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Kings Make Bad Uni Worse with Hilariously Awful Press Release

The Kings have released their new City design. As you can see above, it’s really unattractive — purple and grey, yuck. But they’ve compounded the bad aesthetics by issuing a hilariously bad press release that is practically a master class in cringe-inducing marketingspeak. Even by the usual NBA/Nike standards, this document goes above and beyond (or maybe below and beyond) — I was literally hooting out loud as I read it.

Let’s parse the press release, line by line:

The 2022-23 season will mark the 10-year anniversary of the fight to keep the Kings in Sacramento.

Actually, the back-and-forth effort that resulted in the Kings staying in Sacramento was a complicated process that began in 2006 and unfolded over several years, with several significant benchmark dates. For example, in 2011 — 11 years ago — the Kings announced that they would not move to Anaheim. And by the time the NBA’s Board of Governors voted against the team’s proposed move to Seattle, the team’s 2012-13 season was already over. So referring to this as the 10th anniversary of the team not moving is a stretch.

This year, the Sacramento Kings City Edition uniform pays homage to fans who rallied and refused to back down with a passion and connection to their team that is unmatched in the NBA.

What exactly does it mean when you say a fan base “refused to back down” in response to a team’s proposed relocation? Like, did Brooklyn Dodgers fans “back down” when the team moved to L.A.? Did Hartford Whalers fans “back down” when their team moved to North Carolina? Also, as I just noted, the fans didn’t keep the Kings in Sacramento — the NBA’s Board of Governors did.

Also: Really, Sacramento fans have a passion that is “unmatched”? Literally the most passionate fans in the league? Hmmm.

Moving on:

For the first time in franchise history, the Kings have a gray uniform, a color inspired by the iconic Golden 1 Center. 

Now, it’s true that the Kings’ arena is indeed grey. But really, that’s what “inspired” the color choice? Even though the arena’s name includes the word “Golden”? Also, this arena is “iconic”? Really?

Sacramento is placed on the front of the jersey for the first time since 2016 and set in a 10-year tin anniversary bevel. 

Did you know that the 10th anniversary is the tin anniversary? It’s true! But tin generally isn’t equated with quality or premium status, at least not in our culture, so it’s odd that they’d use it as a marketing peg. Also, exactly what about the lettering is tin-y? How is it more like tin and less like other metals?

The trim on the side of the uniform resembles the architectural elements of the state-of-the-art arena located in the heart of downtown Sacramento. The words “Sacramento Proud” are placed within the trim on the side of the uniform to symbolize what connects the Kings to their team, to their city and one other.

Okay, so this is the usual “storytelling” silliness and retail gimmickry. Nauseating, but par for the course.

The Kings never forget where they are from and who they are playing for.

It’s pretty funny to say that the Kings, of all teams, “never forget where they are from,” because the Kings are literally from Rochester, Cincinnati, Kansas City, and Omaha — the franchise played in all of those cities before arriving in Sacramento! I guess the fans in all those other cities “backed down.”

The shorts feature the same purple architectural designs and the Sacramento Proud message. The primary logo set in the 10-year tin anniversary bevel on each side. A quote from Commissioner David Stern can be found near the bottom of the uniform that says, “We are keeping the team in Sacramento.”

Actually, that’s not quite what David Stern said, at least according to the quote on the jersey, which doesn’t quite match the quote in the press release:

Granted, the two quotes are basically synonymous. But why not make sure that they match? For the record, the quote on the jersey is correct; the one in the press release is wrong. So if you see any news articles with the wrong quote, that means they copy/pasted the press release without actually looking at the photos.

All of this nonsense aside, I still can’t believe they’re going with grey and purple. Yikes!


Comments (72)

    They throw that on the tags of soccer jerseys as well (different numbers), not sure of the significance of it.


    I was wondering if maybe it had something to do with the “engineered to the exact specifications…” thing. That is, it’s a code indicating specific measurements or that kind of thing so that they can feed it into the manufacturing process and create 10 jerseys for, say, Jaylen Brown that are exactly to his specifications.

    If I were a Kings fan I would be heavily offended by all of this: the ugly uniform, the multiple references to being close to moving again (including a quote by a past commisioner who would have allowed a move if it made more money), the lack of local features (do something with mountains, lions, crowns, being the Cali capitol, whatever), the out of date bevelling. The gall of releasing this. And it is a shame, because the Kings have an interesting logo, a nice history and, from what I am led to believe, a diehard fanbase. They deserve better than all of this crappy blabla. Let those responsible for this feel it by keeping your wallet closed.

    Yeah, what a weird quote to include on a uniform. They should have gone further and taken the Dwight Schrute route: “It is your anniversary.”

