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Leak Hints at Mash-Up Unis for NBA’s 75th Anniversary

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The photo shown above is one of several images that were tweeted yesterday afternoon by the generally reliable @SunsUniTracker account, which got them from an anonymous source. It shows what appears to be a mash-up jersey incorporating elements from throughout the Suns’ uniform history.

Here’s a look at the back, plus two views of the shorts:

The design has so much razzle-dazzle that it’s easy to overlook the most interesting details, which are the maker’s marks and the NBA logos, both of which appear to have been rendered in a diamond/crystal pattern:

Why are those two details so interesting? Because next season will mark the NBA’s 75th anniversary — the diamond anniversary, get it?

Moreover, the jersey has No. 21 on the front and No. 22 on the back, suggesting that it’s for the 2021-22 season. Which is next season. Which is the 75th-anniversary season. Which is the diamond anniversary.

I think we can all see where this is heading.

So is this leak legit? @SunsUniTracker tells me that after he tweeted these photos yesterday, he heard from several additional sources who confirmed to him that the NBA is indeed planning a series of mash-up uniforms for next season, most likely as the league-wide theme for next year’s City alternates.

Of course, that’s just hearsay from my vantage point, so I checked yesterday with several sources of my own (including Igor Coelho, the guy who leaked most of the City alternates in October and November) but so far have not been able to independently verify this leak’s legitimacy. I’ll keep trying, but in any case it appears that the league and Nike are at least exploring this mash-up idea for next season.

Obviously, the last thing the NBA needs is more uniforms (more on that in a minute). But I have to admit, I kinda love the idea of a uniform based on previous uniforms. Very uni-meta! A lot of the designs will probably be train wrecks (plus I’m not sure what you do for teams like the Celtics and Bulls, whose uniforms have barely changed over the years and therefore don’t give you much to work with), but I bet they’ll be fun train wrecks.

In short: I don’t yet know if this leak is the real deal — but I hope it is.

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Quantity over quality: As I mentioned toward the end of today’s lede, the last thing the NBA needs is more uniforms. To put that statement in perspective, consider this: We are about to begin the fourth season of the NBA being outfitted by Nike. The graphic above, created by Casey Vitelli, shows what Casey says is every jersey that NBA teams have worn during those four seasons (including the new designs for the upcoming season, which obviously haven’t yet been worn but have been revealed). It really shows how bonkers the NBA uni situation has become in a very short time.

You can also see the jerseys for each individual team in this Twitter thread.

But to repeat: I’m still hoping that mash-up uni program is the real deal.

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Sign of the times: Here’s a stat we wouldn’t have had in any year prior to this one: Syracuse basketball coach Jim Boeheim is the presumptive NCAA leader in mask designs this season, having worn five different ones in the team’s first five games.

(My thanks to Michael Hochman for this one.)

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Too good for the Ticker (football version): The video above shows the intro for the AFL Game of the week (which I believe was broadcast by NBC, although the footage doesn’t specify the network). The first 28 seconds feature highlights from an AFL All-Star Game, presumably from the previous season. Not sure I’ve ever seen video of that before!

The rest of the video clip is worthwhile, too. Great stuff!

(My thanks to @tierknala for this one.)

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Too good for the Ticker (hockey version): What’s better than Cooperalls? Cooperalls with lightning bolts on the sides! That’s what the OHL’s Guelph Platers wore in the late 1980s. And the goalie’s Soo Greyhounds jersey is pretty great too!

(Big thanks to Wade Heidt for this one.)

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The Ticker
By Paul

’Skins Watch: How will longtime Washington Football Team fans feel about the loss of their old team name? A look at the situation at Miami of Ohio, which changed its team name from “Redskins” to “RedHawks” in 1997, provides a clue (WaPo link) (thanks, Jamie). … The teams at Glastonbury High School in Connecticut, which were previously called the Tomahawks, are now called the Guardians (from David Hirx). … Vancouver Canucks goalie Braden Holtby has apologized following criticism that his new mask design misappropriated First Nations art (from Moe Khan and Wade Heidt). … Pocatello High School in Idaho is changing its team name from “Indians” to “Thunder” (from @bivlo). … A professor of Indigenous history at the University of Manitoba in Canada says the NHL’s Vancouver Canucks should retire their orca logo because the design style is cultural appropriation, but a Salish chief says there’s no need for that (from Wade Heidt and Moe Khan). … Fresno High School in California has decided to keep “Warriors” as its team name but will drop the Native American imagery previously associated with it (from Kary Klismet). … Also from Kary: Good article in The New Republic about how Native-themed mascots took a big hit in 2020. … Yet another from Kary: While teams and organizations are cutting back on the use of Native imagery, the Sabattus Police Department in Maine has unveiled a new uniform patch featuring a stylized image of the Native American chief who’s the town’s namesake.

