NBA silly season is upon us, as teams rush to release
the new retail slop in time for the holidays their latest alternate uniforms. Here’s what’s gone down in the past 24 hours (for most of these photos, you can click to enlarge):
• The Mavericks officially released their garish graffiti-styled design, confirming previous retail leaks (additional info, uni schedule, and matching court design here):
As awful as this uniform is, it’s still better than any non-Mavs uni in the league, because Dallas is currently the NBA’s only ad-free team. Go Mavs!
• 76ers prexy Chris Heck revealed the team’s latest alternate:
— Chris Heck (@chrisheck76) November 19, 2019
A more formal unveiling is expected sometime today.
• The Nuggets released their latest rainbow-themed design, confirming a leak from earlier this week (additional info, photos, and uni schedule here):
— Denver Nuggets (@nuggets) November 20, 2019
• Mere hours after I said that the Brewers’ use of Cream City references was fast becoming a Milwaukee sports cliché, this Bucks leak began circulating:
The script appears to be based on the Milwaukee power tools logo. I strongly suspect that the blue piping on the collar and armholes will be cited as a salute to Milwaukee’s “blue collar” work ethic (why stop at one cliché when you can invoke another one?), but I’d love to be proven wrong.
• The latest “Lakers Lore” design leaked. This one is for Shaq — that’s his signature at the bottom, and I’m told that the “M.D.E.” stamped into the white side trim is for “Most Dominant Ever”:
— Rafal Niewiadomski (@niewiadomski51) November 20, 2019
• A new Raptors design leaked:
Leaked Toronto Raptors City Edition Jerseys 🔥🔥 pic.twitter.com/Vk5b6jIVv2
— clear eyes, bad takes (@bobbyboxscore) November 20, 2019
• The Cavs are supposed to unveil their latest alternate tomorrow, but something appears to have leaked:
— Grant Puskar (@grantpuskar_) November 19, 2019
• The Kings posted a teaser for their new alternate. Look like it’ll be red:
While the sleeps… pic.twitter.com/Dbcokmaenk
— Sacramento Kings (@SacramentoKings) November 20, 2019
• The Timberwolves announced that they’ll be unveiling their latest alternate this morning.
I’ll add it to this post once it’s been revealed. And here it is:
The Timberwolves City Edition uniforms are here. pic.twitter.com/PQGriRr0KP
— Danny Cunningham (@RealDCunningham) November 20, 2019
• The Wizards will also unveil today.
Again, I’ll add the design to this post once it goes public. And here it is:
— Auztin Rozebeezy (@realRosebud) November 20, 2019
Most of these designs are empty calories — the uniform equivalent of junk food. But if you want something more substantive, two very interesting articles on NBA uniforms were published in the past couple of days. The first one is about why the Lakers keep wearing purple instead of yellow at home. The short version: Other teams are wearing their dark colors at home, which is forcing the Lakers to wear yellow on the road, so they have to wear purple at home or else the league will get upset with them.
Key passage: “The only requirement is that teams wear their Icon and Association Edition uniforms 10 times each, their Statement Edition uniforms six times and their City or Classic Edition uniforms three times. … Teams and the league would like to see all four uniforms get exposure so fans will go out and purchase them.”
The other interesting article is about how the Pistons may bring back their teal uniforms as a throwback design — but not until 2022. Why the long wait? Get this:
In looking at the Pistons’ available options, the NBA mandates that they could use teal as a Hardwood Classics [uniform], which can be in five-year intervals of a franchise anniversary. The next one is three years away, so fans will have to wait for the 80th anniversary of the Fort Wayne Zollner Pistons’ start in the National Basketball League.
“Our first opportunity would be the 2022-2023 season, because it would be the 80th anniversary of 1941. If we wanted to bring back some variation of the teal as a city edition, the league doesn’t let you do that,” [Pistons exec Jason] George said. “You can’t bring back portions of a retro uniform; you can only bring it back in its original form as part of Hardwood Classics.
“You have to apply. When it’s an anniversary year, if the league accepts your application, you can pretty much use any uniform from your history that you want to honor.”
I was not aware of this rule restricting throwbacks to five-year-increment anniversaries. Seems absurd, no? (I also was not aware that 2022-23 will somehow be the 80th anniversary of 1941, but maybe it involves a time-warp or a wormhole or something.)
Anyway: Both of those articles are definitely worth reading — recommended.
(My thanks to Etienne Catalan, Aaron Cohn, Mario Garcia, Andrew Lacy, Mina Mikhael, Tim Myer, @huskiesNBA, @SacKings_Unis, and @tacojayfor3 for their contributions to this section.)
ITEM! NYT raffle: My New York Times account comes with a bonus digital subscription, which the Tugboat Captain uses. But I’ve just learned that it also comes with a second bonus digital subscription (it’s not clear to me if this is a new thing or if it’s always been the case and I just didn’t realize it), and I’ve decided to raffle off the second one to a Uni Watch reader — a way to give the gift of journalism. My thought is that I’ll give it to someone for six months, then raffle it off to someone else for another six months, and so on.
