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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.

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Great thoughts - I’d agree with pretty much everything here. My biggest bugaboo with the City edition program is the frequency; the majority of them are not good but I think most of us would live with them if they weren’t used so damn often. A limit of 8-10 times a season would be reasonable, and eliminate the requirement to change them every season. If a design is good (original Heat Vice or Utah sunset), it can be kept indefinitely.

 

Definitely nothing beyond the core three (icon, association, and statement) available for teams in the playoffs. Some of the matchups we’ve gotten in recent years are terrible. Cavs or Raptors winning championships in glorified practice jerseys is unforgivable, IMO. I remember plenty of other questionable matchups, particularly in all those Cavs-Warriors series.

 

If Nike is dead set on pumping out more jerseys for sales, look into expending the Hardwood Classics/Classic Edition program more instead of the City edition. Historical jerseys I think would be a lot more palatable for people and I think realistically could generate more sales than some of the off-the-wall City stuff that is being pumped out.

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1 hour ago, projectjohn said:

If Nike is dead set on pumping out more jerseys for sales, look into expending the Hardwood Classics/Classic Edition program more instead of the City edition. Historical jerseys I think would be a lot more palatable for people and I think realistically could generate more sales than some of the off-the-wall City stuff that is being pumped out.


I’m not against a Reverse Retro treatment to throwbacks. That could be fun ... for a season or two.

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20 hours ago, kimball said:

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 think your Pros are pretty much spot on. Same goes for your Cons. Honestly, most of everything you said hit the nail right on the head. If the NBA adopted even half of what you suggested it would help the visual identity of the league as a whole go a long way. 

 

 

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Great ideas I agree with most if not all the points you listed. The one thing I would like to see is a limiting Nike's so called "creativity". One of my favorite aspects of branding is having a defined color scheme. I really hate how teams are playing most, if not a significant amount of games in colors I wouldn't usually associate them with. The Bucks are a prime example of this, and it's not going to stop until people stop buying the merchandise. It wouldn't be that bad if they could at least limit the usage, but obviously that hasn't happened. Even in the MLB I see this happening. Looking at the crowd in the White/Red Sox series, I could see many fans sporting the new jerseys, a sign that this gimmicky tactic actually works. Unfortunately for every 1 traditionalist, there seems to be 5 "This is absolute firrrreeeee bro" individuals. As much as I agree with your points and hope Nike can steer the boat in right direction, financially speaking this has been a great success for Nike and it's just going to get worse and worse. 

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There needs to be a vetting process for the city edition.  If it doesn't have a recognizable connection to the city it doesn't get made.  Brooklyn and Dallas with their "inspired by random artist" don't work.  Either go with the Utah/Miami/Portland inspirations of the city/state culture or go the Lakers route with each edition honoring a team legend.

 

Granted, it's an Adidas thing but Nike would do really well with their own reverse-retro program for the NBA.  At least they'd be keeping the teams' identities intact that way.

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28 minutes ago, LA_Angels said:

Great ideas I agree with most if not all the points you listed. The one thing I would like to see is a limiting Nike's so called "creativity". One of my favorite aspects of branding is having a defined color scheme. I really hate how teams are playing most, if not a significant amount of games in colors I wouldn't usually associate them with. The Bucks are a prime example of this, and it's not going to stop until people stop buying the merchandise. It wouldn't be that bad if they could at least limit the usage, but obviously that hasn't happened. Even in the MLB I see this happening. Looking at the crowd in the White/Red Sox series, I could see many fans sporting the new jerseys, a sign that this gimmicky tactic actually works. Unfortunately for every 1 traditionalist, there seems to be 5 "This is absolute firrrreeeee bro" individuals. As much as I agree with your points and hope Nike can steer the boat in right direction, financially speaking this has been a great success for Nike and it's just going to get worse and worse. 

 

I think this issue is solved by limiting the amount of games played in alternate uniforms, akin to how the NHL and NFL do things. this was from 2014, but the NHL allowed for teams to wear alts 12-15 times a season. If the NBA limited alternates, I think the Miami Vice, Utah Redrock level alternates would be more palatable. 

