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Dope Sports Threads: NBA 75th Anniversary City Editions


As the NBA turns 75 this year, the ultimate opportunist that is Nike decided to unveil "new" (notice the quotations for some teams) jersey designs that would celebrate the city AND the history of each franchise. 

As described by Nike, "Each 2021-22 Nike NBA City Edition team uniform represents the ultimate basketball moments mixtape – a compilation of the franchise’s greatest hits through the years in every design." Quite frankly, putting together a jersey that encapsulates each team's greatest moments sounds super awesome, and the kind of creativity that I'm here for. 

Nike's release also stated,"Beyond some of the more obvious design elements, the uniforms include many subtle touches (“easter eggs”) that highlight pivotal moments from each team’s history." Alright, that's pretty dope! 

With all of that good introductory stuff out of the way, here are my takes on the jerseys:

JUST AWESOME! 

Charlotte Hornets

The Hornets just have an amazing color palette to work with, and with that, really do have one of the NBA's purest aesthetics. This jersey just captures that 90's feel (when the team was at its highest) with a modern flavor that is just as welcomed. Easily, the best among the NBA. This is ironic considering the team's history. 

Chicago Bulls

They went old-school Bulls here with a late-80's feel. I'm not mad at it. It's a great look. 

Houston Rockets

The Rockets went back to the Olajuwon, Barkley, and Drexler days of the mid 90's. The jersey removed the cartoonish rocket logo and blended the "Houston" font of other jerseys as the staple across the chest. This a beautiful blend of the best of their looks. 

And no, I never liked the Yao Ming era unis. I'm glad they didn't go there. 

Indiana Pacers

The Pacers have low-key had some of the NBA's best jerseys. Much like the Rockets, this look combines the signature detail on the side with an updated "Pacers" logo from the late '80s. 

Minnesota Timberwolves

Just old-school versions (with a lighter blue). and quite frankly that's all that's needed.

Sacramento Kings

Sacramento's city designs have been rough the last couple of years. But they (obviously by the placement of this in the post) got it right this year. These look great, and much like the better ones in this collection, are a good blend of the top eras of the franchise. 

Toronto Raptors

The Raptors just always win in the uniform department. Always. 

GOOD STUFF

Atlanta Hawks

I'm surprised the base for this design were the jerseys from the '90s and not the Dominique Wilkins era of that swooping arch across the chest - but so be it. These are still okay. 

Brooklyn Nets

Maybe it's me, but for a team trying to establish itself for a Brooklyn fanbase, they sure do dig up a lot of their New Jersey roots very often. With that said, these are actually better looking than their Brooklyn jerseys designs. 

Denver Nuggets

The Nuggets have had quite an array of designs over the years. Nothing seemingly feels evolved - just random, that other-end-of-the-spectrum kinds of vibes.

I tend to think of those powder blue and yellow satin-like jerseys when I think of the Nuggets, but whatevs, these are still super cool.

Los Angeles Clippers

A nice blend of the Buffalo Braves and the Clippers of the 2010s. The Clippers should drop the red and blue color scheme and adopt this jersey full-time. Just my thoughts...

Milwaukee Bucks

These are clean. Not bad for the champs. 

New York Knicks

Soo....I try so hard to leave my fandom out of these reviews. I think I'm often harder on the Knicks because of my fandom. Nonetheless, I like the color scheme and the combination. They're not nearly as bad as last year's mess (which sadly is synonymous with last year's memorable run). 

The ode to MSG on the legs is pretty cool. 

Philadelphia 76'ers

They scream Spectrum - which is really cool considering the Sixers home for the past 40 years. But at the same time, there is soooo much more history there, no? At least they don't say "PHILA" - man that is so lazy and played out. 

Portland Trailblazers

Easy, peezy look. Add a cool nickname on the chest, and let's ride. 

UMMM...OKAY? 

Cleveland Cavaliers

I'm sorry, I know Nike won't dig up the 2016 jerseys because they were Adidas designs, but anything everything significant about the Cavs franchise emanates from that look, that year, and well...LeBron. 

I guess these will do. Ok, sure. 

Dallas Mavericks

Combining the past and present just didn't work here. The font just looks oddly small. 

Detroit Pistons

They went red, with "Detroit" in the classic Pistons font instead of well..."Pistons". The font of the number from the 2004 championship team is a nice blend, though. 

Ahhh...okay? It's decent I guess. 

The shorts are really cool though. 

Golden State Warriors

The Warriors have a great aesthetic palette. They added lightning bolts on the side from those Baron Davis "We Believe" years. The jersey still looks cool, but, alright. 

Memphis Grizzlies

Aren't these what they normally wear? Grizzlies never feel Memphis to me. 

Yeah, I'm still stuck there. 

Miami Heat

The Heat typically are in the section above - like at the top. Much like the Raptors and the Hornets, they have a great city and a great design to produce outside-of-the-box designs. 

These ransom note jerseys aren't their best. 

Phoenix Suns

Awesome designs. Awesome. But they are repeats from last year. So, yah. 

San Antonio Spurs

They really tried to blend the black and white jerseys with the bright colors of fiesta 90's logo. I'm not sure it works. It feels forced, no matter how long I stare at it. 

Utah Jazz

Yup. See Phoenix Suns. 

TRY AGAIN

Boston Celtics

The Celtics never get any of these specialty jerseys right. But honestly, they shouldn't have to. Their normal jerseys are historic and are enough. 

These are boring. And the shorts are awful 

Los Angeles Lakers

See above with the Boston Celtics. 

New Orleans Pelicans

Eh. 

Oklahoma City Thunder

These feel like they handed in their homework on the day of. I know there isn't much history there (without diving into Seattle), but blahhhhhh...

Orlando Magic

I'm not a fan of the Magic trying to make orange a thing within their pallet. 

Washington Wizards

We keep doing "Bullets" stuff without mentioning the "Bullets" for Washington. The blue, gold, and white trim is a nice ode to those Jordan Wizard years. 

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***All photos courtesy of Nike.com

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