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Music-inspired NBA City jerseys (Knicks × A Tribe Called Quest)


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This jersey has two primary inspirations: the Hawks of the late 90's, and Outkast's 1998 album Aquemini. I frequently listen to the album, and always thought that the script seen on the bottom of the album cover would translate well to a jersey, so I created an Atlanta script in the same style, as seen on the front of the jersey. From there I used the Aquarius-Gemini sign seen on the back cover and used it to create the number font. The red and yellow colors are taken from the late 90's Hawks squads that featured Dikembe Mutombo and made consecutive playoff runs. The Hawks played their 1998 and 1999 playoff home games in the Georgia Dome, which gave inspiration for the pattern seen on the side panel. The edges of the pattern are inspired by the arena's facade, while the diamond pattern is inspired by the roof. I'd try an give some more Nike-speak for a "deeper" explanation, but that's all there is. I was inspired by one of my favorite albums, so I threw together a template and made a jersey. I don't have much knowledge on the computer side of jersey design, so apologies if any of this looks a bit sloppy.


C+C appreciated!


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  • fortunat1 changed the title to Music-inspired NBA City jerseys (Warriors x Sweet Trip)

After finishing the first jersey in this series, I found myself thinking about how I could expand this theme across the NBA. As a result, I've got some more jerseys on the way, with each one taking inspiration from NBA teams and musicians from their area. I'll do my best to incorporate tasteful and identifiable aspects from each musician, NBA team, and occasionally the city as a whole, into each new design. As the series continues, I'll be working with various NBA teams and taking inspiration from various artists that I personally enjoy. Seeing as I could likely make a series for certain cities on their own (due to the sheer amount of quality artists they've produced) I'll also do my best to use a variety of cities within the series before circling back to a previously used city.


With all that said, the second team in this series is the Golden State Warriors. One of the things I've enjoyed about nearly all of their jerseys is the way that the team maintains the circular crest + bridge, while making each jersey very distinct from previous ones. I also have recently become a fan of Sweet Trip, a band from the Bay-area who has made quality indie/shoegaze music across the 2000's. Each of those led me to combine the bridge + crest motif with fonts and an abstract style inspired by Sweet Trip covers. Outside of the crest on the front, the trim takes inspiration from the grid pattern found on the "Velocity : Design : Comfort" cover. The baby blue base of the jersey isn't as meticulously picked - I just thought that baby blue was recognizable enough to represent the Warriors while also being a fresh breath of air for the franchise. Apologies is the quality isn't the best for the fonts, as I tried my best to maintain the hand-drawn nature of the "You Will Never Know Why" font. Lastly, the stripe isn't anything special, just something close enough to their regular stripe that provides some nice color balance.




Coming up next:

New York Knicks - mid 90's hip hop

Seattle SuperSonics - late 90's/early 2000's indie rock

Los Angeles Lakers - early 2000's hip hop


These are just brief teasers for the teams and artists that I've got coming up next in the series, so feel free to suggest any artists and cities that you'd like to see me cover! C+C appreciated!

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You're 2/2 so far, and I'm looking forward to seeing the ones coming up next -- especially that Sonics one! I think there are a lot of ways NBA x music jerseys can lean too far into one side or the other, but you've done a really nice job of finding a balance between the two. 


A few more potential ideas, though I'm sure some have been done before...


Houston Rockets - early '00s rap

Memphis Grizzlies - Elvis

New Orleans Pelicans - history of jazz, perhaps someone/something more specific

Detroit Pistons - '60s Motown

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11 hours ago, Bomba Tomba said:

Wait, not Nirvana?

No, it's not Nirvana. They were one of the artists I had considered for Seattle, but I decided to go a different direction entirely. I love Nirvana's music, but I also love a lot of other Seattle-based grunge artists from the same time frame, so I couldn't really pick one.

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8 hours ago, CaliforniaGlowin said:

This is a great idea.  Years ago I created concepts for a Fat Boys uniform for the Nets and RUN DMC for the Knicks.  


Why early 2000 hip hop for the Lakers?  Early-mid 90s was the peak of LA hip hop.