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2 hours ago, LMU said:

There needs to be a vetting process for the city edition.  If it doesn't have a recognizable connection to the city it doesn't get made.  Brooklyn and Dallas with their "inspired by random artist" don't work.  Either go with the Utah/Miami/Portland inspirations of the city/state culture or go the Lakers route with each edition honoring a team legend.

 

Granted, it's an Adidas thing but Nike would do really well with their own reverse-retro program for the NBA.  At least they'd be keeping the teams' identities intact that way.

 

I agree to a point. The themes have to be SOLID. Just having a Bulls jersey in Chicago flag colors doesn't cut it in my opinion. I think focusing on a theme for 2-3 seasons can help eliminate that. I like Brooklyn's artist themed City Edition jerseys, especially since they're local and recognized nationally. I also like the route the Lakers take with honoring team legends. If done well and tells a connecting story I think anything can work.

 

But, I don't know, maybe you make City Edition jerseys more general like the Pride Jersey (most sleeved ... shudder) Adidas made for teams before Nike took over? Pride in your Community. Pride in your team. Pride in your City. etc., etc., etc.

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2 hours ago, kimball said:

But, I don't know, maybe you make City Edition jerseys more general like the Pride Jersey (most sleeved ... shudder) Adidas made for teams before Nike took over? Pride in your Community. Pride in your team. Pride in your City. etc., etc., etc.

They said that and then gave us these:

magic-pride-jersey.jpg

magic-stars-jersey.jpg 

At least when Nike does "inspired by Orlando" jerseys there's actually a connection (even if those connections are "NASA is an hour east" or "there used to be orange groves here before Disney"). Adidas just does... whatever those are supposed to be.

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At least adidas bothered to give Orlando additional options.

 

Since the Sixers were a decidely "meh" franchise post-Iverson and pre-Embiid, they weren't subject to multiple alts, Christmas editions, sleeved alts, etc.

 

I mean this is a throwback in adidas NBA times that made it to retail but never the court.

 

images?q=tbn:ANd9GcS5CO5i0hEGly0vsiJ6gcY

 

Nike for better or worse lets all the teams in on the brand-cluttering fun.

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What I would do to improve the NBA Uniform System

 

  • Limit teams to 4 uniforms all season (with an exception): And while you're at it, get rid of the stupid Icon/Association/Statement/City names.

How I would have the uniform system be.

 

Home & Away:: Must be exact recolorings of each other, spare for wordmarks or outlines.

Home must be white or a very light color, light enough that it contrasts with every dark uniform. (like silver or cream)

Away must be a primary team color.

 

Alternate: Must tie in at least a good amount to the standard uniforms

 

Clash: Can either be a second alternate or a city edition-like uniform. Throwback uniforms also fit this category

Example: The Phoenix Suns would hypothetically wear a white home, purple away, and orange alternate.

Say they want to wear a BFBS alternate that keeps the same design as their other 3 jerseys.

Under the current system, they couldn't, unless they made the playoffs and got an earned uniform.

But with the new rules, they could wear the black uniforms as their clash uniforms

(That would mean they couldn't wear a city-like uniform)

Other teams can choose to continue with a city-like uniform instead of opting for a second alternate.

 

Special: Must be given permission by the NBA to have a 5th uniform.

Example: The Denver Nuggets in this scenario have a white, navy, yellow, and deep red uniform.

With permission given to them by the NBA, they could wear a sky blue uniform, that is sorta like a throwback to the Carmelo Anthony days.

This acts like a second alternate uniform. Must tie in at least a good amount to the home and away jerseys.

 

Additional uniform rules:

 

Combination of Alternate/Clash/Special Uniforms are limited to ~20-25 times per year max.

Must get special permission from the NBA to defy this rule, like the Lakers wearing purple for example.

Limited to twice during every series in the NBA Playoffs.

 

Color vs Color uniform matchups are allowed. However, they must contrast enough so the viewers can tell each team apart.

