The Athletic has an interesting article this morning about how the NBA uniform scene has changed since Nike took over as the league’s outfitter in 2017-18. Among the notable points:
- The use of white uniforms by the home team has been in decline during the Nike era: “The [white] jersey is worn at the same frequency this season as it was during the 2017-18 season, Nike’s first year as the apparel distributor, but the split between home and road is stark. Teams wore their Association jerseys roughly 29 times per season in that first season under Nike, and an average of 17 games at home. This season, the Association jersey averaged 29 appearances per team but just roughly nine times at home.”
- Wondering how many color-vs.-color games there are these days? According to the article: “About 22 percent of all games this season will feature a matchup of two teams each in a color jersey.”
- Life on the road: “For each road trip, the Heat bring a game set of each uniform and a backup set, as well as a few blanks; that’s 40-45 uniforms in each color. If they intend to wear two different uniforms on a trip, they could bring almost 90 different sets. Then there is everything else: the warmups, the sneakers, the tights, the socks, the practice gear. In all, [equipment manager Rob] Pimental said his team and the training staff bring about 3,000 pounds of equipment on road trips.”
The article isn’t perfect. For example, it talks a lot about how teams try to get fans excited about their City uniforms but doesn’t address the paradox of those uniforms then disappearing after just one season. Overall, though, there’s a lot of good info. I definitely recommend reading the whole thing.
(My thanks to John Flory and Craig Harris for bringing this article to my attentin.)