The Nets today became the latest NBA team to unveil a Statement alternate — and the statement appears to be, “We’ve run out of design ideas.”
The new uni features plain black-on-black typography and that’s about it. Here are the shorts and a rear view of the jersey:
We already know from the NBA’s infamous “Big Color” program that tone-on-tone uniforms don’t work, because it’s hard to make out the typography on the court. But this design, like most NBA uniforms these days, wasn’t created for the court; it was created for retail. The Nets aren’t even trying to come up with a “storytelling” rationale for this one — they’re just saying, “Black-on-black: the uniform of Brooklynites.” Uh, if you say so.
And so it goes.
I thought the Biggie Smalls jerseys were for Brooklynites! I max out at $7 on buying tank tops!
Every NBA uniform release makes me happier and happier that I stopped watching years ago.
Blame this on Nike, not on the NBA
There’s plenty of blame to go around. The NBA entrusted the on-court visual look of its $10B product with a company known for making awful uniforms.
For lack of a better description, there’s a grimness to the Nets’ overall look that is simply depressing. -C.
What does lame uniforms have to do with “not watching anymore”? The on-floor product is the best its ever been.
I stopped watching when they added Uniform ads. Just putting my viewing dollar where my mouth is.
I haven’t watched NHL since they added helmet ads, and I won’t watch MLB next year.
If the NFL puts ads on game jerseys, I won’t watch their games either.
Feel free to disagree with my opinion, but I have publicly claimed for years that I won’t watch sports with ads on uniforms, and I will continue to stand by that.
I disagree with this statement.
Just sign off on the post with “Get Off My Lawn.” The Brooklyn Iteration of the Nets has embraced Black and White as a core part of OUR identity and this is just another play off of that. When they venture too far off and grasp onto some pop culture reference related directly or tangentially to Brooklyn (or insert city name here) that’s problematic as well, make your mind up. New ownership has rightfully emphasized the “Nets” nickname being featured more prominently on the jerseys and All Black Everything was popularized by original Brooklyn Nets brand ambassador Jay-Z, so here we are leaning into that without much pretense. I like it, embrace it and will be draped it all black supporting Deez Nets as I typically am on game days, back at the intersection of Flatbush and Atlantic Avenues once the drama-filled ‘22-‘23 Nets season commences in a few weeks.
I do enjoy your content and have enjoyed it for many many years, but take a break from being a Uni-Curmudgeon for a bit Paul.
1) I’ve been rooting for the Nets since 1974 and living in Brooklyn since 1987, so I’d say I have some cred on this topic.
2) In any case, here’s how it works: When I think something is good, I say, “That’s good!” When I think something sucks, I say, “That sucks!” Simple as that. Never trying to be a curmudgeon or a cheerleader. Just giving my honest opinion. Your mileage may vary and all that.
I can appreciate that Paul, but as a reader sometimes it feels that you are more inclined to dislike anything that is too contemporary. With that being said, uniform aesthetics are entirely subjective and we all receive different designs differently. Despite immediately loving the black and white color scheme and logos, I always felt the OG Brooklyn Nets uniforms were too plain, basic and sterile. I’ve greatly appreciated how they have since explored different variations of black and white (and grayscale) since the Nike uniform contract began and have also found ways to incorporate splashes of color and legacy designs into all the numerous uniform programs with marketing gone wild identifiers that change annually or biannually.
I really wish they would have a white based city edition at some point that uses a Brooklyn Dodger style script don’t with Brooklyn or Nets across the front in black lettering. A script Nets design would also harken back to early NJ era Nets designs as well and would be really dope.
Font* not don’t. Sorry.
I am not going to assume why Paul dislikes this, but I can point a couple of reasons why one would dislike this.
1. There is no point to this uniform. That is to say the Nets already have black with white trim uniforms. What is the purpose of this uniform? It is one thing if a team has an alternate uniform that is the same basic color(s) as the standard, when, for instance, said alternate is a throwback. But the critique here is that there is nothing particularly innovative or noteworthy about the design. It is a simple black uniform, which they already have.
2. Aside from it being pointless from a variety or something new standpoint, the tone on tone graphics make it pretty illegible except for up close. If it is difficult to see your design, that is a failure.
In short, the uniform, and the Nets going with a simple black and white identity, are not themselves completely awful. But as an alternate uniform in a league that pumps out multiple new alternates for each team, each year, it is emblematic of the diminishing returns when you prioritize quantity or quality (as well as merch sales over on court continuity and identity).
Agreed! Seems some of these guys will just complain no matter what anyone does (heaven forbid anyone ever wear black or gray *eye roll*). I actually like these mostly. Don’t really understand that skinny white stripe on only one side, but overall looks great.
The singular white stripe bothers me as well!
Well, it’s not a singular stripe of white per se, it’s the demarcation of a side panel; the side panel also appears to have some inverted “v” shape pattern as well, although it’s hard to tell as it’s basically the same color as the jersey.
That not a V, Not a chevron per se, but a herringbone pattern. Almost all Nets uniforms have it some form or fashion since they moved to BK in 2012.
Ah, thanks. It was very difficult to make out in that photo.
There are also three stars, all blacked out, just underneath the players left armpit within that side panel area. A call back to their 70’s area jerseys.
Not sure why any of these details weren’t discussed or pointed out in a critical overview of the jersey, as opposed to chalking these up as “Bottom of Creative Barrel”
Sure, not the best jerseys by any means, but there are talking points that could have be noted.
