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My Take on the NBA's Uniform System: Team Matchups *Requests are open*


colinturner95

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The nice part about having done a series like The 1972 Project, was for five years, two and a half of which were spent actually doing my hand drawn aspects, but the other two and a half were spent squarely on the digital aspects. In that sort of setting, I couldn't sit still and wanted to draw concurrently. As a result, my previous NHL series, which just wrapped up if you're interested and now this NBA series were able to get the hand drawn parts done and then it was just a matter of finishing one to start the next. 

 

All that aside, I'm excited to get started on my first NBA redesign. For the longest time, I didn't think that I really "got" basketball uniforms, but after studying NBA and college uniforms, I finally think I shook that mentality. But also, I was following along in the Discussion on fixing the current NBA/Nike uniform system thread and wanted to put some of the suggestions made by myself and other members to use in conjunction with my concepts. 

 

So with that, these are the rules (aka my thoughts on fixing the NBA's current uniform situation) I'm running with for this series: 

  • Each team will have four uniforms. The Association/Icon/Statement designations will stick around. I think that they're quirky and unique to the NBA and that is okay. 
  • The Earned Uniforms are eliminated completely. I get that making the playoffs is a tremendous accomplishment in any professional sports league, but it does feel very participation trophy-esque to me and plus many of the designs aren't incredibly good or anything outstanding. 
  • Assuming an 82 game season, 65% of games played must be done wearing an Association or Icon uniform. In real number terms, that works out to 54 games out of 82 in the "home/away" uniforms. This leaves 28 available games for alternates to be worn.  I think this would also help alleviate issues like the Celtics/Lakers matchups not even bearing any resemblance to the classic Celtic Green vs Laker Gold matchups of the 80's. It would still allow the Lakers to reinstitute their tradition of white jerseys on Sundays. 
  • The fourth jersey slot is open for each team to decide what to do with. Teams can choose to throwback to uniforms past, get incredibly experimental if that's their choice, or continue the City jersey program if they want. (I originally wanted to do Reverse Retros for everyone, but I've decided to approach that team by team). 
  • Both the Statement and Team (4th) Jerseys will have the Jordan Brand Jumpman on the jerseys and shorts. 
  • Ads are gone, the NBA logo returns to the front of the uniform on the jersey and the shorts. I guess it was still on the shorts, but I have no love for ads on the jerseys at the professional level. 
  • Teams can wear what they want in the playoffs. I know some people think teams should just wear home/aways or Assoc/Icons in the playoffs, but I understand the superstition of being an athlete, even if it's not the aesthetically best choice. Not like this matters for a concept series that much anyways. 
  • Home team would have the discretion of first uniform choice. I think that one is pretty obvious anyways, and also doesn't matter much here. 

 

I think those set reasonable guidelines that maintain team identities but also let the teams have fun and stretch their identities and not break them entirely. 

 

But you're not here for my thoughts on fixing the NBA rules, you're in the Concepts thread to see concepts. No funny orders like I have been doing in series' past. Going East to West, division by division. And since I like to hand-draw all these before going digital, those will be linked if you're interested, and also to see how many of the players I chose to hand draw are still with the team that they were on when I sketched them out. Just for fun. 

 

 So starting us off is the Boston Celtics: 

 

Hand Drawn Assocation/Icon Alternate (Jersey Model: Kyrie Irving | Players Still With Team: 0/1)

HT5a6gX.png

 

Association - Icon: A pretty mundane start. But there wasn't anything that really needed to change. The only and biggest change is the armhole striping now continues all the way around. 

 

Statement: I always thought the Celtics looked good in grey, and that goes back to the sleeved uniforms. So these are noticeably not sleeved. Grey uniforms with the same stripes around the arms and the bottoms of the shorts, just now a triple stripe as opposed to a single color-double stripe. Parquet pattern down the sides of the jerseys and the shorts. No wordmark, just a Shamrock and number offset from center on the front. 

 

Heritage: The Celtics fourth jersey is something of a fauxback to the earliest days of Celtic basketball, which combined elements from the 1947-1949 uniforms, notably the triangles on the shorts with the shamrocks, the number on the shorts and the 1949/1950 uniforms which had the single stripes around the arms and neck and the drop shadowed wordmark and numbers. The original idea here was to go fully green and gold, but it didn't seem like it was going to contrast enough, so the uniform became white instead. 

 

C&C welcome! Looking forward to getting into this one!

 

 

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I’ll be looking forward to the series! Your first entry is an easy one to get right. The home and away obviously look good, I’m indifferent about the first alternate, but the fauxback looks great.

