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NBA Color Scheme Reversions


rebelx

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As any pro basketball fan can plainly see, there has been a trend in the past decade of NBA teams returning to their original or "classic" color schemes, the majority of the league basically having acknowledged that the design experimentation of the '90's (and in the case of a few franchises, earlier or later) was a failure. So I'm now posing this question to the forum: in your opinion, how many of the teams that are now using different color schemes from the ones they had in the past or that they are historically most associated with will change back to the older color combos?

Here's a quick rundown of teams that have already switched back or have used basically the same colors for their entire existence, and those that have yet to return to an older/more well-known combination:

Using "classic" (may or may not have had a few tweaks) or only historical color scheme:

Atlanta (from their St. Louis and very early Atlanta days; a strange case because they used their other main color scheme for so many years)

Boston

Charlotte

Chicago

Cleveland

Detroit

Golden State

Indiana

LA Clippers

LA Lakers

Miami

Milwaukee

Minnesota (blue and green have changed shades, but both still present, and frankly, one can argue that the current shades represent their classic color scheme anyway, since they've used those longer than the royal blue and kelly green of their early years)

New Orleans (yeah, orange was replaced by yellow, but the other colors stayed the same, the small change to the shade of blue notwithstanding)

New York

Oklahoma City (I count them as a separate franchise from the Sonics)

Orlando

Philadelphia

Phoenix

Portland

San Antonio

Using "experimental" color scheme:

Dallas

Denver

Houston

Memphis

New Jersey

Sacramento

Toronto

Utah

Washington

I also have a related question: regarding Minnesota, anybody else worried about them dropping the green, given that their tweaked unis don't include it anymore? I sure hope they don't.

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the nets color scheme isn't "experimental", they've had the same scheme since ABA days (with the exception to a darker blue they now use) but it is still essentially red white blue

Yeah, you're pretty much correct. I should have put them in the first category. I guess a valid question, though, is will they change their colors once they move to Brooklyn?

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Dallas - seem pretty happy with the navy but I can see them adding green as an homage, but not returning to royal blue

Denver - light blue/navy/gold works for them, i don't see them going back to red and gold.

Houston - Will probably add some more yellow but they are sticking to red for a while.

Memphis - I don't see them having a very strong identity, so if they ever start to really win I can see them changing colors.

New Jersey - I think they will keep the navy/red/silver identity but when they move to brooklyn making red the primary and navy secondary (they are already actually doing this). I think thats to differentiate them with the Knicks. Knicks will be blue, Nets will be red.

Sacramento - purple/black/silver works for them better than red/light blue ever did.

Toronto - They won't ever go back to purple, but i'd like to see them add some blue.

Utah - cannot settle on a color scheme, they will change again in 5 years.

Washington - already seem to be planning a red-white-blue return

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I could see all of the teams listed under "experimental" going back to their original colors at some point except Memphis and Toronto. The thing is that these teams were born during such an experimental era logo- and color-wise that it would just be a little wierd in my opinion to return to their original "wacky" colors. But reverting to Red White and Blue doesn't seem like such a big deal because they are already established as generic sports colors.

As a sidenote, the Wizards have already announced that they are, in fact, returning to RWB in the 2011-12 season, so there's another point for your top list.

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I think the Jazz could certainly be considered as having reverted to their classic colors this year.

As for the Hawks, I don't think anything but red/yellow can be considered their classic colors.

The Clippers red/white/blue is so generic, I think a reversion to San Diego Clippers sky blue/burnt orange would be more classic.

Memphis, and Toronto's schemes seem like solid, potentially classic colors for teams whose expansion identities were pretty bad. Similarly, Denver's blue/yellow seems like a great identity for a team that was always kind of confused color wise (the only colors they really used consistently throughout their history are...blue and yellow.)

Houston also strikes me as being pretty close to their classic look - outside of the 70's, they never really used yellow all that much uniform wise.

I would say that Dallas, Minnesota, Atlanta, and the Clippers are the only teams in need of a change or reversion, now that Philly and Utah are 'fixed.'

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Dallas - seem pretty happy with the navy but I can see them adding green as an homage, but not returning to royal blue

i'm not the biggest mavs or basketball fan, but i'm pretty sure they already went back to royal blue this year didn't they?

adidas-Revolution-30-Now-967P.jpg

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Houston also strikes me as being pretty close to their classic look - outside of the 70's, they never really used yellow all that much uniform wise.

The Rockets used yellow for many years - from the San Diego days, right up until the redesign in '95 - 28 years in total.

Now I come to think of it, both the 1967 expansion teams (Sonics & Rockets) used green & gold as a colour scheme....

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Dallas - seem pretty happy with the navy but I can see them adding green as an homage, but not returning to royal blue

i'm not the biggest mavs or basketball fan, but i'm pretty sure they already went back to royal blue this year didn't they?

adidas-Revolution-30-Now-967P.jpg

I wouldn't consider that royal blue, but rather light blue. This is royal blue:

S_2.jpg

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Dallas - seem pretty happy with the navy but I can see them adding green as an homage, but not returning to royal blue

i'm not the biggest mavs or basketball fan, but i'm pretty sure they already went back to royal blue this year didn't they?

adidas-Revolution-30-Now-967P.jpg

I wouldn't consider that royal blue, but rather light blue. This is royal blue:

S_2.jpg

The original Mavericks' Blue was pretty dark:

DallasMavericksBlue_2001_SOL_SRGB.png

vs. the current "Light Royal":

DallasMavericksLightRoyal_9999_SOL_SRGB.png

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I think you will always have forward-thinking franchises who will constantly want to be on the cutting edge... or... leading edge?

