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Detroit Pistons Honor 2004 Championship with Throwback NOBs

Leaving aside league-wide changes like the addition of maker’s marks, the addition of ads, the addition of the gold championship tab, and the repositioning of the NBA logo from the front of the jersey to the back, the white uniforms that the Pistons wear today are very similar to the ones they were wearing when they won their last NBA championship in 2004. There are three primary differences, though:

  • First, they no longer have the distinctive wishbone collar that they and several other teams wore back in the day. That changed in 2017.
  • Second, the side striping on the uniforms used to be red in the front and blue in the back, but the colors were reversed in 2017.
  • Third, the NOBs used to be straight, but now they’re arched.

You can see all three changes reflected in these photo comparisons:

The Pistons addressed one of those differences yesterday, as they saluted the 20th anniversary of that 2004 championship by wearing straight NOBs — a nuanced nod to the ’04 squad that most fans probably didn’t even notice. Here are some photos and a video clip:

It would’ve been nice to see them going with full throwbacks, of course. But there’s something very cool about the subtlety of the throwback NOB. Someone with the Pistons clearly Gets It™.

In addition, the Pistons wore pregame shirts honoring the 20th anniversary of the 2004 title (the “EC” is a memorial patch for former Pistons player Earl Cureton, which the team added to their shooting shirts last month):

(My thanks to Nic Jehle for bringing the straight NOBs to my attention.)

Comments (10)

    Had no idea the Pistons do a radial arch in the back now. Don’t watch basketball anymore. But it sure looks correct for them to go straight! It was “their thing” for a long time, including the teal era and the Bad Boys. Love to see it come back!

    Was the commenter on the ticker how you found out about this? Good job to both of you (him for bringing it up, you for writing about it) if so!

    No, someone else brought it to my attention yesterday, and I already had the post in the hopper and ready to go for today. But good job by anyone and everyone who noticed!

    The current ones are downgrades in every possible way, might as well bring the 2004 Uni’s back.

    The Pistons need to go all the way back to the Bad Boys Era and go first name on the chest of the warmup shirts.

    Technically, they *do* still have the wishbone collar; it’s just constructed differently now. The basic wishbone shape is still there, as opposed to the conventional crew neck collar or a v-neck design.

    It still looks like a wishbone collar to me in the 2024 side-by-side photo, just without the horizontal line at the bottom. But maybe I’m not sure what the wishbone collar is.

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