My only criticism is that  I think a proper Celtics wordmark would look better than a shamrock on the grey jersey. I’ve never been a huge fan of the logo on the front of the uniform look, it feel very practice jersey. I like the choice of grey over black though, even if black has more of a historical presence. Grey just looks better as you said.

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On 6/20/2021 at 11:30 PM, Bruhammydude said:

Pretty solid, but that statement is definitely wild lol

 

On 6/21/2021 at 1:20 AM, _DietDrPepper_ said:

I’ll be looking forward to the series! Your first entry is an easy one to get right. The home and away obviously look good, I’m indifferent about the first alternate, but the fauxback looks great.

My only criticism is that  I think a proper Celtics wordmark would look better than a shamrock on the grey jersey. I’ve never been a huge fan of the logo on the front of the uniform look, it feel very practice jersey. I like the choice of grey over black though, even if black has more of a historical presence. Grey just looks better as you said.

 

I had a feeling that the Statement would be a little too wild, especially for a team like the Celtics. Might be good for warmups or something of that nature. 

 

Ic7qF2t.png

 

Only change is the grey uniform now has Boston on the chest, taken from the same era that the Heritage uniforms come from.

 

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Also something new I'm gonna roll with for this series, is I'm gonna try and do more realistic mockups as well along with my static designs as well. It's a definite change from what I've been doing in my CCSLC career so hopefully these can translate well. 

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9 hours ago, colinturner95 said:

 

 

I had a feeling that the Statement would be a little too wild, especially for a team like the Celtics. Might be good for warmups or something of that nature. 

 

Ic7qF2t.png

 

Only change is the grey uniform now has Boston on the chest, taken from the same era that the Heritage uniforms come from.

 

PpWJRMB.png2JliZzw.jpg

zA1d2J1.jpgtPkTuv7.png

 

Also something new I'm gonna roll with for this series, is I'm gonna try and do more realistic mockups as well along with my static designs as well. It's a definite change from what I've been doing in my CCSLC career so hopefully these can translate well. 

Can't say I'm a fan of the grey, but hey it's your series. You do you! The fourth jersey is great though and I love the realistic mockups

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20 hours ago, bcon_731 said:

Can OKC be next? 

"No funny orders like I have been doing in series' past. Going East to West, division by division."

 

 

Hand Drawn Assocation/Icon Alternate (Jersey Model: D'Angelo Russell | Players Still With Team: 0/2)

 

9oYTTwl.png

Association - Icon: I've loved the different ways that the Nets have integrated the Dr. J/ABA era-Nets uniforms into their modern uniforms, well I went the last step and made them their full time uniforms. That means the asymmetric design carries on the left side of the uniform, with grey now having a place on the full time uniforms. For the first time in a long time, the white jersey once again says NETS. 

 

Statement: I'm just now realizing that the first two teams of this series are going to have grey alternates, which in this case could have been avoidable, but ended up not being avoided. So in this case, Dodger blue returns to Brooklyn, this time without the sleeves. The stripes from the Association and Icon turn 90 degrees, now run across the chest and bottom of the shorts. The five stars representing the five boroughs of New York are on the shorts, with one colored in blue to represent Brooklyn. 

 

City: Brooklyn's 4th jersey is a City jersey, and while Brooklyn =/= New York City as a whole, I always had the sense that Brooklyn is and was more open to more radical designs opposed to the established New York Knicks. So for this jersey, I took the subway theme from this years' Earned Jersey and really took into overdrive, using the Helvetica wordmark and circle number design on the front. A very, very simplified version of the NYC Subway map on the front of the jersey. The design is also featured on the shorts on the left leg, and on the front side of the right leg is a subway B logo, similar to the number. 

 

tP4Sqtf.pngTSeWn1t.png

7kJXXbD.jpg7palceO.png

 

C&C welcome!

 

13 hours ago, johne9109 said:

Can't say I'm a fan of the grey, but hey it's your series. You do you! The fourth jersey is great though and I love the realistic mockups

I thought the grey was less offensive than the black they've been doing for the last couple years, and even the double green, which is alright but still doesn't feel very "Celtics" to me. 

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  • colinturner95 changed the title to Simplifying the NBA: Brooklyn Nets
39 minutes ago, colinturner95 said:

"No funny orders like I have been doing in series' past. Going East to West, division by division."