Working Class Wannabes™: VMI baseball coach Jonathan Hadra says one of his new assistant coach hires “brings a blue collar type work ethic to the program.” … A new Notre Dame football commit says he likes offensive line coach Jeff Quinn because “he’s a blue-collar person.” … Mississippi State RB Erroll Thompson says he’ll cherish his time at State because of “the grit here, the blue collar mentality.” … An article about a high school basketball game in Florida says that when these two particular schools face each other, “it is usually a knock-down, drag-’em-out, blue-collar affair.” Right, because everyone knows that blue collar workers routinely engage in fistfights. … An article about San Jose Sharks captains says Joe Pavelski, who was the team’s captain from 2015-19, “embodied the hard-working, blue-collar attitude the team seemed to want.” … The Appalachian State women’s basketball team is giving out “Hard Hat Awards” (from Timmy Donahue).

Baseball News: I still call it the Oakland Coliseum (from Timmy Donahue). … Ooooh, great footage of Giants P Christy Mathewson warming up at the Polo Grounds while wearing the team’s 1906 “World’s Champions” uni — and with a train going by in the background! (From Bruce Menard.) … A player in the Dominican Winter League has a triple-digit number! … New stars/stripes jersey for Campbellsville High School in Kentucky.

Pro Football News: New logo for the Flood City Thunder, a semi-pro team in Pennsylvania (from Timmy Donahue). … The CFL’s Toronto Argonauts’ new helmets, in addition to having a new primary logo, do not have a center stripe. “The previous helmets had a light-blue stripe,” notes Wade Heidt. … Here’s a 1960 shot of Washington DL John Paluck with a cross added to the front of his helmet (good spot by Joe Brooks).

College Football News: For every player who signed a letter of intent yesterday with SMU, the school posted a video of that player’s nameplate being sewn onto a jersey (from Timmy Donahue).

Hockey News: The Sabres are apparently bringing back last season’s 50th-anniversary uniform for this season. … NHL throwback jerseys are becoming a hot thing in streetwear fashion (WSJ/paywalled). … A man was arrested after stealing Sioux Falls Stampede uniforms from the team’s locker room and then giving them out to fans at a game. … New mask for Blues G Jordan Binnington (from Wade Heidt). … New logos for the National Women’s Hockey Players’ Association (from OlegKvasha).

Basketball News: In order to better promote international-born players Deni Avdija and Rui Hachimura, the Wizards have official Twitter accounts in both Hebrew and Japanese, respectively (from Mike Chamernik). … Cavs PF/C Larry Nance Jr. is asking fans to send him T-shirts and caps with the logos of local Cleveland businesses, which he will then wear when arriving at the arena for each game, plus he’ll auction off his game-worn jersey from each game and match the auction proceeds with a donation to the business he was repping that day (thanks to all who shared). … SMU women’s went BFBS at home yesterday, forcing ECU to wear white on the road.

Soccer News: Here’s a story about the guy who designed some of soccer’s wackiest theme kits. … Tuesday was the 30th anniversary of an English Division One game between Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur where City had to change at home in order to be visible in fog (thanks, Jamie). … New home shirt for Irish club Bohemian (from Ed Zelaski). … Qatar has unveiled images of the newly-finished Al Rayyan Stadium, one of seven new stadiums being built for the 2022 World Cup (from Kary Klismet). … Everton MF André Gomes’s NOB had a grave accent instead of an acute accent yesterday (from @dale_roots).