 

Teams can only change a uniform every 2 years.

This does not mean that they have to change every uniform at a time.

What it does mean:  Once a uniform design is made for game-usage, it is set in stone for at least the next two years.

All the rules above apply when getting new uniforms

 

Teams DO NOT have to have all 4 uniforms!

Say a more storied franchise wants to limit itself to just a home and away uniform with no alternates.

Or say a team only wants one alternate uniform.

These are both perfectly acceptable under the new rules.

 

Teams DO NOT have jersey ads!!

The NBA and its teams make enough money already. There's no purpose in jersey ads beside making more cash, while :censored:ing all over tradition

 

No sleeved jerseys!!!

They look stupid.

 

With that said, these should be the NBA Uniform Rules!!!!!

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9 minutes ago, Bruhammydude said:

What I would do to improve the NBA Uniform System

 

  • Limit teams to 4 uniforms all season (with an exception): And while you're at it, get rid of the stupid Icon/Association/Statement/City names.

How I would have the uniform system be.

 

Home & Away:: Must be exact recolorings of each other, spare for wordmarks or outlines.

Home must be white or a very light color, light enough that it contrasts with every dark uniform. (like silver or cream)

Away must be a primary team color.

 

Alternate: Must tie in at least a good amount to the standard uniforms

 

Clash: Can either be a second alternate or a city edition-like uniform. Throwback uniforms also fit this category

Example: The Phoenix Suns would hypothetically wear a white home, purple away, and orange alternate.

Say they want to wear a BFBS alternate that keeps the same design as their other 3 jerseys.

Under the current system, they couldn't, unless they made the playoffs and got an earned uniform.

But with the new rules, they could wear the black uniforms as their clash uniforms

(That would mean they couldn't wear a city-like uniform)

Other teams can choose to continue with a city-like uniform instead of opting for a second alternate.

 

Special: Must be given permission by the NBA to have a 5th uniform.

Example: The Denver Nuggets in this scenario have a white, navy, yellow, and deep red uniform.

With permission given to them by the NBA, they could wear a sky blue uniform, that is sorta like a throwback to the Carmelo Anthony days.

This acts like a second alternate uniform. Must tie in at least a good amount to the home and away jerseys.

 

Additional uniform rules:

 

Combination of Alternate/Clash/Special Uniforms are limited to ~20-25 times per year max.

Must get special permission from the NBA to defy this rule, like the Lakers wearing purple for example.

Limited to twice during every series in the NBA Playoffs.

 

Color vs Color uniform matchups are allowed. However, they must contrast enough so the viewers can tell each team apart.

 

Teams can only change a uniform every 2 years.

This does not mean that they have to change every uniform at a time.

What it does mean:  Once a uniform design is made for game-usage, it is set in stone for at least the next two years.

All the rules above apply when getting new uniforms

 

Teams DO NOT have to have all 4 uniforms!

Say a more storied franchise wants to limit itself to just a home and away uniform with no alternates.

Or say a team only wants one alternate uniform.

These are both perfectly acceptable under the new rules.

 

Teams DO NOT have jersey ads!!

The NBA and its teams make enough money already. There's no purpose in jersey ads beside making more cash, while :censored:ing all over tradition

 

No sleeved jerseys!!!

They look stupid.

 

With that said, these should be the NBA Uniform Rules!!!!!

Home/Away uniforms shouldn't have to be exact recolors of each other: see Detroit Pistons. 

Alternates should be different enough to warrant existing but I do agree there should be some continuity between those and the H/A uniforms. 

If teams are warranted a fourth spot, why should it matter what it looks like? Throwback/City/whatever. I say let the teams do with the 4th jersey what they want. 

 

I'm starting to think that the biggest one thing that would help the NBA's uniform issues is time limits. Alternate Uniforms should have to be around longer than a couple years and alternates should be limited usage. That's why they're alternates. 

 

Also the NBA hasn't seen sleeved jerseys since Adidas was the supplier, so I think we're good there. 