 

 

Hand Drawn Assocation/Icon Alternate (Jersey Model: D'Angelo Russell | Players Still With Team: 0/2)

 

9oYTTwl.png

Association - Icon: I've loved the different ways that the Nets have integrated the Dr. J/ABA era-Nets uniforms into their modern uniforms, well I went the last step and made them their full time uniforms. That means the asymmetric design carries on the left side of the uniform, with grey now having a place on the full time uniforms. For the first time in a long time, the white jersey once again says NETS. 

 

Statement: I'm just now realizing that the first two teams of this series are going to have grey alternates, which in this case could have been avoidable, but ended up not being avoided. So in this case, Dodger blue returns to Brooklyn, this time without the sleeves. The stripes from the Association and Icon turn 90 degrees, now run across the chest and bottom of the shorts. The five stars representing the five boroughs of New York are on the shorts, with one colored in blue to represent Brooklyn. 

 

City: Brooklyn's 4th jersey is a City jersey, and while Brooklyn =/= New York City as a whole, I always had the sense that Brooklyn is and was more open to more radical designs opposed to the established New York Knicks. So for this jersey, I took the subway theme from this years' Earned Jersey and really took into overdrive, using the Helvetica wordmark and circle number design on the front. A very, very simplified version of the NYC Subway map on the front of the jersey. The design is also featured on the shorts on the left leg, and on the front side of the right leg is a subway B logo, similar to the number. 

 

tP4Sqtf.pngTSeWn1t.png

7kJXXbD.jpg7palceO.png

 

C&C welcome!

 

I thought the grey was less offensive than the black they've been doing for the last couple years, and even the double green, which is alright but still doesn't feel very "Celtics" to me. 

I LOVE the Nets set especially the city edition (PERFECT) I agree the black is over done for the C's and the green on green was lazy so I totally get why you'd go back to the grey

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Onto the other team in the New York Area:

 

Hand Drawn Assocation/Icon Alternate (Jersey Model: Kristaps Porzingis | Players Still With Team: 0/3)

 

gmayKPx.png

 

Association/Icon: After watching documentaries such as When The Garden Was Eden and The Last Dance, I came to the realization why I liked the Statement uniforms from the last few seasons: they looked more like the Knicks than the Knicks current uniforms to me. So very simply, the Statement uniforms from the last couple seasons become the new home and away. The white jersey sees little to no changes. The only real changes to the blue uniforms is the white wordmarks and numbers switch to orange like 90% of the blue Knicks uniforms have worn since day 1. 

 

Statement: I know Knicks fans think that the orange uniforms are taboo, but fortunes can be reversed. I also particularly enjoyed the 17/18 City Jersey that featured the FDNY logo on the front and I brought that back. The stripes around the arm holes and neck switch to a triple stripe, as do the shorts stripes on the bottom of the legs and the waistband. On the back of the jersey, toward the lower back are two sets of stripes, with Knicks in the middle, as an homage to the New York City firefighters uniforms

 

Heritage: A holdover from my 2017 series that never got started, what was supposed to be the 70th anniversary uniform for the Knicks comes back as a bit of a fauxback. Repeating orange/navy stripes down the sides of the uniforms continuing on the shorts. Similar stripes around the arms and neck line. Single color wordmarks and numbers. NY interlocking logo on the front of the waistband. 

 

YClhK9I.jpghi4xxyW.jpg

HBMjcHn.jpgrvkEEHB.jpg

 

C&C welcome!

 

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  • colinturner95 changed the title to Simplifying the NBA: New York Knicks

Nets: Love bringing the stars back, their current look is so flat. The subway city edition seems exactly like something they may pull out in the coming years. The use of various colors on the b&w backdrop works wonderfully. The gray does nothing for me though, I'd much prefer a throwback to that gray NJ set with the net side panel.

 

Knicks: Not a fan of the orange jersey, the firefight tie-in doesn't do anything for me. I like dropping the silver from the jerseys and bringing the stripes in as an alt.

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12 minutes ago, -Akronite- said:

Nets: Love bringing the stars back, their current look is so flat. The subway city edition seems exactly like something they may pull out in the coming years. The use of various colors on the b&w backdrop works wonderfully. The gray does nothing for me though, I'd much prefer a throwback to that gray NJ set with the net side panel.

 

Knicks: Not a fan of the orange jersey, the firefight tie-in doesn't do anything for me. I like dropping the silver from the jerseys and bringing the stripes in as an alt.

2c657db3d5dc3342e99edc83e731e96504f99fe0.png

 

Are you talking about these uniforms for the Nets? 

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A couple of updates before we move on: 

 

23 hours ago, -Akronite- said:

Nets: Love bringing the stars back, their current look is so flat. The subway city edition seems exactly like something they may pull out in the coming years. The use of various colors on the b&w backdrop works wonderfully. The gray does nothing for me though, I'd much prefer a throwback to that gray NJ set with the net side panel.