Grab Bag: Police say a suspect in Everett, Wash., porch pirate thefts used an Amazon uniform to pass as a delivery driver (from Timmy Donahue). … New cycling jerseys for the Trek-Segafredo men’s and women’s teams and AG2R La Mondiale. … An Air Force staff sergeant is turning old Air Force uniforms into holiday wreaths. … More Japanese high schools are going with genderless uniforms to meet the needs of LGBT students. … On top of everything else, 2020 may go down as the year that ruined logo design. … New logo and seal on the way for Arlington County, Va. (from William Yurasko) … An LGBTQ-owned clothing brand has denounced the domestic terrorist group the Proud Boys for wearing the company’s kilts as a de facto uniform (from Kary Klismet). … Nice story here: Wade Ford designed these tickets for various games that he attended with his son. ” It started when we took him to a Falcons/Saints game as an early Christmas present one year,” says Wade. “The tickets were the print-at-home kind, and we didn’t want to give him just a sheet of paper, so I started making these every time we go to a game.” … The U.S. Army has created its own Covid mask, which will be issued to new soldiers in 2021 (from Germán Cabrejo). … A viral tweet is providing countless people with a new “can’t un-see it” take on the KFC logo.

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What Paul did last night: We had our first winter storm of the season yesterday, which resulted in the first-ever snow edition of Pandemic Porch Cocktails™. As you can see, the storm was still in its early stages when we sat down, although it got a lot more serious as the night went on. We woke up this morning to about eight inches.

Instead of our usual libations, we decided that the snow provided the perfect juncture for me to make my annual batch of Irish cream for the holidays. After all these years, most of you know the drill: a pint of Irish whisky; a pint of heavy cream; a can of sweetened condensed milk; a tablespoon of chocolate syrup; a teaspoon of vanilla extract; a quarter-teaspoon of almond extract; and a teaspoon of instant espresso powder dissolved in two tablespoons of hot water. Combine, mix well, serve over ice, and thank me later.

It turned out to be the ideal cocktail for a snowy day:

Afterward, we went inside and roasted a chicken, which seemed like the right meal for a cold, snowy day:

As always, you can see the full set of daily Pandemic Porch Cocktails™ photos — now 275 of them — here.

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Tomorrow: The annual year-end raffle! Let’s hope there’s no breaking uni news to conflict with it.

Comments (65)

    Let’s not forget that Nike actually did away with sleeves and Christmas jerseys, too. This is not to say they’ve shown restraint, just to point out they theoretically even could have added more.

    Part of what makes the NBA’s most beloved figures of its golden age memorable is the fact its so easy to picture the greats in one of two uniforms: Jordan, Magic, Bird, et al. What will be the uniform we associate with LeBron? The Cavs’ navy blue … maybe? Or the Heat’s black uni? He’s worn so darn many, it’s difficult to picture him in just one for any team, which kind of muddies your memories of him on the whole.

    At some point, you begin to wonder if this is doing the game a disservice. It lacks permanence. It makes it feel disposable, inconsequential. Those aren’t positive descriptors.

    I agree.

    There’s something special about a team that can keep a unified look across generations. Even the Lakers, who keep changing all the details every couple years, managed to look pretty consistent from Wilt to Kobe and beyond.

    Are there people who actually buy basketball vests like they do football jerseys? This seems to be rat hole of a financial loss if Nike is making/shipping all these versions of vests.

    Great clip of the AFL Game of the Week, and it was televised on NBC, as they had the rights at the time Miami came in. That said, it’s taken from the league’s syndicated show, which served as a competitor to the NFL Game of the Week. The league also had its own highlight show as well, and many of them can been seen on YouTube itself. Hope this helps, and thanks Paul! Happy Holidays, sir!

    Interesting to see George Wilson, Jr. not have Jr. on his jersey, although he did have his first initial on it (even though I don’t find another Wilson on the Miami roster in 1966…)

    Weren’t the AFL’ s NOB standards a bit more relaxed?
    Edward McDaniel was allowed to use a nickname as a member of the Jets and Dolphins, so maybe Wilson’s FIOB was just his preference?

    I love the rear number treatment on the Green Sox jerseys.

    Looks like the stock game footage was taken at Wrigley Field Los Angeles.

    Chicken looks scrumptious. Does President Caitlin get a portion as a treat? Regards, The Frank Felines

    She doesn’t like human food! We’ve tried everything — chicken, shrimps, salmon, etc. — not interested!

    I guess that’s why they make cat food.

