Greetings, and happy Boxing Day! The NBA’s Christmas present to America was certainly better this year than in 2013 or ’12, but it was nonetheless a mixed bag. I’m not opposed to using first names as NOBs per se, and I’m not opposed to drop-down NOBs either (although both are obviously just “Because we can” gimmicks in this case), but those contrast-colored nameplates looked very high school, no? And as you can see in the photo above, the ’plates ran the full horizontal width of the jersey, even if the player’s name was only three or four letters long. Not an ideal look.
Still, some teams looked better than others. Let’s go one game at a time:
• Cavs (gold) vs. Heat (red): This game was color vs. color. ”¦ Heat from the front: Very nice. They seemed to have the best ratio of logo size to numeral size. ”¦ Heat from the back: Not so good. The nameplate looks extra-amateurish when it’s just black type of a white background. ”¦ Cavs from the front: Okay, I guess, but the logo and numbers both seemed to get swallowed up by gold background. ”¦ Cavs from the back: Not bad (and as you can see, the used a small cap for LeBron James’s “e”). ”¦ Does Cavs swingman Mike Miller keep rolling up his waistband, even on Christmas? Yup. ”¦ Here’s something you don’t often see: Shawn and Shawne NOBs on the court together. Also: The tag showing out the back of Miller’s waistband is embarrassing. Just rip that thing off, won’t you please? Also-also: Six players in that photo, with five of them wearing black tights.
• Wizards (red) vs. Knicks (white): Knicks from the front: I love that logo, but it doesn’t work when it’s that small. ”¦ Knicks from the back: Good contrast between the orange number and the blue ’plate — I like. ”¦ Wizards from the front: The Wiz uni felt distinct from everyone else’s yesterday, because they stuck with their stripe pattern. So even though they were going with the same logo/number format as everyone else, the overall effect was more like a standard alternate uni, not a “special event” uni. I like this a lot and could easily see them adopting it as an official alternate design. ”¦ Wizards from the back: Don’t like the combination of the navy panel above the number and the nameplate below.
• Thunder (blue) vs. Spurs (black): Another color-vs.-color game. ”¦ Thunder from the front: Never been fond of that logo, but it doesn’t look terrible in this design format. ”¦ Thunder from the back: Outlining the letters in orange would have helped. ”¦ Spurs from the front: Similar to their gray alternate. ”¦ Spurs from the back: As I mentioned earlier, black lettering on a white ’plate looks too plain.
• Bulls (red) vs. Lakers (white): Lakers from the front: Gotta say I like this — a lot. If they have to have a white uniform, I’d rather see this than their current Sunday white design. ”¦ Lakers from the back: Look how much better these NOBs can look if the letters are outlined! The whole thing pops so much more, has so much more pizzazz. Too bad the other teams didn’t do this. ”¦ Bulls from the front: Not awful, although the red bull’s head kinda blends in too much with the red background. ”¦ Bulls from the back: Good contrast between the black numbers and red lettering.
• Clippers (red) vs. Warriors (white): Clippers from the front: I’ve never liked this logo, and I’m not going to start now. ”¦ Clippers from the back: No contrast between numbers and letters + no outlining on the letters = snoozers. ”¦ Warriors from the front: Logo needed to be bigger. … Warriors from the back: Some outlining, on either the numbers or the letters, would have helped. ”¦ DeAndre Jordan got a small cap for the second letter of his NOB, just like LeBron did.
All in all, an interesting experiment. Maybe next year they’ll try something radical and just let the teams wear their regular uniforms.
PermaRec update: The latest entry on Permanent Record focuses on a Manhattan Trade School student who had a bit of a dental drama unfolding on her report card. Get the full story here.
’Skins Watch: I used to like David Letterman a lot — you know, a few decades ago, when he was still funny. But the dude’s been running on autopilot for ages and is way overdue for the glue factory. Latest evidence of this: He’s just now getting in on the “redskin potato” joke. Only about two years too late, Dave (from Clint Wrede).
College Football News: Here’s UNC’s costume for today’s bowl game. ”¦ Decent article on what Oregon players wear off the field. ”¦ The Adidas logo on Rice jerseys is normally white, but it was grey for a few players in Wednesday’s bowl game (from Jerry Lawless).
Hockey News: Nik Hjalmarsson of the Blackhawks wears clear plastic protectors over his skates. “I’ve never seen or noticed these before, but he does block an inordinate amount of shots, so maybe it’s to keep from breaking his feet,” says Tim E. O’Brien. ”¦ Good article about how the Capitals’ equipment manager is preparing for the upcoming Winter Classic (from David Goodfriend). … Lord of the Rings jerseys for the Bakersfield Condors (thanks, Phil). … A Saskatchewan teen-ageer has won tickets to the World Junior Hockey Championships by designing Team Canada’s helmets.
NBA News: In addition to yesterday’s special unis, there were also lots of Christmas-themed sneakers (thanks, Brinke). ”¦ Jeremy Lin gave his teammates a bunch of personalized headphones for Christmas. ”¦ If you think ugly sweaters are bad, check out the suit that Clippers C Spencer Hawes wore to the arena last night.
College Hoops News: Campbell University — home of the Fighting Camels! — has new uniforms, which were worn the other day as part of a very bold color-vs.-color game against UNC-Wilmington (from proud Campbell student Coley Thompkins). … SMU guard Keith Frazier tapes the shoulder straps on his jersey. I’ve asked the school what’s up with that — will advise (from Drew Arnson). ”¦ A photo that Under Armour is using for displays at sporting goods stores shows two players — one of whom is doing the waistband-roll thing (from Josh Nosalik).
Grab Bag: President Obama broke his self-imposed rule against donning headwear when he wore a Girl Scout tiara for a recent photo op. … Check it out: a gingerbread version of Fenway Park (thanks, Brinke). … Whoa, look at the crazy uniforms that will be worn by volunteers at next year’s ICC Cricket World Cup.