    Leave it at that.

    Don’t give them any ideas.

    I can just see someone deciding on an exclamation point on a uniform — CLEVELAND!

    Or perhaps an ellipsis DALLAS … FORT WORTH

    Or worse: emojis! BROOKLYN NETS :rofl:

    Or is the zig zag of the striping supposed to represent mountains? If so I am sure Paul would have mentioned it so I guess not. Just plain ugly.

    Per the press release:

    “The trim on the side of the uniform resembles the architectural elements of the state-of-the-art arena located in the heart of downtown Sacramento.”

    So yeah, they’re an homage to the Arena itself.

    This is the quote that will actually appear on Sacramento’s shorts:

    “Nothing is over until Kings fans decide it is! Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Hell no!” – Bluto Blutarsky

    “Fighting” to keep them in Sacramento and they have been totally irrelevant during those 10 years.

    I can’t see a reference to the Rochester Royals without remembering Terry Proctor. RIP.

    I normally can’t stand the uniform press release jargon, but this one legitimately made me cringe reading it. Watching you tear it apart line by line was hilarious and very satisfying! Also… that uniform is *ugly*.

    Hahahaha, celebrating the anniversary (even if the timeline was correct) of not relocating the franchise is absurd. Think about it, who is moving the franchise? It is not outside forces, but rather an owner looking for more revenue or an region willing to spend more public funding on an arena for their team. And as Paul notes, a fan base that “refused to back down” makes absolutely no sense. Like did the fan base refuse to back down to others in the city that didn’t want to pay for a new arena? The fans told other Sacramento residents to shove it and just make sure the Kings stayed? Did the fans refuse to back down to… the NBA? the Kings ownership? If anything when a city / fan base refuses to back down it is the opposite, they are refusing to capitulate to the demands of the franchise.
    “Hey Sacramento fans, we almost moved 10 years ago, because we certainly aren’t loyal to you and thought there were better homes for our team, so let’s celebrate that we ended up staying here.”

    To be fair: when the Kings were threatening to leave town, the team was dead last in the NBA in attendance and had been in the bottom 5 for the five seasons prior.

    The fanbase, effectively, had indeed “backed down”, but whatever meaning that phrase assumes.

    FWIW: the team is in the bottom 5 this season as well.

    This is a bit of a simplistic top down generalization.
    What isn’t included in this sentiment is the lengths that the Maloof family went to, to drive down attendance.
    They made the parking lot unsafe by removing lighting, the quality of the amenities at the Arena went severely downhill. They gut the payroll and talent on the roster massively and forced decisions on the acting GM that made the roster worse yearly. They purposefully tanked ballot measures that would have aided building a new Arena in Sacramento that was a tenant for them staying.
    The moment a light at the end of of the tunnel was available for fans, we showed up in droves to council meetings, press conferences, rallies, and game attendance rose a fans demonstrated on broadcasts with chants and pleas.

    This city backs this team.

    What’s it say about your team’s history if the most significant thing you have to celebrate is the league office deciding NOT to move you? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    This sorry excuse for a team has literally had nothing to be proud of since Oscar Robertson played for them. Like the Denver Nuggets, Utah Jazz, Brooklyn Nets, New Orleans Pelicans, and Los Angeles Clippers, their season is over before they play their first game. The only thing worth commemorating is the 2002 “Sacramento” jerseys when they made frequent appearances in the playoffs.

    The list of NBA teams with proven records of success is ridiculously short: the Celtics, the Lakers, the Warriors, the Heat, the Bulls, and the Spurs. Others have flirted with it, such as the Bucks, the Pistons, the 76ers, the Rockets and the Knicks. That leaves a list of franchises that have never had nothing, ever. Look at all the teams with one title or fewer. It’s longer than your arm. I’d hate to have the job of generating buzz for one of the have-nots.

    Two of the worst things to happen with the evolution of social media and uniform releases.

    1. The cringeworthy, utterly embarrassing story telling that goes along with any uniform now. Do these companies and organizations think people actually buy in to it and feel more connected? I lump this in with the dumbing down of society.
    2. The uniform release videos. I hate these. Often way too dark with way too many cut screens. Athlete screams in to the camera, does the one leg up, tearing shirt off pose, followed by squatting pose and maybe a view from behind pointing to the nameplate. All I want to do is see the uniform. Not a Michael Bay production.

    Also, so nice of them to tell us what the shorts look like while not showing us what the shorts look like!

    That’s because the NBA sells very few shorts in relation to jersey sales. They don’t need to show them to you since you won’t buy them anyway.

