What’s nice about the new jerseys is the blend of complexity and simplicity especially when it comes to their “Icon” edition. Keeping blue as primary color (or white for the “Association” edition) with the logo on the bottom of the shorts suggests a team that is more focused on basketball than how they look. The contrast of the swoosh with the jersey’s color is a nice touch as well. All in all, this jersey is a clean and simple redo of a uniform that had previously tried doing too much.
4. Indiana Pacers – Embracing the Future
It seems that every team with a new direction, whether positive or negative, is embracing Nike’s takeover as a welcome opportunity to change their look. The Indiana Pacers uniform looks like one worn by a team traveling back in time from the future to compete in 2018. It is a complete revamp of what we are used to seeing in a Pacers jersey. Gone are the long stripes descending the jersey and instead we see what they call “Dynamic Side Panels,” which are reminiscent of the 90’s jersey’s pinstripes. The “Indiana Pacers” lettering with player’s number inside is a nice touch that centers uniform without being overpowering. In sum, the jersey is simple from the from, intense from the side, and its futuristic feel makes it one of this season’s best.
3. Philadelphia 76ers – Future Stars, Past Greatness
When was the last time Philadelphia won a championship? The answer, the last time Philadelphia dominated the basketball world, was 1983 — over two decades ago. This new uniform is an homage to the past, as close to a throwback jersey as possible. The bold font was used by many teams in the ′70s and ′80s and the color scheme is straight out of a museum of American history. This week they were picked to make the playoffs by Vegas and with young players like Markelle Fultz, Ben Simmons, and Joel Embiid — why not pull inspiration from the past for a jersey that should finally reach the post-season. The stars on the side represent Philadelphia’s roots (and the number of all-stars they could soon have). In the end, the jersey’s ode to the past puts it this high on our list.
2. Phoenix Suns- Past Meets Future
Growing up, the Phoenix Suns jerseys from the ′90s were some of my favorites. The basketball represented as a sun was a big draw in me buying a Charles Barkley jersey. Now, Phoenix and Nike have combined the best part of their old jerseys with some new elements and created a uniform that pops off the screen. First, the Sun Burst on the waistline of the shorts, every kid recognizes that logo if they played NBA Live 98 and above. Next, the new shade of purple is, as you’d recognize if you know your basketball, the jersey color from one of the greatest games ever played: Game 5 of the 1976 NBA Finals. And lastly, the bold “Phoenix” lettering, it’s one thing to have the team’s name but it’s entirely different to have the city’s name on the jersey. It brings a certain level of pride and dignity to put on that jersey because you know that you are representing a city and its people. Kudos to Phoenix for getting this jersey right as the team continues to develop young talent and make that ascent into playoff contention.
1. Charlotte Hornets- The G.O.A.T.
The Charlotte Hornets earn the number one spot because they are the only team that will feature the logo of the greatest player of all time. The Jumpman logo just looks right on an NBA Jersey — especially when it is on the team he owns. Nothing more needs to be said about this jersey, it is all about the GOAT and the Jumpman.