Back in late September, Nike revealed alternate Statement uniforms for all of the teams in the NBA. While many sports fans here in North America may associate special uniforms on Thanksgiving with the NFL, the NBA decided to throw a wrinkle into things by having most of the league debut their Statement uniforms for their holiday weekend games.
Perhaps the highest-profile game of the weekend happened in Oakland, which is where both the Golden State Warriors and the New Orleans Pelicans took to the court wearing their Statement uniforms. In this brave new world of Nike being the NBA’s uniform supplier, color-on-color matchups are no longer a rarity but almost an expectation on certain nights. What made the night special is the fact that the Warriors had a special logo at center court for the occasion.
The Warriors will presumably keep on utilizing the special Town logo at center court whenever they wear their statement uniforms. Meanwhile, this wasn’t the only time where we were treated to seeing New Orleans in red. In fact, they broke out the uniforms for their game against the Phoenix Suns, who also decided to wear their black Statement uniforms.
The Warriors and Suns were not the only team to debut alternate black jerseys over the weekend. The Bucks, Bulls, Cavaliers, Celtics, Magic and Rockets also took to the court in their new black uniforms. Personally, I’d say that the Magic came out of this with the best-looking Statement uniform, as they’ve started to benefit from replacing white pinstripes on their black uniforms with blue pinstripes.
On the other hand, the team who came out of this black sector of uniforms looking the worst would have to be the Cavaliers. It was going to be tough to somehow find a a way to come up with a uniform that rivaled their black sleeved alternates from the Adidas days in terms of ugliness, but the Cavaliers managed to choose an alternate design that is on the same level as that one, and not in a good way. The color black might be associated with the franchise’s greatest moment but it would be nice to see the Cavaliers stick to wine-and-gold.
Meanwhile, other teams across the league chose to use this opportunity to add a splash of color to their uniform routine. The Jazz and Pacers both took to the court wearing very bright shades of yellow, the Hornets re-introduced purple into their uniform mix, the Grizzlies, Mavericks, Thunder and Wizards went with differing shades of blue, the Knicks broke out their “fauxback” look and the Hawks brought back their red jerseys from recent seasons past.
Even though I’m not a fan of the back of the jersey, I have to give credit to the Thunder for choosing an alternate uniform that actually surpasses their regular uniform set. Granted, that was a very low bar to clear when compared to their Association and Icon uniforms but it’s still a uniform that is relatively easy on the eyes.
A few teams still have yet to break out their Statement uniforms. Personally, I’m looking forward to seeing the Minnesota Timberwolves try their hardest to burn a hole into your retinas with their blindingly-green Statement uniforms. It may not be everyone’s favorite uniform but I predict that it will be the most talked-about uniform once it finally makes its appearance on the court.
Still, you also have to give credit to Nike for turning the rollout of these uniforms into a big deal. From the initial reveal back in September to the calculated on-court debut from this past Holiday weekend, the presentation was well done and it’ll be interesting to see how Nike and the NBA continue to go about uniform unveilings in the future.
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