 

 

8AP1KXQ.png

 

I'm trying to avoid going to throwbacks if possible (not to say some teams won't have them, but I'm not going to reach for them first if I can help it), and especially here since the primary uniforms are pretty much recolored throwbacks as they are. That being said, the new alternate is definitely inspired by the aforementioned Nets side panel grey uniforms, this time in the current color scheme with the herringbone pattern in the side panels. Arched Brooklyn akin to the old New Jersey on the uniform. 

 

dsILow5.jpg

 

23 hours ago, -Akronite- said:

Knicks: Not a fan of the orange jersey, the firefight tie-in doesn't do anything for me. I like dropping the silver from the jerseys and bringing the stripes in as an alt.

 

Well it was worth a shot

 

HDPc75L.png

 

The orange uniform stays pretty much intact as it was, minus the firefighter elements. Took it as a chance to do a better-ish attempt than the "City That Never Sleeps" City uniform garbage. NYC on the chest of the jersey, sublimated skyline of New York City above the stripes on the shorts. 

 

UQnYIsA.jpg

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  • colinturner95 changed the title to Simplifying the NBA: Nets/Knicks Updates

I’m actually a big fan of that silver alt for Brooklyn. It fits in much more then the previous alt. I love the inclusion of Dodger Blue for the Nets in other concept, and I think it could fit really well into the Nets brand in general if included in the primary uniforms or even if it replaced black throughout the entire identity. Which would probably give it a much more unique color scheme. But the alternate you made didn’t reall fit in with any of the other uniforms you made for them.

 

The Knick’s new orange alt is great too, I’m not the biggest fan of the logos on the chest.

 

If I had to change anything else with these teams, I’d arch the text for Brooklyn, seeing it now on the new alt, it’s much better then the flat text.

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6 hours ago, colinturner95 said:

A couple of updates before we move on: 

 

 

8AP1KXQ.png

 

I'm trying to avoid going to throwbacks if possible (not to say some teams won't have them, but I'm not going to reach for them first if I can help it), and especially here since the primary uniforms are pretty much recolored throwbacks as they are. That being said, the new alternate is definitely inspired by the aforementioned Nets side panel grey uniforms, this time in the current color scheme with the herringbone pattern in the side panels. Arched Brooklyn akin to the old New Jersey on the uniform. 

 

dsILow5.jpg

 

 

Well it was worth a shot

 

HDPc75L.png

 

The orange uniform stays pretty much intact as it was, minus the firefighter elements. Took it as a chance to do a better-ish attempt than the "City That Never Sleeps" City uniform garbage. NYC on the chest of the jersey, sublimated skyline of New York City above the stripes on the shorts. 

 

UQnYIsA.jpg

How come they haven’t done this? Feel like this one of the most on the nose wordmarks and colorways to use and they insisted on using the fireman’s crest. 

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17 hours ago, _DietDrPepper_ said:

If I had to change anything else with these teams, I’d arch the text for Brooklyn, seeing it now on the new alt, it’s much better then the flat text.

 

h67K5x3.png

 

 

 

Gave the Association and Icon wordmarks a soft arch to match the Statement uniform. 

 

17 hours ago, _DietDrPepper_ said:

I’m actually a big fan of that silver alt for Brooklyn. It fits in much more then the previous alt. I love the inclusion of Dodger Blue for the Nets in other concept, and I think it could fit really well into the Nets brand in general if included in the primary uniforms or even if it replaced black throughout the entire identity. Which would probably give it a much more unique color scheme. But the alternate you made didn’t reall fit in with any of the other uniforms you made for them.

 

zm4jL4a.png

 

Had this series actually started in 2017 when I had originally planned, that would have been what happened. but looking at it now, I think black/white/grey is the best fit for Brooklyn. Helps them stand out from the blue of New York and Philadelphia. 

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1 hour ago, colinturner95 said:

 

h67K5x3.png

 

 

 

Gave the Association and Icon wordmarks a soft arch to match the Statement uniform. 

 

 

zm4jL4a.png

 

Had this series actually started in 2017 when I had originally planned, that would have been what happened. but looking at it now, I think black/white/grey is the best fit for Brooklyn. Helps them stand out from the blue of New York and Philadelphia. 

That actually looks much more Magic then I would’ve thought. I stand corrected

 

Also the arched text does look much better.

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Hand Drawn Assocation/Icon Alternate (Jersey Model: Joel Embiid | Players Still With Team: 1/4) Holy :censored:, we finally got one!