Obviously, I can’t control who enters this raffle. But if possible, I’d like the digital access to go to someone who wants to read the Times but doesn’t have the financial resources to do so. Please take that into account when deciding whether you’ll enter.
This will be a one-day raffle. To enter, send an email to the raffle address by 8pm Eastern tonight. One entry per person. I’ll announce the winner tomorrow.
Meanwhile, speaking of raffles, the two winners of yesterday’s membership raffle are Mike Rosenberg and Bryan Stroud. Congrats to them, and big thanks to reader David Cline for sponsoring their memberships. We’ll have more raffles coming soon.
LAST CALL for the hoops gear: Today is the final day for you to get your order in for Uni Watch basketball jerseys and shorts (which I’m sure is a relief to everyone who’s sick of these daily reminders). As always, you can customize the number and NOB on the jerseys. Full details here.
By Lloyd Alaban
Baseball News: Here are one writer’s picks for 12 MLB uniforms that need to come back. Fair warning, there’s a Turn Ahead the Clock entry in there (from our own Brinke Guthrie). … The Swift Current Broncos — that’s a major junior hockey team in the WHL — will wear uniforms this week honoring the Swift Current 57’s, a member of the collegiate summer Western Canadian Baseball League (from Wade Heidt).
NFL News: It looks like Saturday Night Live outfitted cast member Kenan Thompson in a Browns jersey to spoof DE Myles Garrett that had an incorrect No. 5 on it (from Jeff Moulden). … NHRA Top Alcohol driver Chris Demke uses a Chargers-themed racing helmet (from David Firestone).
College Football News: New unis for NIU. Here’s a closer view (from Andrew Quinn and Joe Duider) … Those new NIU unis looked particularly brutal — and illegible — in last night’s game against EMU. Here are more pics (from Burrill Strong). … The helmet history tour with Blaise D’Sylva continues in the MAC with Ohio University. … Colorado is retiring and replacing Ralphie V, its current live buffalo mascot, because she’s too fast for her handlers when leading the football team onto the field (from Kary Klismet).
Hockey News: Hockey Canada is dropping “midget” and other traditional minor hockey group names (from Wade Heidt). … Also from Wade (and cross-listed from the baseball section): The Swift Current Broncos of the WHL will wear uniforms this week honoring the Swift Current 57’s, a member of the collegiate summer Western Canadian Baseball League. … Camo-themed unis for Georgia men’s club team this week.
NBA News: F Carmelo Anthony will wear No. 00 with the Blazers, who already had PG Damian Lillard wearing No. 0. Yes, that’s allowed, and no, it’s not the first time it’s happened, as Paul broke down earlier this year. … The rock band Tool’s drummer wore a custom Sixers jersey when they played in Philadelphia this week (from Michael Barkann). … The Wisconsin Herd, D-League affiliate of the Bucks, will wear four different uniforms based on four different old Bucks uniforms (from Norb Rozek). … Celtics G Jayson Tatum has consistently been wearing his socks inside-out (from @mt_vern).
College and High School Hoops News: Here’s an oddity: Nicholls State’s front numbers are significantly larger than their back numbers (from @cbatz2). … New throwbacks for GCU men’s. … Sleeves last night for Detroit Mercy men’s (from Jacob Johnston). … The players for Jonesboro High School in Georgia all wear “Family” as their NOB. Fern Creek High in Louisville, Ky., does the same thing, but a bit more flamboyantly (from Mike Raymer and Matt Fowler, respectively).
Soccer News: FC Cincinnati released a teaser for their home kit (from Ben Field). … An Irish boys and girls soccer club is poaching the MLS’s old logo (from John Flory). … Real Monarchs SLC of the USL Championship, the reserve team of Real Salt Lake, has added a star to their logo to reflect their recent title (from Josh Hinton). … As always, you can follow the latest kit news by following Josh’s Twitter feed. … Coventry City has received permission to wear their “2 Tone” third kit a few more times (from @karateboogaloo).
Grab Bag: The NASCAR Truck series is getting a new logo next season (from @waynetm41). … Cross-listed from the NFL section: NHRA Top Alcohol driver Chris Demke uses a Chargers-themed racing helmet (from David Firestone). … Interesting cultural analysis of the uniform (WaPo link) worn at yesterday’s House impeachment hearings by witness Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman (from our own Anthony Emerson). … Tokyo’s National Stadium, the venue that will host the Opening and Closing Ceremonies (among other events) for next year’s Olympics, has finished construction (from Kary Klismet). … FedEx is taking one of the National Zoo’s pandas back to China in a plane with a panda-themed livery. If you’re super curious, you can track the flight (from our own Jamie Rathjen). … New kit for Carlton of the Australian Football League (from Ewan Williams). … Military veteran Timmy Donahue says a recent episode of the TV show Chicago P.D. showed police officers wearing military ribbons instead of Chicago police ribbons.
Tomorrow (I hope): The Bucs-redesign contest results. See you then. — Paul