As expected, the Phoenix Suns debuted two new uniforms this morning: a white (“Association”) and purple (“Icon”) set, that are a harkback to the team’s 1992-2000 sunburst gems.
According to Suns CEO Josh Bartelstein, “The sunburst is an iconic design that is one of the most popular among Suns fans; it represents some of the most defining moments in our team’s history. These new uniforms seamlessly blend the nostalgia of the past with the excitement of the future as we begin the next great era of Suns basketball.”
The new uniforms will pair with a new all-black uniform which was introduced last season. The Suns will also have a new “City” edition uniform, which will be unveiled later this year.
The white and purple uniforms are basically color inverses of one another. According to the team, the uniforms “feature a streaking sunburst with an embroidered Suns wordmark above stitched drop shadow numbers” while “the shorts feature an asymmetrical design with the Phoenix wordmark and a continuation of the jersey’s streaking pattern. The team’s primary icon logo is centered on the beltline.”
It’s all very reminiscent of the classic “sunburst” unis worn in the 1990s.
Here’s a closeup on the white jersey details:
The lines in the sun’s flare on the jersey are much thicker than in previous years. The previous black lines in the team’s logo are now purple. Front numbers are now centered on the jersey (whereas previously they were on the left side and closer to the sun logo). On the white jersey, the number is rendered in purple, with an orange block shadow.
The pants are also a harkback to the Suns mid-1990s look, which feature an asymmetrical design with the Phoenix wordmark and a continuation of the jersey’s sunburst pattern. The “PHOENIX” wordmark, like the numbers, is rendered in purple with orange block shadow. Purple and orange striping surround the collar and arm holes.
The back of the jersey features the player’s NOB in radially arched orange lettering, and the number treatment is the same as on the front.
As mentioned above, the purple uniform is identical in design to the white, with the differences being the base color, striping around the arms and neck, and number (and pants wordmark). Uni number and wordmark are white with an orange block shadow. The rear of the jersey also features player NOB in radially arched orange letters, and the number is in white with orange blockshadow.
As is par for the course with uniform unveilings, the Suns also released a hype video, where you can get some more looks and feels for the new uniforms:
A new look for The Next Era ☄️
— Phoenix Suns (@Suns) August 1, 2023
In what is hopefully a move that gets repeated throughout the uniform-design world, it seems the team really listened to the fans on this one. According to the team:
Designed by Centercourt Studios, the in-house creative department of the Phoenix Suns, and in partnership with Nike, the uniforms were developed with Suns fans in mind. The team surveyed fans on previous uniforms, with the rising sunburst design ranking highest among fan feedback. The new Icon and Association Edition uniforms capture the spirit of the popular ’90s sunburst uniforms while embracing a fresh, contemporary aesthetic as the franchise sets its sights on new horizons and the pursuit of its first championship.
Here’s a look at what is basically the Suns jersey history:
I LOVE these — while I’m not nearly as avid a basketball fan now as I once was (and that’s due in part to Nike gaining the uni contract and in part due to uni ads), in the 1990s I was very into the NBA — and these are a harkback to the unis I fondly remember, and what is also likely the team’s most successful period. Unfortunately, the team will retain the BFBS alternate introduced last season, and there is still a “City” edition yet to come. But I (and I would imagine most NBA fans in general, and Phoenix Suns fans in particular) am quite happy with these new offerings!