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3 minutes ago, colinturner95 said:

Home/Away uniforms shouldn't have to be exact recolors of each other: see Detroit Pistons. 

Alternates should be different enough to warrant existing but I do agree there should be some continuity between those and the H/A uniforms. 

If teams are warranted a fourth spot, why should it matter what it looks like? Throwback/City/whatever. I say let the teams do with the 4th jersey what they want. 

 

I'm starting to think that the biggest one thing that would help the NBA's uniform issues is time limits. Alternate Uniforms should have to be around longer than a couple years and alternates should be limited usage. That's why they're alternates. 

 

Also the NBA hasn't seen sleeved jerseys since Adidas was the supplier, so I think we're good there. 

I agree with what you say here.

1. Pistons: I was actually thinking of them when I wrote this, and I agree, I love their uniforms. It would technically be a recolor of eachother, becuase you could just recolor one the the side panels to make them look the same.

2. I agree.

3. Basically what I was trying to say, lol.

4: I could definitely see the uniform change period increasing, I was more thinking 2 years for any alternates, and maybe like 5 years for the home and away jerseys.

5. I know that Nike hasn't supplied sleeved jerseys yet, but I don't want to give them any ideas. 

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Good topic. As a casual observer of the NBA I think their problem is what many of us have always worried about if teams and leagues went to too many alternates - they've diluted their franchises' brand strength in pursuit of short-term one-off jersey sales. I don't know what teams look like anymore. I couldn't describe to you what the Houston Rockets primary brand and uniform is right now. I don't think they know. That's a bad thing. 


This is going to make me sound like an old grump, but here's what I'd do if I was King of Basketball and the solutions are simple.

1. They need a 5 year rule like the NFL has that applies to a home, road, and one alternate. That builds some stakes into each uniform decision, makes teams consider their uniform more thoughtfully and invest more into each redesign. As of now if a team comes out with a new look there's no reason to care because they can just redesign in another year or two. It's the college football problem. Even if you like a look you're better not to get too attached to it because it'll be gone soon. It also guarantees recognizability. Also the alternate needs to resemble the home and road in some way so the Raptors black and gold alternates or the Warriors black and yellow alternates wouldn't fly.

 

2. Also in pursuit of rock solid recognizability - there's 41 home games and 41 road games. Mandate that the designated home and road uniforms must be worn at least 30 times each. That still leaves 22 games for alternates, throwbacks, and City Edition jerseys, which is more than enough. This means that most of the time people see a team they'll be in a consistent look.

 

3. One team needs to be in white (or yellow in the Lakers case). There's too much that can go wrong in color-on-color matchups. Don't leave any room for guess work and just write it into the rules.

 

4. Throwback uniforms can be worn a maximum of 4 times. If the uniform's good enough to wear so often then make it your full time primary look. Keep it around for a few fun nights a year, but not so many that it steps on the message you're trying to instill with your primary brand.

 

5. "City" Edition uniforms as the fourth jersey are fine, but they really need to rein them in because these are the biggest problem. They're worn too frequently, they're too different from the regular team brands, and they change them before fans and casual watchers can associate them with their respective teams. There needs to be strict protocols about how often they can be worn. I say twice a year. Also there needs to be something that connects each city edition uniform to the pre-existing IP of the team. Example: Portland's this year is brown and says "Oregon" on it. Fine, whatever, but why not take that stripe they have on the side and use it in sash form the way the other Blazers unis look? Connects to the team in an unmistakable way, but you get a fresh look too. Also they need to mandate that the city uniform needs to be around for more than one season. 