Thanks for the kinds words! I love that early to mid 90s era of LA hip hop and know it's a defining era for the genre as a whole, but I just decided to go a different direction. This Lakers jersey is meant to show some love for one of my personal favorite duos that doesn't get nearly enough credit in the mainstream imo.


New York is almost done, and should be coming out before the end of the week. I might bump LA ahead of Seattle, and their design is finalized while I still want to tweak Seattle a bit.

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Not sure who I'd choose for Milwaukee. Steve Miller, Violent Femmes, Die Kreuzen, and Coo Coo Cal, Al Jarreau, and Eric Benet are all from Milwaukee. Les Paul, Garbage and Killdozer too if you include all of Wisconsin. But I don't feel like Milwaukee is a place you'd associate with a particular style of music.


I vote for a Summerfest themed jersey for the Bucks.

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As promised, here are the New York Knicks!


Back in 1994, New York rapper Nas released one of music's most important and critically acclaimed albums. Illmatic shares well-packaged perspectives of New York life over instantly recognizable beats, and launched Nas into a type of stardom that solidified him as a pillar of not just New York hip hop, but hip hop in general. I can't give this album enough praise, as the Mt. Rushmore-like selection of producers, classic songs, and iconic lyrics have have me returning to the album regularly.


Seeing as Nas and New York are inseparable, I decided to honor both Nas' home of Queensbridge and Illmatic in my Knicks city jersey concept. I chose to use the font from the Illmatic cover (with minor tweaks) for the front of the jersey, and used the pattern from a Queensboro Bridge Railway token for the trim. The trim does seem a bit busy, as it is very intricate (and difficult to create with limited tools), but I think it fits well within the context of the jersey. This would also be the first time since the 2013/14 season that the Knicks wear an orange-dominant jersey, giving the Knicks a splash of color while remaining identifiable. I decided against using side panels, as I feel that the jersey is balanced as-is and didn't need any further additions.




As always, C+C is appreciated! I'll continue to work on previously mentioned jerseys, with the Lakers being put ahead of the Sonics as I finalize designs. In addition to suggestions from everyone, I also have a handful of artist/jersey mashups that I've already decided on so I'll do my best to get those out on a reasonable timeline.


As it stands right now, Los Angeles Lakers - early 2000's hip hop is next, with:

Seattle - late 90s/early 00s indie rock

Cleveland - Bone Thugs N Harmony

Dallas - 2000s R&B 

coming in a yet to be determined order.

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  • fortunat1 changed the title to Music-inspired NBA City jerseys (Knicks × Nas)
  • 3 weeks later...

This Lakers jersey pays homage to one of my personal favorite music groups, People Under the Stairs. The hip-hop duo released high-quality music regularly from 1999 to 2019 but didn't get  too much mainstream recognition in the process (I highly recommend listening to them if you haven't). The P always represented LA in their music and created a laid-back kind of vibe that appeals to people from anywhere. Their music encapsulates the positive aspects of LA and its citizens, which is why I thought there was no one better to represent LA in my Lakers city jersey concept. This concept takes inspiration from their classic 2002 album, "O.S.T.", and the Lakers of the same early 2000's era.


The colors of the jersey are the Lakers' current purple and yellow, which are synonymous with Los Angeles as is. The jersey trim throws back to the team's 1999-2017 jerseys, which featured thin stripes of color and an iconic wishbone collar. Greats like Kobe cemented these jerseys as classics, and remain relevant in streetwear and pop culture to this day. The wordmark on the front is an edited version of their 1960's wordmark that I changed to lay a little more flat, which makes it look less wonky while still recognizable. Being a Lakers' wordmark, I thought that it was iconic enough to fit the theme of the jersey, while also unique enough to separate this gold and purple jersey from other previous ones that the Lakers have worn. The usage of white letters with a purple outline further separates the jersey from others, as most gold Lakers jerseys feature purple letters. The numbers take inspiration from the O.S.T. cover, whose main component (in my eyes) is the impact font with drop shadows. I applied the drop shadow to the wordmark to further tie it into the album, and made the numbers a tweaked version of impact as to tie into the album cover, while also keeping impact usage to a minimum. Lastly, the design on the side of the jersey is meant to emulate the patterns seen on the front of the Pico House, a Los Angeles historical landmark located in the Downtown LA neighborhood.