I think Denver, Houston, Sacramento, Dallas and Toronto are fairly happy with their current color schemes. I'm not sure all teams will go back to some of the original colors, but I think Hardwood Classics or vintage or throwback or whatever is here to stay. I think you can bet to see a lot of throwbacks every year. I just think its something fans AND players like.

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Dallas - seem pretty happy with the navy but I can see them adding green as an homage, but not returning to royal blue

i'm not the biggest mavs or basketball fan, but i'm pretty sure they already went back to royal blue this year didn't they?

adidas-Revolution-30-Now-967P.jpg

I wouldn't consider that royal blue, but rather light blue. This is royal blue:

S_2.jpg

The original Mavericks' Blue was pretty dark:

DallasMavericksBlue_2001_SOL_SRGB.png

vs. the current "Light Royal":

DallasMavericksLightRoyal_9999_SOL_SRGB.png

It must be my monitor, but that original mavs blue swatch looks navy, and definitely much darker then what I thought I'd remembered seeing them wearing back then. The nash picture looks about right to me. How much darker then is their current shade of navy?

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Remember that the Mavericks' original Blue swatch applies to printed colors. It's possible that the fabrics were a bit lighter.

Here's the "original" Blue:

DallasMavericksBlue_2001_SOL_SRGB.png

Here's the Navy they began using in the 2001-2002 season:

DallasMavericksNavy_2008_SOL_SRGB.png

It was slightly tweaked for the 2008-2009 season:

DallasMavericksNavy_9999_SOL_SRGB.png

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Let me give my own opinions as to which teams would revert and which wouldn't.

Dallas-They're an interesting case. I think for the most part, their current colors seem to be working for them, and they've been consistently competitive while wearing them, which has helped to cement the current scheme's "legacy". But judging by the fact that they've used some green as recently as '09, they still like to pay tribute to their past, and may continue to use smatterings of green in some capacity from time to time.

Denver-I hope they keep these specific shades of blue as opposed to going back to royal blue, which they used at two different times in the past. Having this color scheme sets them apart from the Warriors, who just switched back to royal and yellow. But yeah, as someone pointed out, the Nuggets had never really settled on a shade of blue anyway, having used navy a lot throughout their history as well, so there's a good chance they could just roll with these for a while.

Houston-I see them eventually making a switch back to red and gold full-time; it seems to me like their alt might be the first step in a slow re-introduction of it. Even though their uniforms included less and less yellow as time went on, it was still present in some form from the time they moved to Houston up until the second championship year, and was prominently featured in their old logos.

Memphis-Hard to say. It's actually fairly easy to see them going with a completely different color scheme next time they make a change, rather than returning to the turquoise, black, brown, and red (although I do miss those colors, which were very unique). They haven't done much of note wearing either set of colors, so presumably, nobody really grew attached to either of them.

Sacramento-The league doesn't need another red-white-blue team, and thankfully, I think this current scheme is more or less permanent for them. They've already had a lot of success wearing the purple, black, and silver, and their fans seem to have become really attached to these colors, which they've now worn in Sacramento for almost twice as long as the previous colors. Given the fact that they had so many years of mediocrity with the old colors and in the other cities they played in, I don't think anyone in the organization particularly misses the old gear.

Toronto-I do miss the purple, and I may be in the minority with that opinion. The organization, evidently, didn't care about it as much as I did. Would they ever bring it back? Depends how much the fans end up missing it. So far, it doesn't really seem like they do.

Utah-Yeah, Utah's starting to look like the Jazz of old again, but I'm not quite understanding why they didn't ditch navy and go back to the purple to make the circle complete. They wore purple for so long, even with their '96-'04 uni set, and I would have thought their fans would have grown more accustomed to it after all that time. Anybody know why they chose not to bring it back?

Washington-Yeah, I've heard that Leonsis is planning on bringing the old colors back (hopefully he restores the old name, too; it should never have been changed). As somebody mentioned in another thread, navy really should be used instead of the old shades of royal they had, firstly to help differentiate them from other clubs, and secondly to better approximate the colors of the American flag. Thing is, Leonsis ended up restoring red, white, and blue for the Capitals as well, and rather than use the royal blue of their past, he chose to use navy, so he might just do it again. We can only hope.

Chakfu mentioned that the Hawks seem more like a red/yellow (with or without black) team. Yes, they had those colors for a long time, but I would argue that it made sense for the Hawks to switch back to their St. Louis/early Atlanta color scheme, as those colors represent the last time the franchise was consistently a title contender (having won their only championship in '58). The Hawks could never make it to the finals in all the years they wore red, gold, and black (or blue, green, and white, for that matter), and couldn't even make it back to the conference finals after 1970 (the year that they dropped the navy-red-blue, coincidentally). That's not really a history that a team would want to celebrate or draw attention to.

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