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Remembership, Part 3: The Wide and Wonderful World of the Lakers

[Editor’s Note: Membership card designer Scott M.X. Turner is back with this week’s installment of Remembership, his retrospective series about the Uni Watch membership card program. Enjoy. — PL]

By Scott M.X. Turner

Seventeen Uni Watch Members have chosen Los Angeles Lakers-themed membership cards — an impressive number, considering the Lakers’ once-a-year availability during Purple Amnesty Day.

I grouped these 17 cards in four eras: the Wilt Chamberlain/Jerry West years; Showtime; Kobe Bryant’s run; and today’s Lakers (a.k.a. the LeBron James years).

One of the two Chamberlain/West-era cards is based on Jerry West’s 1972 All-Star Game jersey. It’s probably the only NBA All-Star uniform — and one of the few uniforms of any kind — to feature the player’s name on both the front and the back. Stranger still, the NBA used the Lakers’ back-of-jersey font for the front, and a previously unused sans-serif font for the names on the back.

From left: Vivek Tanna’s Jerry West 1972 All-Star Game No. 44; Mina N. Mikhael’s No. 10.

Eight members asked for cards based on the Showtime era. You’ll see different shades of purple on these cards, which is appropriate, because the Lakers were known at this time for their purple inconsistency. (More on that in a minute.)

Clockwise from top left: Ryan Hartzell’s No. 8; Jamie Galindo’s No. 76; Michael Hergenhan’s No. 22; Brandon Lewis’s No. 22; Adam Rainbolt’s No. 17; Steve Schwartzman’s No. 88; Loren Southard’s No. 32; and Dr. James Ortez’s No. 32.

In the Kobe grouping, we have two styles left over from the Showtime era: Aaron Reagan’s purple No. 8 and Patrick J. Chavez’s No. 14. The Lakers dropped their iconic block-shadowed numbers for most of Kobe’s time with the team, save for the occasional throwback. This grouping also includes Michael R. Hersh’s Black Mamba card. We made sure to include the snakeskin pattern.

Clockwise from top left: Aaron Reagan’s No. 8; Patrick J. Chavez’s No. 14; James Brooks’s No. 7; Jack Daley’s No. 24; Scott Criscuolo’s No. 32; Michael R. Hersh’s No. 13; and James Gross Jr.’s No. 6.

A different block-shadow treatment greeted LeBron when he became a Laker. This batch includes two City Edition treatments: Michael Jaramillo’s No. 16 card (based on the 2021 City design) and Mark V. Malazarte’s No. 32 (based on 2018). If you look closely at the latter, you’ll see the pinstripes consist of the phrase “SHOWTIME3X5X.”

Clockwise from top left: Luke Southard’s No. 19; Michael Jaramillo’s No. 16; (City Edition 2021); and Mark V. Malazarte’s No. 32 (City Edition 2018-19).

Finally, one of the most delightful requests we’ve received came from Mark C. Gutierrez, who asked if we could render the Lakers’ mismatched-purples uniform from the 1970s, ’80s and early ’90s. I tried to capture not just the two distinct hues, but also the texture of the era’s elastic waistband:

That’s our Lakers collection. I thought we also made a card based on the George Mikan Minneapolis Lakers period,  but it appears that we didn’t. It’s a Mandela Effect of my own making. [I thought we did one of those, too. Hmmm. — Paul]

Next week: Objects.

Comments (12)

    Back in 1983, I believe, James West of the Calgary Stampeders played in the CFL All-Star Game. His jersey had “WEST” on the front and back.

    Fun to see the variety here. I really enjoy browsing through the card ‘gallery’ on Flickr. And you nailed my Elvin Hayes ’44’ perfectly. Many thanks, Scott

    I’d leave that answer up to Scott and/or Paul, but if you’re interested, you can check out the Membership Gallery (link) and see how many you can find.

    I throw you 20 bucks for my Lakers membership card and you can’t remember to include it in today’s post? It should be 18 cards, mine is a blue sixties throwback #44 Wheels

    Maybe the point was just to emphasize the ones that have purple due to Purple Amnesty Day, but then again it could have just been an oversight since the Kobe Mamba one doesn’t have any purple on it as far as I can see, either.

    Hey…I see my card there!…and I’m always so thankful to you Scott for taking the time to teach me about Illustrator and how you design these numbers. I’ve used those lessons over and over on many projects since…

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