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Lakers, Wolves, Hornets, Magic All Unveil New Statement Alternates

NBA teams continue to add Statement uniforms at a dizzying pace. Here are the four teams that unveiled new designs yesterday (or at least the four that I’m aware of!).

Lakers

Such a lazy, pointless design. You can almost feel them looking at the previous Statement design and playing mix-and-match: “How about if we make the team name black and the numbers gold?” “No, the other way around — gold lettering, black numbers.” “Yes, that’s it!” A perfect encapsulation of “Is it good or is it stupid?” being answered as “stupid.” Additional photos here.

Compared to the previous Statement alternate: a downgrade.

Timberwolves

Well, that’s certainly … something. If you can look past the neon green and the obligatory energy drink joke, you can also see that they’ve managed to squeeze the entire team name onto the chest. First time they’ve done that since, I think, the 2007-08 season. Additional info here.

Compared to the previous Statement alternate: an upgrade, but that’s not saying much.

Hornets

Seems like a perfectly reasonable uniform. Don’t they already wear something like this? Honestly, I can’t keep track of it all anymore. Anyway, this is fine.

The Hornets also unveiled a new court design that will be paired with this uniform:

Additional photos and info here, here, and here.

Compared to the previous Statement alternate: an upgrade.

Magic

Seems like a perfectly reasonable uniform. Don’t they already wear something like this? Wait, didn’t I just say that about the Hornets? Anyway, this is fine. Additional info here.

Compared to the previous Statement alternate: an upgrade.

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Comments (28)

    Solid upgrade for the Hornets. Getting rid of CHA alone makes this better, but the honeycomb trim is a huge boost.

    Huge upgrade for the Wolves. The black is sorta lame but I really love the fanged wordmark with the M and V. Nicely done. No more all neon, which was always a terrible design choice.

    Push for the Magic. Their side trim includes some cheesy stars camo. Better than before, but that’s not saying much.

    Massive downgrade for the Lakers. Why they’re doubling down on black when their other two unis don’t include this color anywhere. They coulda fixed this by making the side panels gold, but nooooo, that would be too sensible. I suspect we’ll look back on this era of Lakers uniforms with disgust in a few decades.

    Considering how similar these are to the teams’ existing uniforms, it makes me wonder why they don’t just become part of the regular rotation. I just think the notion of having uniforms only exist for a year or two is odd. Sure, if it’s crummy or boring, no one minds it going away, but if a team hits a home run, dang, why not keep those unis around forever? For example, Minnesota had those great purple Prince unis, and the remix unis from last year were a huge hit. Ditto for Miami’s “vice” unis and Utah’s “sierra sunrise” or whatever they were called. I probably sound like an old confused man. Sigh. This whole new approach to churning out new unis every year is just too much.

    These aren’t just alternates, though. For the Lakers, they’re really what we used to naively call “road uniforms”. Except now, obviously, they wear them a set number of times a year determined by NBA marketing computers.

    The team has kind of backed itself into a corner by their insistence on having their “association” jerseys be white unis that they only wear on Sundays, and their “icon,” (traditionally road unis) set is the familiar yellow ones we think of as the Lakers home unis. I guess the league insists that the association set be white, which limits their options down the line, but the whole thing feels weird and forced. The entire five-jersey set with weird names will never really sit well with me and I hope at some point the league has enough sense to just go back to home and road with a throwback and an alternate.

    —“Seems like a perfectly reasonable uniform. Don’t they already wear something like this? Wait, didn’t I just say that about the Hornets? Anyway, this is fine.”
    Holy cow I don’t think I could sum up the NBA any better than that!

    It’s almost like they oversaturated the concept and are out of ideas. Less is more…
    LAKERS – why?
    MAGIC – why?
    T’WOLVES – I mean, make the black some shade of royal or navy and it might be a keeper.
    HORNETS – it’s perfectly fine in its place but it’s not a gamechanger.

    -We have accepted white being the base for uniforms, even when white isn’t part of the team’s color scheme. White trim, white piping, white outlines (TPO), etc.
    -Some teams have black as a team color, so black in the uni or as a base for the uni makes sense.
    -What I am not sure of is if there are teams who use black as TPO where it’s not a team color. I just haven’t dived (dove? doven?) that deep.
    -Which leads me to my thought – I wonder if it is the mere fact that black is being used (whether it is BFBS or black being used as TPO) or is it the execution of adding black to a uni that provides irritation and consternation for the Uni-verse?

    TPO? Google’s no help.

    I don’t think black is intrinsically the problem. It’s (1) trying to identify teams wearing black when it’s not a team color, and (2) the lack of contrast with other dark colors.

    Nobody complains about the Steelers or Ravens wearing black; it’s part of the pallet. But when the Lakers add black elements, or even if they added hard-to-distinguish white side panels to the gold jerseys, that’s a problem.

    And the Timberwolves’ dark-on-dark numbers are too hard to read.

    The Lakers and Timberwolves sets are fugly as hell. Useless. It’s getting to the point teams are going to lose their identities because they have so many uniforms. The ads don’t make them attractive either.