    Our (relatively) new kitten (now approx 6-7 months) Olaf thinks he’s a dog (or maybe was one in a previous life!) He’s already stolen chicken nuggets from unsuspecting people. We did give him a treat on Thanksgiving and gave him some of the Turkey, he loved that!

    I didn’t necessarily love the old Ag2R kit, but it was a visible part of the peloton for a long time. This is a big change, and not really a good one.

    I agree, don’t like this much, and I actually kind of liked their prior iterations. I think brown and blue do work together well, so I think I like them for their potential to look good

    Paul I wanted to ask this for some time… Will there be another Round of Question Time soon? I always enjoy this.

    I’ve been coming to Uni Watch every morning for 11 years and some of your traditions Paul have started to become little checkmarks on the way to the holidays. Hung up the mistletoe? Check. Got the uniform cookie delivery? Check. Posted and shared the homemade Irish cream recipe? Check. I’m looking forward to seeing what you’ve gathered for the raffle this year!

    Is that a typo in the Christy Mathewson ticker item, or did the uniform really say “World’s Champsions?” I can’t stop the GIF to read it clearly enough.

    Not meaning to be that guy, but I think the proposition is the misspelling of the word “Champions” as “Champsions.” Extra “s” in the middle and like that there.

    “Qatar has unveiled images of the newly-finished Al Rayyan Stadium, one of seven new stadiums being built for the 2022 World Cup.”

    Nothing on how many poorly paid laborers died building it?

    “And the goalie’s Soo Greyhounds jersey is pretty great too!”

    A great feature about those jerseys? The stars on the back in the spot where nameplate would be:


    Definitely a lot. Not as much as this one though :)


    Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds only 4 stars on the uniform now.


    I liked when the Greyhounds used to wear stars down the sides of the pants but they don’t do that anymore.

    Henrik Lundqvist will not be playing this season for the Capitals.

    As a Rangers and hockey fan, he made the right choice but I wish he could have gone out a better way (and yes, his health is number one).

    Does this classify as a person who was supposed to wear the jersey and never really did (he was to wear 35)

    Wasn’t NFL Films producing the AFL “GOTW”/ highlight shows under the “AFL Films” banner by 1966? Recall Steve Sabol talking of the AFL Films jackets his crews wore during the “Full-Color Football” show 20 years ago or so

    Have the Chargers released any information regarding which uniform they will be wearing for tonight‘s game?

    Okay googled it. Looks like all white..yawners. Has covid ruined the age old no white after labour day rule? Et tu covid? Et tu Chargers?
    Chargers uniforms tonight look as bad as the Rams, especially against the Raiders timeless classic.

    RE: Braden Holtby and the Canucks. His situation with the mask has restarted a discussion about the Orca logo of the Canucks being appropriated without consent as well.


    Sorry about that. I read the Holtby entry and missed the other one. I need to relearn my speed reading…

    Despite the accusation recently brought up, a lot of Canucks fans have been wanting to see the Orca logo retired anyway for a long time for other reasons.

    The whole mishegoss could have been avoided had Holtby hired an Indian artist to decorate his mask.

    While we’re on the subject, has Uni-Watch ever discussed the subject of other misappropriated artwork, like the Kachina-themed Coyote uniforms, and the bird on the side of the Seahawks’ helmet? The reason I bring this up is the U. of Alaska Anchorage Seawolves, and the Seattle Thunderbirds don’t seem to fall under the same scrutiny. Did they think ahead and hire Indian artists and designers? I have been playing with Indian Navajo-blanket patterns in a sketch of some new Arizona Diamondback uniforms; nobody could blame an amateur tinkerer for playing with Indian themes, but when the relationship is a professional one, is it a moral imperative to defer to Indian artists?


    “The mask bore an undeniable resemblance to the 1976 logo; the Seahawks later unearthed a 1975 Seattle PI article in their archives, in which Seahawks General Manager John Thompson identified the mask as THE definitive inspiration for the Hawks’ logo.”


    “The Seattle Thunderbirds were originally named the Breakers. Seattle resides at the south end of Puget Sound, which is a long channel of ocean water—not an open ocean, therefore no real “breakers” happen. They changed the name in 1984 to honour the local indigenous community. The logo is of a local carving of a thunderbird with two hockey sticks. This brand hardly marginalizes or caricaturizes the local Chehalis, Nooksack or Makah people, but associates the brand to their physical location.”