    I agree with everything said, however I’ll push back a little by saying there was a point and time when Sacramento was considered the toughest and loudest arena to play in, and they did have a lengthy sellout streak, even with atrocious basketball, but yeah these uniforms and marketing tactics are awful

    The biggest unanswered question: what exactly is the significance of the squiggly purple lines on the side? Is it the Sacramento River?

    This city has exactly one notable thing about it: that Tower Bridge. It’s gold, and given this team’s dislike of the Lakers, I get why purple & gold might be off limits.

    The Grey and Purple aren’t bad: they’re two of the team’s colors, so this isn’t so odd. The uniform is just meh, but I like the stripes for some reason.

    It’s literally answered in the press release and quoted by Paul – “The trim on the side of the uniform resembles the architectural elements of the state-of-the-art arena located in the heart of downtown Sacramento.” Photo from Wikipedia: link

    As a Kings fan, I think these are pretty good. We finally have a jersey with the full city name across the front, and the side trim actually does resemble the arena’s design. While the whole storytelling part is a mess, it makes sense that the new ownership group would want to remind the fans of the role they had in keeping the team here.

    Purple and grey is hideous, I agree. Should’ve stuck with black more as the secondary (color?) And I agree with all this silliness about the press release but c’mon, why a dig at Kings fans? Almost every team in every sport always says they have “the best fans in the league” or world or some other hyperbolic nonsense, it’s nothing new. It’s hard being a Kings fan and there are passionate, loyal fans up there. I’m a Warriors fan myself so I know holding it down for Sac is tough as it is.

    The story/explanation is ridiculous, but the uni actually looks good. I LIKE the color combination (we are allowed to like gray, you know, contrary to your company line), and I actually think purple works with it.

    I usually enjoy reading these articles but this one is just pure unnecessary hate. Why does everyone have to talk down on Sacramento at every opportunity? Sure we haven’t been successful that’s obvious. But since when is it cool in sports to beat down on a team that hasn’t had the best of luck? Why must us fans continually take a beating from the poor management? You don’t see other franchise fans get it the same way as the kings. People should be rooting for Sacramento. We are the enteral underdog. As far as the jerseys, a grey color actually makes sense. It has been as secondary color since first moving to the city and has only been a matter of time to make it a focal point. There have been plenty of “fake” grey jerseys seen throughout the years. Sure the marketing language is cheesy, but has there ever been a release where people finish reading it thinking it was cool? At least they took a shot at some real elements besides just vague justification. You can actually see the themes visually. Anyway, I hope these articles can be more positive in the future, as if Paul is the only one who gets to decide what’s cool. I hope we wear these jerseys in your city and take it to your favorite team. Continue to hate, we will continue to fight. GO KINGS

    Actually, Dennis, if you bother to read the article, it contains exactly zero hate for Sacramento. Just a lot of hate (or, more accurately, mockery) for whoever wrote the press release. That’s all.

    Nothing personal, but I will not be “rooting for Sacramento.” You ascribe far too much responsibility for caring to people who aren’t required to care.


    In all fairness Sacramento’s fans are absolutely trashy psychos–and I mean that in the best way possible. They do deserve come credit here. I’m happy this team isn’t referencing their Kansas City/Rochester roots for once. I don’t really think anyone cares about that other than vintage uni nerds. This jersey isn’t terrible, frankly, but good god this press release is terrible. Their fans deserve better.

    I feel the same way about their Cincinnati roots.

    Is adidas trying to make ugly uniforms, or do their designers have no taste?

    I don’t hate grey as an nba jersey color, and I don’t hate purple to go with it, and I don’t hate adding silver (ahem… tin) to add some texture. What I do hate is this and every other kings jersey. As someone who lived in Sacramento during their last stretch of halfway decent seasons (many years ago), I can attest that they did have a pretty hardcore fan base and an iconic (locally) arena. BEFORE THEY MOVED DOWNTOWN. Their arena now is sort of cramped into an ok neighborhood such that honestly I didn’t even know what building I was walking by the first time I did so. I only knew it was an entertainment venue of some sort by the ratty flyers taped to the glass doors along the sidewalk.

    The kings script jerseys (that came over from KC, I believe) are some of the nicest (albeit simple) unis in NBA history, I think, and the unis they wore during that “will they won’t they move” era had great word marks and a great logo (the SK shield with crown and crossed lances). This era of team design is so noncommittal and it was change for the sake of change. I would be fine if they went back to the older graphics but found a better way to frame them (read: no crap triangular side panels) and kept and purple, black, and silver version of the throwback as their alternate. And yes, if they must do a city alt, focus on the bridge, the river, the capitol building, the gold rush/mountaineering history, or SOMETHING that actually evokes the city (PS, most arenas are grey, come on now). And I know lions are indicative of royalty, but bears are indicative of California and its flag and capitol and its gold country. Give me a royal crest with a rearing bear wearing a crown.