Not sure why any of these details weren’t discussed or pointed out in a critical overview of the jersey
They weren’t addressed because they’re just retail gimmicks that will be invisible on the court (as you yourself noted, they’re blacked out) and thus have zero bearing on what any of us will see while watching these uniforms during a game. Do they matter from a merch perspective? I’m sure they do, at least to some people. But I write about uniforms, not merchandise. And from a *uniform* perspective, those details are moot because they won’t be visible on the court.
Similarly, I never write about slogans on the inner collar or down by the jocktag, because those aren’t visible during a game either — they’re just retail gimmickry. Sometimes they’re clever, sometimes they’re cringey, but they’re of no concern to me one way or the other.
But it has a line going down it – (or up, depending on your perspective).
I’m not familiar with who the “Webull” is on the ad patch, but I’m just going to pretend it means that when someone makes contact with a Nets player, they’ll wobble, but they won’t fall down. Unfortunately, that’d probably reduce the number of foul calls they draw.
Nets have already done the black thing and it’s a thousand times nicer than this dud. Too many uniform sets in the league to begin with.
I’m a Nets fan going back to 1971 when Marty Glickman and Bob Gibson would call games on WPIX ch11. Rick Barry and coach Lou. This uniform look like summer league uniforms.
The Nets should always have at least one uni option that just says “Nets”. I know quite a few in city that love the Nets but, because they’re from the Bronx, Queens wherever, they’d never wear a “Brooklyn” jersey.
Actually, they already had one with the team name:
Well played, Mr. Lukas. Hard to top the classics.
So, the retail dog (continues to) wag the on-court tail? So what if they don’t have a “NETS” tank top for public consumption.
And, anyway, they do have their best ever uniform (jersey) coming back, so anyone who *has* to own fan gear (but doesn’t live in the boro) can just wear this: link
I thought they nailed it with the “Earned” edition, a few years back. With the “subway-style” numbers. link I wouldn’t loved to see these in regular rotation.
I think it looks good. I don’t understand what’s not to like about it.
BFBS – and by that I don’t mean black for black sake but bland for bland sake.
What’s not to like isn’t the question; what is there to like or to have any enthusiasm for is the question. Nothing that offensive there, but I for one can’t see anything to get excited about. Just some generic black with a bit of white jersey. I’m guessing the first draft of this didn’t say ‘NETS’ but ‘Insert Name Here’.
I agree that it seems very uninspired. Also, it’s eerily similar to the mid-90s set the Bucks wore.
Hahaha. It’s official…Nike has already run out of ideas. Didn’t take long.
This is what happens when you churn out new “city” or “statement” uniforms every season. Things get stale very quickly. Nike & the NBA have taken the fun out of uniform unveilings.
My brain wants to make sense of why this jersey is getting panned while their throwback which is equally devoid of visually creative elements but is actually off brand by using colors that are not part of the teams current identity is amazing, classic, etc…
But then I remind myself that:
A- aesthetics are entirely subjective.
B- I’m not keeping detailed receipts on who is saying what about each uni.
Therefore I must also keep in mind that this is a big community of opinionated people and not only do the dissenters tend to make the loudest most enthusiastic overtures, but we also tend to respond more vociferously to people we disagree with. So it may not be that anyone is being contradictory, contrarian, hypocritical, or unduly old-fashioned or progressive at all. It more likely is that – in the heat of the moment – I mostly remember the opinions of those that enthusiastically disagreed with my own opinion, whoever they are and whatever the subject matter was.
My opinion (FWIW) is that pretty much everything I’m seeing from the NBA uni-wise is fine but not great. It all generally smacks of laziness or haste (even when it’s a great throwback, it doesn’t take much to decide on something that already exists and is fondly remembered) with a few gems here and there. The whole NBA uni-verse would be vastly improved with more consideration of coherence and consistency in each team’s visual identity, and an adherence to an identity (for the sake of tomorrow’s nostalgia) for a little bit longer.
We come here because uni-aesthetics matter to us. We argue (debate?) because uni-aesthetics matter to us, but let’s not let any of this ruin our mood, because, to paraphrase Seinfeld, it’s just laundry.
My issue with Nike is that it’s like did anyone before release ask if some of these uniforms look good? Utah Miami San Antonio Denver PHX all look like comic books. It seems they are rolling these things out with abandon and no regard for how they look. Home and away and one alternate. That’s all we need.
Oh I’m with you there to a great extent. For me, I categorize a “bad” uni not so much as something that angers me though, as something that disappoints me. It’s a missed opportunity to do something better or to at least execute an idea better.
There’s no telling what will be reevaluated in the future and become classic or derided despite the reaction in the present day. I grew up in the 90s thinking those pistons, rockets, raptors, grizzlies, bucks, suns jerseys were awesome. Looking back I wish we could leave them in the past because they aren’t much but “comic book” costumes. So for me I just want teams to pick something and stick with it. I also believe that, if teams were inclined to keep a look for, let’s say ten years (and this goes for all sports), they’d try a little harder when they put something new out there. It also puts a real look on an era of a team for nostalgia’s sake.
The designers at Nike must be quiet quitting because no work was done here. Nike is trolling you.
For the “get off my lawn” crowd, this is not abstract art. Sometimes a design is just bad. This is not even that. It’s nothing. This is minimalism to the extreme. This is supposed to be a professional uniform. It looks like something meant to be worn to practice. It’s ridiculous but I’m old so what do I know, right? I’m sure that Nike will sell plenty of them, for some reason, and laugh all the way to the bank.
What are the odds that’s dude’s name is Brooklyn?
Are the rocking blue uniforms introduced last year coming back? If they are then I can live with this uninspired effort.
It’s like they went over to Walmart and picked up some black And-One black shorts and then went to a local t-shirt shop and matched them with some sleeveless t’s. Hell, I could have done that.