    It’s the little things that kill me with the Lakers jerseys, mainly their primary two sets. I simply don’t understand why Nike refuses to match the team’s traditional logo colors. Both the “blue” and “gold” of the “Forum Blue and Gold” are both several notches too bright; this latest purple is a Barney sort of purple and not the “squint and maybe it could be blue” version it should be. And the yellow is a banana yellow, whereas the traditional version is far deeper and warmer.

    Maybe it’s just a sports-wide problem; every team that issues a new set lately seems to go brighter, with the saturation knob turned way up.

    “A perfect encapsulation of “Is it good or is it stupid?” being answered in the negative. ”

    I know what you’re saying given the context, but that sentence makes no sense.

    I think it’s high time everyone accepted the Lakers permanently adding black to their color scheme as a tribute to Kobe (aka Black Mamba).

    Hopefully a touch of an orange jumpsuit could be added for his alter-ego, “Javier Rodriguez”

    I probably already knew that Orlando’s advertising partner was Disney, but thinking a little more about it, I don’t think there is any company more synonymous with the Orlando area than Disney. If you’re at a Magic game, you’re probably a local, or someone with a Disney itinerary. Even if not, I think you would know the Orlando/Disney connection. So is Disney advertising to honestly drum up business? Or act like a good partner? (Which I don’t think anyone would doubt to begin with.) Or was it a situation where if Disney didn’t step up quickly they would lose the opportunity to a competing park, like Universal or SeaWorld? Almost sounds to me like that is the reason, how much business is Disney drumming up from being their jersey advertising partner?

    I know the anti-purple sentiment occasionally runs strong in these parts, but I think that Lakers design looks great, even if it isn’t at all groundbreaking…

    Paul, you recently decided to stop doing a College Football preview due to the near constant churn of new and alternate uniforms. How long before you make the same call for the NBA?

    I’m kidding, of course. Except, maybe not kidding?

    The most egregious thing about all of these (to me) is that they are called “statement” jerseys. What statement are they making? It’s not a fashion statement to be sure. They should call these “subtlety” jerseys, or given how weak the designs are and how much Nike wants to push these things maybe “passive aggressive” jerseys?

    Anyway, the Celtics and Lakers are always great examples of why these don’t need to be mandatory.

    Like “what are we doing to us year?”

    “Same as last year but the stroke on the numbers will be slightly thicker.”

    “Great! No notes!”

    The NBA (and Nike) wouldn’t be doing this if there wasn’t a market. But I have no idea who buys this crap.

    With the rumblings I’ve been hearing about the Sonics coming back, I can’t wait to see what they come up with for them.

    Anyway I do like the Magic and Hornets uni’s, but not the Lakers and T-Wolves. Lakers are just meh to me and I agree with one of the comments about the Wolves looking like an energy drink can.

    Originally, the Orlando Media Showed a picture of the Jersey and the Stars on the side looked like Camo. Supposedly that was just the shine of the material. Its a lot better than that disrespectful Blue Jersey Nike gave us with blocks of pinstripes that didnt make any sense. I think this whole Nike project with 3 new jerseys eevry year is a damn joke. and I cant wait till the Contract is Up. Everything has to be a story told on fabric…unless of course your Orlando. They’ll just put us in Space, because space equals Magic to them For some Reason. (Shouldve just Called Shaq Penny and T-Mac and asked them to at least design something better than our Latest orange/ Halloween Jerseys)

    I mean this with all respect, because I’ve been a Uni-watch reader for over 10 years, but this is pretty weak stuff. I mean, “Honestly, I can’t keep track of it all anymore”? Isn’t the whole point of Uni-watch to keep track of this sort of thing? I think all long-time readers are aware of your opinions, that you don’t like purple, that you don’t like black or gray uniforms if those colors are not part of the team’s color scheme, etc. It’s your blog, so if all you want to do is just voice your opinion, that’s fine. But I think people expect a bit more from Uni-watch. Perhaps a bit more context? Perhaps, explaining why, in your opinion, the design works or doesn’t work?

    Fair. Just to be clear, my main complaint about the Lakers design is the presence of black, not purple. (And I like the purple Charlotte design just fine!)

    At the same time, though, I feel like I’ve explained many, many times that NBA uniforms are now essentially a lifestyle merch program that happens to have an on-court component, instead of the other way around. The endless revolving door of new designs favors quantity over quality and style over substance. Saying, “Honestly, I can’t keep track of it anymore” is my way of basically giving this program the same level of respect that the NBA itself gives it. To go much deeper, frankly, would legitimize and dignify a program that’s no longer worth of legitimacy or dignity. And even if I chose to confer that status on these designs, they’ll be gone in another year or two anyway. If they don’t care enough to make designs that are built to last, why should *I* care about them?

    Most of these uniforms have no compelling reason to exist. Remember, the key Uni Watch question is not “Is it good or is it bad?,” but rather “Is it good or is it stupid?” Most of these designs don’t even reach the level of “bad” because they never tried to be “good” — they’re just the latest box-check for the latest round of “gotta have a new Statement alternate this year cuz the schedule says we have to.”

    From a creative standpoint, they’ve basically given up. So yeah, some days I do the same.

    I realize you may not agree with all that, but can you at least understand where I’m coming from?

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