Apologies for having a bit of a longer wait for this one, I really would've liked to have posted it sooner. Seattle, Dallas, and Cleveland are still up next, in an order I'll figure out soon. Thanks for all the positive feedback so far! C&C appreciated.


RIP Michael Turner aka Double K

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  • fortunat1 changed the title to Music-inspired NBA City jerseys (Lakers × People Under the Stairs)
  • 3 weeks later...

This next jersey crosses the Seattle SuperSonics with the indie rock band Modest Mouse! I really enjoy their work from various decades, but am most impressed by their run from 1996 to the early 2000s, where they released some of the finest indie music of all time. Their 1997 album "The Lonesome Crowded West" is easily one of my favorite albums of all time, as it is full of incredible work front to back. The band itself formed in Issaquah, Washington, which as far as I know, had  a distinct music scene from Seattle during the years that Seattle saw itself become a hub for grunge bands. While Issaquah is not Seattle, both cities share support for the SuperSonics, leading to the creation of this concept.

(It would also be sensible to make  a Trailblazers x Modest Mouse jersey given their current home of Portland, but that's not really important)


The jersey itself has a white base, and features a white "SONICS" on a green arch. The arch is uniquely Sonics, so I couldn't leave it out of a Seattle-inspired concept. The arch, trim, and side panel feature various overlapping shades of green, meant to emulate the cover of Night on the Sun. I used three stripes instead of five for the sake of space and included areas where the stripes overlap in an effort to recreate the overlaid effect seen on the EP cover. The font used for the wordmark and numbers is meant to replicate that seen on the front of a few of Modest Mouse's earlier releases. My initial ideas for the jersey didn't abandon yellow completely, but I feel as though a green-heavy jersey remains identifiably Sonics in this case, and puts a brand new spin on the brand's classic features. Going fully green also lent itself to this design better than using yellow and green together.




In all honesty, this is by far the concept that I struggled with the most. Modest Mouse's visual identity doesn't really lend itself well to basketball jerseys, making it difficult to balance the team inspiration with the music inspiration in this case. Working with the green block gradient was also fairly difficult, as I needed to keep my design distinct from the Bucks' irish rainbow, which is difficult given how similar the patterns are. I think that the lack of yellow makes it much more Bucks-esque, so any feedback on how to avoid that would be much appreciated. This jersey is complete for now, but I still am not fully confident in the decisions made, so suggestions and critiques on how to better achieve my goals of balancing distinct features for the artist, team, and city, would be fantastic.


Dallas and Cleveland are still up next, with Brooklyn (90's hip hop) being thrown into the mix of upcoming jerseys. In an effort not to be in over my head, those will be the only jerseys I can guarantee will come out in the near future. Suggestions are still very appreciated as I brainstorm designs and determine which artists will or won't work well for a jersey. C&C appreciated!

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  • fortunat1 changed the title to Music-inspired NBA City jerseys (SuperSonics × Modest Mouse)
  • 5 weeks later...

This jersey is inspired by Erykah Badu, a Dallas-born musician and one of the neo-soul's most influential individuals. I love her music, as do many, with her charting regularly throughout her career, winning many awards, and gaining immense popularity inside and outside of the music scene.


The jersey's script and numbers use the font found on the front of her album Mama's Gunwhich lends itself to a jersey well thanks to its unique features that create a unique yet legible script. The script and numbers use a double outline, calling back to one of the Mavericks' most recognizable eras. The jersey uses the color scheme of the same era, as blue and green remains recognizably Mavericks into the modern day. The side panel features a pattern that mimics a sign found at Fair Park, one of the most iconic landmarks in Badu's childhood home of South Dallas. The jersey trim is kept simple, only meant to help maintain the color balance of an already completed jersey. I'm also not the biggest fan of wishbone collars, so I opted for a round collar that matches the fairly simple design of the jersey.




Cleveland/Bone Thugs-N-Harmony are up next,  with Brooklyn remaining in the mix for upcoming jerseys. Miami will also be added to the trio of upcoming jerseys and takes inspiration from a modern-day hip hop artist. Suggestions for new jerseys/musicians are always appreciated, as are C&C!

