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It feels like 95% of the replies in the NBA forums turn immediately to how Nike has ruined the NBA, people can't figure out who's playing who and the use of non-team colors for the City Edition jerseys. I get the frustration ... to a point. For every Miami or Utah City Edition you get complete garbage like New York and Chicago. Not to mention the Lakers-Celtics match ups where neither team is wearing team colors or the Lakers are wearing gold in Boston against a Celtics team dressed in green. It's a mess. But, it's not NOT fixable. I think Nike and the NBA need to set some rules or standards for the league and individual teams that honor tradition and give fans the most optimal looking match up. I thought creating a discussion thread to hash out thoughts would also clear the 2020-21 and 2021-22 NBA jersey threads from the constant loop of complaints whenever there is a new reveal. Here are my thoughts on the system and how to fix it ... PROS OF THE NIKE/NBA SYSTEM Color vs. Color match ups. When done right they are absolutely beautiful! Standardizes the uniform system (Association, Icon, Statement, City, Earned, Classic). Teams 2-3 alternate courts or court designs depending on which Edition Jersey they are wearing at home. This helps make some City Edition designs palatable and throwback games more fun. Teams that make the playoffs the season before are rewarded and are visually singled out for that accomplishment. When done right some City Edition jerseys have worked really well within the team's brand and even location (ie - Utah, Miami, Phoenix and Brooklyn). CONS OF THE NIKE/NBA SYSTEM 1-2 year turnaround on City Edition jerseys (maybe three or more, who knows anymore?) City Edition jerseys often use non-team colors and are "off-brand." It feels like there are too many uniform editions (4-6 jerseys per team depending on playoff appearance and throwbacks) Past traditions have been thrown out -- most notably with the Lakers wearing white for Sunday games, gold for road games and purple at home, etc. Match ups don't often make sense with teams wearing differing Edition Jerseys -- the biggest crime being a team wearing a City Edition jersey vs. a team wearing a Classic Edition jersey. Why? Ads on the jerseys. This isn't really a problem within the system Nike built ... I just want to complain about it. Now with that said, here are a few things I'd love for the NBA and Nike to fix or standardize with the current system ... Establish traditions and honor them, like ... The Lakers don't wear their gold Icon Edition on the road. They only wear their white Association Edition jersey at home on Sunday and holidays. They don't wear their purple Statement Edition jersey at home. Encourage teams to create new traditions like wearing Color vs. Color jerseys against Division rivals or adopting a gold (or other light color) at home and white at home on Sunday/holidays like the Lakers. During the NBA Playoffs, and more so during the NBA Finals, limit the teams to Association, Icon and Statement Edition jerseys. No City or Classic Editions. White jerseys are worn exclusively at home by the home team. Color vs. Color match ups are encouraged when there's enough contrast (Icon vs. Icon, Statement vs. Statement, Icon vs. Statement). Eliminate the Earned Edition jersey and instead visually single out playoff teams with silver Nike swoosh and the champion with a gold Nike swoosh (or gold NBA Trophy logo where the league logo is placed now for the following season?). Basically there's no need for ANOTHER jersey, just honor the clubs or the champion subtly. Keep the City Edition Program, but alter the program. In the spirit of Utah and Miami's use of the program, keep a theme for a minimum of 3-5 seasons with a new jersey every 1-2 seasons within that theme and style guide. Along with this encourage teams to invest in a City Edition court they can match with their theme and jerseys that they can change yearly or for as long as keep that theme. Just please no City Edition jerseys on standard courts, it looks bad. Also, keep City Edition match ups to a maximum one time between teams and focus on city rivalries like the Lakers/Clippers, Brooklyn/New York, Philadelphia/New York, Orlando/Miami, Dallas/Houston/San Antonio, etc. Establish Edition match up protocols, for instance if the home team selects to wear an Association, Icon or Statement jersey the road team has to chose one of their clashing Association, Icon or Statement jerseys for the match up. If the team chooses a City Edition jersey the road team has to wear their City Edition jersey. Sure there's worry of jerseys not clashing, but this can be avoided through scheduling and design. Adopt MLB's protocol for the Classic Edition jerseys. One of my biggest pet peeves is seeing Classic Edition jerseys ... or throwbacks ... being worn against current jerseys, different era throwbacks and alternate jerseys. I love an immersive experience for throwback jerseys. Teams who are wearing a Classic Edition that season will play their home games against teams dressed in the same eras jerseys. So if the Orlando Magic are wearing their original pinstripe jerseys for the season and are playing against the Atlanta Hawks, the Hawks would dress up in their Pacman or Pacman 2.0 jerseys for the match up. If the Indiana Pacers wore their ABA throwbacks against teams like Utah, Dallas, Charlotte or LA Clippers they could also wear ABA throwbacks for the Stars, Chaps, Cougars and LA Stars respectively for that match up. This could possibly open the door for the Bulls to play as the Stags, Wizards as the Capitols and Raptors as the Huskies to name a few. Make the experience immersive and the league can do some limited run on these throwbacks to push jersey sales to make up for the elimination of the Earned Edition jerseys. Establish a status quo for each Edition, for example where the City Edition and Classic Edition aren't worn more than 6-8 times each. Keep the Association and Icon Editions the bulk of the schedule unless tradition includes the Statement Edition (ie-Lakers I'd love to hear other ideas and what you would do.
I joined just a few months ago after years of lurking here, so I thought I might as well get started on sharing my own concepts with the community. I am trying to make a Nike set for NBA teams (consisting of association, icon, statement, and either one or the other of a city or a classic). I started with my favorite, also slightly updated their primary and alternate logo. Philadelphia 76ers - White (Association); Red (Icon); Blue (Statement); White (Classic - 2001 Home Uniform)