 

cgPTAzG.png

 

Association - Icon: Probably no other team in this series will have less changes than the Sixers. The only real changes to the primary uniforms is now the white jersey once again says Sixers for the first time in a long time. Also the 76 logo on the shorts changes to the version surrounded by 13 stars. 

 

Statement: The red jersey, I think stays basically the exact same. The same shorts logo change happens here as well. 

 

City: Philadelphia has possibly more history associated with it than any other US city. To that end, Nike has done that right for the Philly city uniforms, choosing to honor that history. I wanted to combine many of those elements into one jersey. Parchment colored uniform. Similar stripes to the white association jersey, with white being replaced by a bronze color, think Liberty Bell. I know logos on the chest are usually taboo in basketball, but I love the Liberty Bell + number treatment from this years' Earned jersey so I stuck with it. Same trim stripe down the side with 13 stars all on one side. Vintage 76 logo on the shorts. 

 

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C&C welcome!

 

On 7/1/2021 at 11:27 AM, _DietDrPepper_ said:

That actually looks much more Magic then I would’ve thought. I stand corrected

 

Also the arched text does look much better.

I didn't even consider them looking too much like the Magic. I'm glad you pointed that out. 

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  • colinturner95 changed the title to Simplifying the NBA: Philadelphia 76ers

Rounding out the Atlantic with the lone Canadian team in the NBA

 

Hand Drawn Assocation/Icon Alternate (Jersey Model: Kyle Lowry | Players Still With Team: 2/5) Good way to end a division with back to back players still with a team. 

 

 

wXHoEmG.png

 

Association - Icon: The Chevrons experiment has come to an end. The tops are a bit plain but I didn't feel like overwhelming them. Arched wordmarks above the numbers. Sides have stripes that end in two chevrons up near the armholes. Shorts are where all the fun happens. On one side are three large claw marks, borrowed from the City uniforms. The other side has a more traditional stripe with a maple leaf affixed to it. Icon jersey now reads Toronto as opposed to Raptors. (I'm still of the mindset that white jersey - nickname, color jersey - city name). 

 

Statement: The OVO influence on the Raptors continues, with a uniform that blends previous City and Statement uniforms. Using the wordmark from this years' City jersey, the subtle pinstripes from the inaugural uniforms, with stripes similar to that with two chevrons. 

 

North: As America's Hat's only NBA team, a jersey to honor that made a lot of sense. Also if you're a fan of the chevrons, fret not because they stick around, at a much less aggressive angle. I almost had it read Canada, but they aren't the national team so I moved away from that. The shorts have a wide stripe with a maple leaf on the side. 

 

0qBGOT4.jpghpudQPp.jpg

k3QCfgv.jpgfHAXx6b.jpg

 

C&C welcome!

 

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  • colinturner95 changed the title to Simplifying the NBA: Toronto Raptors
5 hours ago, colinturner95 said:

Rounding out the Atlantic with the lone Canadian team in the NBA

 

Hand Drawn Assocation/Icon Alternate (Jersey Model: Kyle Lowry | Players Still With Team: 2/5) Good way to end a division with back to back players still with a team. 

 

 

wXHoEmG.png

 

Association - Icon: The Chevrons experiment has come to an end. The tops are a bit plain but I didn't feel like overwhelming them. Arched wordmarks above the numbers. Sides have stripes that end in two chevrons up near the armholes. Shorts are where all the fun happens. On one side are three large claw marks, borrowed from the City uniforms. The other side has a more traditional stripe with a maple leaf affixed to it. Icon jersey now reads Toronto as opposed to Raptors. (I'm still of the mindset that white jersey - nickname, color jersey - city name). 

 

Statement: The OVO influence on the Raptors continues, with a uniform that blends previous City and Statement uniforms. Using the wordmark from this years' City jersey, the subtle pinstripes from the inaugural uniforms, with stripes similar to that with two chevrons. 

 

North: As America's Hat's only NBA team, a jersey to honor that made a lot of sense. Also if you're a fan of the chevrons, fret not because they stick around, at a much less aggressive angle. I almost had it read Canada, but they aren't the national team so I moved away from that. The shorts have a wide stripe with a maple leaf on the side. 

 

0qBGOT4.jpghpudQPp.jpg

k3QCfgv.jpgfHAXx6b.jpg

 

C&C welcome!

 

Where's the purple? I can't consider it to be the Raptors unless you give me purple in their colour scheme.

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  • colinturner95 changed the title to My Take on the NBA's Uniform System: Team Matchups *Requests are open*

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