The NBA released their newest "City Edition" uniforms for all 30 teams, and as always, I'm here to weigh in on the new threads. From examining the complete batch, this year's is the best collective design by far. Quite frankly, many of the designs have had much more thought placed into them than years prior. However, there are still plenty of duds in the group. Here is my take on the latest sports threads:
AWFUL HOME COOKING
New York Knicks
I want to start with my beloved New York Knicks. Ahhh yes, my wonderful, demoralizing, hopeful New York Knicks. I haven't been a huge fan of the Knicks threads in past years regarding any attempt beyond their traditional home white and road blue - "New York" across the chest. The recent jerseys have been a significant favorite of mine. Ditto on their nod to the FDNY city jerseys - a rare plus.
These are, well, awful. They're awful. The Knicks sought influence from KITH for these and it makes the design even further disappointing. "City Never Sleeps" as opposed to "City THAT Never Sleeps" is already a gear-grinder for me. But the tired token attempt design along with dull use of black is just lame.
Again, they have so much influence and inspiration to work with, and this is what we get? I rather they bring back the orange jerseys.
SO DOPE, YO
San Antonio Spurs
Let's start with my favorite design, the San Antonio Spurs. Look, I'll be the first one to admit I was always confused by the branding of the Spurs in the 90's. The bright colors in their logo and court, yet, they distinctly displayed black, silver, and white in their uniforms, always confused me.
With that said, these are tremendous! The old school vibe is a welcoming look. I love it. I feel like David Robinson may suit up this year.
Yeah, I don't like the Celtics. And I've been to Boston many times - there isn't much significance to the city other than it's sports teams, their history, and of course, Dunkin Donuts. Sorry, snobbish New Yorker here...
However, many may disagree with me, but I LOVE these uniforms. The banner-nod look is a great idea. It's difficult to pull off, but when you have 17 of them hanging, that is synonymous enough. Awesome look.
Amazing city providing awesome color schemes to play with. The Heat have been knocking it out of the park EVERY time with their city jerseys.
I don't care if they are OVO and Drake inspired. And yes, I am not phased at all that it is another gold and black inspired jersey to represent Toronto. These are fire! And that's all there is to it.
New Orleans Pelicans
Another surprise here for me. However, I really like these as say a lot about New Orleans, and of course, and are a sweet look.
They're not as cool as Memphis' black and white ode to the Civil Rights movement and MLK from a couple of years ago, however, these are still really cool. The ode to MLK himself is sure to expand beyond Hawks fandom.
The Hornets will always have a beneficial color scheme to work with. And that alone keeps them in the good graces of the jersey critics.
Using the font of the Chicago Theater is awesome. They could've gone the easy route of using the flag of Chicago (which is incredible!) in the uniforms like in the past, and really, no one would blame them. But incorporating more of the Windy City's charm is bold, and it worked.
An ode to Isaac Hayes. It's not bad at all.
Golden State Warriors
This reminds me so much of Baron Davis' days in Oakland when the Warriors had that ummmmmm interesting lightning bolt in their logo. These jerseys are essentially a love letter to the city of Oakland after decades of calling it home, and departing and setting up shop in downtown San Francisco.
And you know what, I'm not upset about it. Kudos to the organization for not being tone-deaf.
A nod to the citrus industry of Florida with the orange color scheme is pretty cool.
Definitely a different look than the usual black and red of the Blazers. City jerseys SHOULD stand out! They SHOULD have character. Having "Oregon" across the chest with the colors of various tribal nations is super cool.
Nothing more than a throwback jersey. But you know what, they're a good selection.
Combining the 10th anniversary of their 1st championship and a really awesome ode to the mythological pegasus creature that watches over Dallas, this sneaks in because of the effort and unique representation of the city. I'm down with the uniqueness of everything here.
COULD HAVE BEEN BETTER
I understand the nod to a local artist, but the Nets really have been doing some major swings and misses regarding their ode to their town. And, I say that as a native Brooklynite. Those Bed-Stuy jerseys last year (when they play nowhere near the neighborhood) were so fraudulent. And they continue to miss the vibe of a few other things.
Maybe I'm expecting more...but Brooklyn writes itself. Come on Nets!
I love the attempt to capture the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in these jerseys. I am also a fan of them using the font from several bands to come up with the "Cleveland" chest font. So what's my problem? It feels like there is something missing to take this from eh, to the top of the chain. Maybe the black colorway kills the vibe?
These jerseys are the equivalent of forgetting there was an assignment due and doing something just minimal enough to pass. The design basically added the North Star on the chest - and yes, I get it. North Star. Minnesota. Hello!
By no means are they bad. They're just, eh. Oh, look! North Star! Those are them city jerseys, yo!
Los Angeles Clippers
They took a current design and added black. The font mirrors the street life of Los Angeles. It's a good jersey, but again, felt like the Clippers didn't want to do too much here. Could've been better. But eh...
Just like the clips, the Nuggets took an active design and changed the color on it. Not hating as it looks sleek and Denver-ish. Just wished they did more.
Much like the Utah Jazz (more on that in a bit), the Suns added black with their gradient. The Suns did a better job pulling this off than the Utah Jazz. I think it's the pixelated design that gives the look depth.
Get it? The valley? Depth? Ok, moving on...
TRY AGAIN NEXT YEAR
I love the "Motor City" mantra. It's cool. But these are just copycat versions of the Indiana Pacers - a Central Division foe, nonetheless - and their current jerseys. Call me crazy, how about an ode to Mo-Town? Or something besides cars that represents the heart and soul of Detroit and Michigan at large.
Los Angeles Lakers
A tribute to Elgin Baylor is awesome but those jerseys were already in the closet for special nights. It seems the Lakers have used these city jersey opportunities about branding themselves further (as they did with the snakeskin Kobe kits) than invoking the spirit of LA. Would've like to see more LA representation rather than an ode to a player who played his time with your franchise in another city.
Oklahoma City Thunder
If they were going for a NASCAR look, they nailed it. While yes it embodies the state's flag, this is design is just not it.
The Philadelphia boathouses are a nice touch. But, I'm just not getting a "Philly" vibe from these. Sorry, next.
Sactown? Umm, no.
The current gradient jersey the Jazz have is fantastic. Adding black to the palette takes away from the vibe of the gradient and the messaging. Feels like a lesser version of what they currently have.
As has become a tired trend, this design is using the flag of Houston for inspiration. Unfortunately, it just feels like the normal jerseys in an odd blue. Not feeling these at all.
We all know all DC teams are locked into repping the whole Americana vibe. It's natural, and not many other organizations can sport the flag in such a way throughout its design. However, these are just blah. Overwhelmingly blah.
Yeah, just no. Really, Not a fan of these at all.