    Not a bad jersey. 2 issues: 1-the Celtics should have taken note for their bill Russell tribute. 2-this looks like an ad for Bernie’s ginger ale (another Detroit classic)

    Unfortunately, the official release statement is a downgrade from the Freep’s article, due to the release going out of its way to call attention to the ad patch: link

    Every single thing in the world is “iconic” in the 21st century. A sentence simply isn’t complete without that word.

    There are a lot of things that I like, but I wouldn’t dare refer to any of them as “iconic”. It’s one of the most devalued words in English.

    “ it’s really unattractive — purple and grey, yuck”
    I know your hatred for purple, but would this be OK if it was grey and red, or grey and blue, or grey and your favorite green? Assuming these other colors were the Kings colors. Since I don’t have a problem with purple, I kind of like it. Maybe the numbers are too small, but otherwise a pretty good looking uniform.

    NBA jerseys have gone downhill fast. Miss the days of home whites, road colors, and one alternate. Now there’s just a never ending new supply of jerseys, I can’t even keep track. The Nike logo and ad patches on the jerseys were another bad decision as well.

    As a Sonics fan about to see the 15th anniversary of the team’s departure for OKC–that’s crystal, if you’re looking for a gift–the more pertinent Stern quote is how he began his announcement that the Kings were staying in Sacramento: “This will have to be quick–I need to get to a playoff game in Oklahoma City.” Put that quote on the ass of the shorts.

    “For the first time in franchise history, the Kings have a gray uniform, a color inspired by the iconic Golden 1 Center.”

    “Now, it’s true that the Kings’ arena is indeed grey. But really, that’s what “inspired” the color choice? Even though the arena’s name includes the word “Golden”? Also, this arena is “iconic”? Really?”

    Maybe they were shooting for ironic, don’t you think, instead of iconic with a gray uniform in a ‘Golden’ Center ;)

    The “fan base that refused to back down” wouldn’t have stood a chance if the Maloofs could’ve squeezed another $5 out of any other city…. or Sacramento hadn’t built them a shiny new playpen (at no charge!) to gouge fans with $15 beers, $30 sandwiches, etc.. Shows just how much they appreciate the fanbase when no one involved in keeping the team in place except the commissioner – who would have permitted it in a heartbeat until it was politically unseemly to do so – is recognized as the hero that saved the franchise. Nice example of why I detest all major league sports these days.

    To think the fan base had nothing to do with stopping relocation is insane. They fought off an ownership group sabotaging the efforts to keep the team in Sacramento and deep pockets in Seattle. These kind of press releases with rose colored glasses are pretty common and the jersey looks OK, nothing to write such a scathing article like this. I highly doubt you were in Sacramento to see the ground game against relocation, but given how much you love stroking your own ego in the about section, an entertaining hit piece seems about right for you.

    I’ll admit to ignorance on this, so perhaps you can enlighten me: How exactly did the fan base “fight off” the relocation efforts? And how did this “fighting” differ from the efforts by fan bases of other teams that were thinking about relocating? For example, what did Sacramento fans do that Sonics fans in Seattle failed to do?

    Please be specific. Thanks!

    Beyond the ridiculousness of this “city” jersey, the whole program is a complete joke. The colors so mis-match their respective teams that it’s getting to a point where you begin to question the identities of the teams in the league. What is up with the green Pistons uni? It looks like it was meant for Dallas, but someone at Nike accidentally printed “Detroit” on there and the higher ups said, “Screw it, let’s run with it.” Nike needs to be reigned in.

    In this case, I think maybe you’re being a little hard on them. Maybe because of the purple? I don’t see this press release or the bs storytelling as much worse than any other. It’s all bad.

    Congratulations honey! It’s the tenth anniversary of my not moving out of here and in with that women’s volleyball star! To celebrate, here’s an ugly outfit for you to wear. And every time you wear it, you can think about how loyal I’ve been. For 10 years. Until you back down (then it’s off to that chick across the street).

    That press release is the NBA version of my little story. Yeah, that’s some expert level marketing right there.

    I lived in Sac at the time. I was hoping Seattle would get the Kings. The old arena was awful and the team besides a few seasons in the early 2000s where never special. Growing up I would go to games to see the other teams and their stars and was never a Kings fan. Also hoping they would relocate so the Warriors games where no longer blacked out in our area. Besides this their uniform history is terrible. There is a another reason to move them to Seattle and make them the Sonics!

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