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  • fortunat1 changed the title to Music-inspired NBA City jerseys (Mavericks × Erykah Badu)

As promised, here is the Bone Thugs-N-Harmony inspired jersey! I was aware of the group a bit before working on this concept, but this jersey was a great opportunity to take a deeper dive into their music. East 1999 sticks out as one of the songs that I enjoyed the most, but I still think that the chemistry found on Notorious Thugs is unmatched.


The colors used here are fairly basic, being the current wine and gold with a darker gold for outlines and trim. I made a tweaked version of the Cleveland sign for the script, editing each of the lowercase letters to better resemble the old English font found on the Bone Thugs-N-Harmony logo. The C in Cleveland underwent more significant changes in an effort to match the B's flourishes. I thought about making matching old English numbers, but ditched that idea in favor of the numbers found on the 90's Cavs jerseys. My final decision was the jersey trim, so I chose a basic two-stripe pattern that helped provide some more color.




There were some initial concepts that used a pattern from the Detroit-Superior Bridge (which I think pops up around 2:50 into the Thuggish Ruggish Bone music video), but I didn't really like how it fit as either a trim design or a side panel.


Brooklyn/90's hip hop is up next, with Miami/modern rap and Milwaukee/Summerfest coming up after. I've got a handful of other artists and cities I've been thinking of, but I appreciate any suggestions you might have. As always, C&C are appreciated!

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  • fortunat1 changed the title to Music-inspired NBA City jerseys (Cavaliers × Bone Thugs-N-Harmony)

LOVE every one of these so far...both the mainstream and the not-as-well known artists are getting love here. (I'm especially lookin' forward to how the Bucks are getting the Big Gig jerseys).

As for future suggestions, I was thinking:


*The Bulls could have something inspired by Kanye's "College Trilogy" (College Dropout, Late Registration, Graduation).  That or Common's two GOOD Music albums (Be & Finding Forever) or possibly Lupe Fiasco's first two (Food & Liquor and The Cool)

*The Sixers got three possible directions (The Roots, State Property or maybe their neo-soul artists like Musiq Soulchild, Jill Scott, Jazmine Sullivan et al)

*I co-sign the suggestion to have the Grizzlies be Elvis-themed.  A little-known fact is that he rejected his title "King of Rock and Roll," believing Fats Domino more deserving of the honor (and who would be my pick for the Pelicans' inspiration, in tandem with other jazz greats)

*I also co-sign the Pistons' Motown idea, as well as the mid-2000s H-Town rap takeover for the Rockets.

*For the Spurs, I was thinking something Selena-inspired, as she's still the most iconic music star to come from South Texas.


But either way, I look forward to seeing what you come up with next!


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The artist(s) that inspired this next jersey is Black Star. Black Star is a rap duo from Brooklyn, comprised of Mos Def and Talib Kweli. The album is a good introduction to each of the individual members, while also standing strong on its own. I'd highly recommend checking out both of their work outside of Black Star, as each one has a lot to offer. Mos Def's "Black on Both Sides" is high up in my imaginary list of favorite albums, while Kweli has also put together a strong portfolio that I keep revisiting.


The colors were chosen to represent the modern Brooklyn Nets, while also bringing some variety to the selection of monotonous black-heavy jerseys that they seem to have a lot of. I chose to use the font found Black Star's album cover for the script and numbers, using Brooklyn's nickname of BKLYN on the front. The side panel also takes inspiration from the album cover, with it being a recolored version of the geometric design found on the cover's border. As per usual, the trim was added without any specific tie-ins. I just liked how that pattern looked when paired with the rest of the jersey.




Keeping with the trend of posting some of my rejected ideas, here is a version of the jersey where I thought about using plain black trim instead of the current striped trim. On another somewhat unrelated note, I think it's a little funny how I reduced one of the most distinct and colorful albums that I know into a fairly boring (color-wise) greyscaled jersey.


Miami/Modern rap is the next jersey up, with Milwaukee/Summerfest following. There isn't really a lock for the third slot right now, as I've got rough drafts for a few different cities right now, but haven't really chosen a frontrunner. I've been loving all of the suggestions from everybody so far and have started making drafts for some of them, so thanks so much. As always, feel free to suggest who you'd like to see, or show support for existing suggestions. C&C appreciated!

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