 

6. NO THROWBACKS, ALTERNATES OR CITY EDITION UNIFORMS IN THE PLAYOFFS. PERIOD. The Cavs and Raptors proved the teams can't be trusted to handle decisions themselves and won championships in STUPID looking alternate uniforms that neither team even wears anymore. Best moments in those franchises' histories and they're forever going to be in those uniforms. You have to put policies in place to protect the teams from making dumb decisions.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 4/19/2021 at 8:13 PM, Ark said:

The thing I hate about Nike jerseys is the design on the back where the shoulder trim just ends

 

Portland-Trail-Blazers-players.jpg

 

 

 

I've gotten used to it at this point, but it really is dumb - especially since Nike's college basketball jerseys don't have this problem. That being said, it could be worse:

 

spacer.png

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  • 1 month later...
On 4/26/2021 at 12:24 PM, Sport said:

Good topic. As a casual observer of the NBA I think their problem is what many of us have always worried about if teams and leagues went to too many alternates - they've diluted their franchises' brand strength in pursuit of short-term one-off jersey sales. I don't know what teams look like anymore. I couldn't describe to you what the Houston Rockets primary brand and uniform is right now. I don't think they know. That's a bad thing. 


This is going to make me sound like an old grump, but here's what I'd do if I was King of Basketball and the solutions are simple.

1. They need a 5 year rule like the NFL has that applies to a home, road, and one alternate. That builds some stakes into each uniform decision, makes teams consider their uniform more thoughtfully and invest more into each redesign. As of now if a team comes out with a new look there's no reason to care because they can just redesign in another year or two. It's the college football problem. Even if you like a look you're better not to get too attached to it because it'll be gone soon. It also guarantees recognizability. Also the alternate needs to resemble the home and road in some way so the Raptors black and gold alternates or the Warriors black and yellow alternates wouldn't fly.

 

2. Also in pursuit of rock solid recognizability - there's 41 home games and 41 road games. Mandate that the designated home and road uniforms must be worn at least 30 times each. That still leaves 22 games for alternates, throwbacks, and City Edition jerseys, which is more than enough. This means that most of the time people see a team they'll be in a consistent look.

 

3. One team needs to be in white (or yellow in the Lakers case). There's too much that can go wrong in color-on-color matchups. Don't leave any room for guess work and just write it into the rules.

 

4. Throwback uniforms can be worn a maximum of 4 times. If the uniform's good enough to wear so often then make it your full time primary look. Keep it around for a few fun nights a year, but not so many that it steps on the message you're trying to instill with your primary brand.

 

5. "City" Edition uniforms as the fourth jersey are fine, but they really need to rein them in because these are the biggest problem. They're worn too frequently, they're too different from the regular team brands, and they change them before fans and casual watchers can associate them with their respective teams. There needs to be strict protocols about how often they can be worn. I say twice a year. Also there needs to be something that connects each city edition uniform to the pre-existing IP of the team. Example: Portland's this year is brown and says "Oregon" on it. Fine, whatever, but why not take that stripe they have on the side and use it in sash form the way the other Blazers unis look? Connects to the team in an unmistakable way, but you get a fresh look too. Also they need to mandate that the city uniform needs to be around for more than one season. 

 

6. NO THROWBACKS, ALTERNATES OR CITY EDITION UNIFORMS IN THE PLAYOFFS. PERIOD. The Cavs and Raptors proved the teams can't be trusted to handle decisions themselves and won championships in STUPID looking alternate uniforms that neither team even wears anymore. Best moments in those franchises' histories and they're forever going to be in those uniforms. You have to put policies in place to protect the teams from making dumb decisions.

 

I agree with everything you said, although I’d potentially go one step further with your restrictions on city jerseys, make sure they retain some connection to the teams color scheme. So no blue and purple uniform for the Lakers, no pink and blue for the Heat, or red rocks for Denver and Utah. This still allows something like a Lakers black alt, which they’ve been keen on having for the past 15 years or something. Or a black and gold Raptors alt too. Just nothing too extreme to the point it has no connection to the rest of the identity. 
I might be a bit harsh when it comes to this, but they could do away with a 4th alternate all together outside of throwbacks and I’d be fine. They’ve lost alternate privileges with all the horrible designs that have come out recently.

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On 5/5/2021 at 10:52 AM, Lights Out said:

 

I've gotten used to it at this point, but it really is dumb - especially since Nike's college basketball jerseys don't have this problem. That being said, it could be worse:

 

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I’d rather have that, because at least it goes all the way around.

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