    Prior to team and city officials revealing the branding in a five-hour ceremony on April 8, 1996 at America West Arena in Phoenix, the designs were brought before Hopi leadership by the NHL, which was in line with league policy at the time.


    “Haney remembers it being a smooth process and that Hopi officials were “more than fine” with the logo, but the initial reception by fans was mixed when the world got its first glimpse at the Kachina coyote.”

    Cool. Makes me wonder if the Spokane Indians, who have a thriving relationship with the Spokane Nation, draw a pass in the movement to drop all references to Native Americans. I think such a move would be throwing out the baby with the bathwater.

    I will be forever thankful for that Bailey’s recipe, Paul. It’s a holiday tradition now, and my family and friends all ask me when I’m making it. Gotta do home deliveries this year.

    The recipe belongs in Culinary Corner, not WPDLN ;)
    Your “Derby” Pie has got to be a close second!

    Same here…I make batches every year around Christmastime and gift it to neighbors. I owe a measure of my popularity on the block to Paul.

    Great WaPo article about the Miami RedHawks. I’m a 1993 Miami of Ohio grad and there were murmurs of the name change while I attended. Murmurs only, because as soon as the volume rose above that, there was SO MUCH SHOUTING against it. Bringing up the possibility of committing an actual murder would have caused far less anger than bringing up the possibility of changing the nickname.

    Of course while I was there, Miami was known mostly for its B-school and consequently was a very, very conservative place. It’s located in the hinterlands outside Cincinnati, which is itself a very, very conservative place. When I went to Miami, there was at least one KKK rally in Oxford (the town Miami is located in) that I can recall, and in Cincy, the police arrested the curator of the art museum on grounds of obscenity for its Robert Mapplethorpe exhibit. It’s a big reason I fled Ohio as soon as I could.

    I feel like a counterexample to Miami of Ohio is Marquette, where it seems like there’s still a vocal contingent who wants Warriors, inclusive of a healthy amount of the student body (though I think the numbers have dwindled as we’ve cleared out any students alive the last time the name was in place).

    There are mitigating factors with Marquette, though, in comparison: Marquette pulls a lot students who had other, older family members attend Marquette, and surely those family members are influential in their opinions. Also, the legend of Al McGuire and the 1977 team still looms huge, and the fact the name, Warriors, theoretically could be repurposed to be non-native, a la Golden State. The problem isn’t so much with the name itself as the imagery Marquette used surrounding it, which is difficult to uncouple.

    I’ve remarked the worst possible thing that could happen for Marquette would be for the Washington Football Team to decide Warriors is an acceptable replacement for their previous name. A stunning amount of hell will break loose in Milwaukee if that happens.

    I wonder why the Golden State Warriors seem to consistently get a pass on their name. There’s a historic use of Native American imagery in their logo.

    And if Marquette had done that, instead of adopting the fairly bland “Golden Eagles”, they’d be fine today.

    I don’t know any Marquette alumni who are particularly attached to the Native profile logo. But I do know a fair number who want the name back.

    Didn’t I read the objection to the “Warriors” moniker was in part due to the Catholic order running the school finding the term too bellicose, and at odds with their mission of peace?

    I don’t think that had much to do with it.

    There was a piece here a while back that talked about how heavily the imagery leaned into the stereotypes, then about how, when they tried to balance the name and imagery with actual traditions of local tribes, it got ugly when the fans did things like out-and-out boo an actual Native American portraying a mascot. It would be hard to go back to the old name without many seeing it as a conditional acceptance of the old practices, which they don’t want to do.

    Furthermore, I disagree with the above that folks aren’t attached to the logo. I attended a healthy amount of Marquette games in normal times, and I not only saw a good amount of Warriors gear with the profile, there were even some folks with “new” gear featuring the even more over-the-top older “Willie Wampum” mascot and wordmark. There was often at least one student wearing a Burger King kid’s crown-like cardboard headdress with blue-and-gold feathers in the student section for many years. I do get the sense that Marquette doesn’t want those folks to feel like they “won.”

    As it may be in these times, some might be for the old name partially just to be contrarian, as much of Marquette’s student body tends to align with a segment of society that has embraced being contrarily PC merely for the sake of being contrarian, or to show power, or whatever. But I think the desire to at some point return has slowly faded. For now.

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