Every NBA Team’s Most Disgraceful Uniform
If you’ve clicked on this list, then it means you have major courage and you’re alright with seeing your eyes bleed. We commend you for your bravery and we’d offer you something to help your eyes, but we’ve already cleared every store possible out of such items.
Fine, not all of these jerseys are that ugly and unappealing – some are just too bland – but when you’re talking awful sports uniforms, those disclaimers need to be said. All it takes is one disgusting jersey set to make one vomit through their ear, bleed from their eye, want to jump into oncoming traffic on Interstate 95…
…wait, I-95 is usually pretty backed up. Florida’s Turnpike, then.
If that sounds familiar, it means you most likely checked out my bad NFL jerseys column – and if you haven’t, do so. Today, we’ll be doing something similar with the NBA. Recent may not be in the title, but the basic ground rules here are simple.
– No sleeved jerseys. Those are too easy and the majority of them are all disgraceful
– No one-time jerseys. However, jerseys worn by a team during an overseas tour or trip are eligible.
– No Christmas jerseys unless they were annually worn on that day prior to sleeved jerseys only.
– Every jersey on this list has been used since the 1999-00 season. Throwback uniforms that receive(d) common use are eligible.
With that said, let’s get to work.
30. ATLANTA HAWKS: WHITE AND GREEN THROWBACK
One of the many jerseys teams were using as of last season (again, this new Adidas change will present some interesting scenarios regarding throwbacks), my only real issue with this jersey is the lack of Atlanta feeling to it. With any of the major sports teams in the ATL, especially the Hawks, Braves, and Falcons, you see the three colors the Dirty South loves so much: red, white, and blue. True, the Falcons don’t really feature blue, but they make up for it with more than enough red.
Variety is good, and I do applaud the Atlanta Hawks for wanting to add another throwback to the mix, but these aren’t quite my style. It’s like I said earlier: disgraceful doesn’t exactly mean the jerseys are abominations, but I would like to see the Hawks pursue another throwback style.
29. BOSTON CELTICS: EUROPE TOUR
Overseas exhibitions are no stranger to the NBA, even in the ‘old days’ of 2007 when four teams – the Boston Celtics, Toronto Raptors, Memphis Grizzlies, and Minnesota Timberwolves – traveled overseas for the Europe Live Tour. Though the Celtics were the only team not to face a FIBA team, they did rock some interesting jerseys where the ‘Celtics’ wording had Italy’s colors.
In a way, I do like the decision to add some international flavoring to a traditional jersey, but I don’t think it works here. I’ve made this argument when Major League Baseball celebrates holidays – and you’ll see this pop up later – but if the colors go against what your team is and has been, don’t do it. For Mother’s Day, the pink looks good on the Houston Astros, but atrocious on the New York Yankees. Here, it didn’t work.
And yes, the sleeved jerseys absolutely would have been here if not for my rule.
28. BROOKLYN/NEW JERSEY NETS: RED NEW JERSEY LOOK
Bias alert! In the grand scheme of things, these are not the worst jerseys the New Jersey/Brooklyn Nets have ever worn, and they may not even be the worst since the 1999-00 season. When these were a secondary road uniform to contrast the primary blue, it worked! New Jersey something that people in the United States love from sports teams: use red, white, and blue efficiently.
However, the decision after the 2008-09 season to get rid of the blues – likely helped by the draft day trade of Vince Carter, the last member of New Jersey’s big three with Jason Kidd and Richard Jefferson – was disappointing. These are fine jerseys to pull out maybe once every three or four road games, but 41 nights a year? With how bright they are? And you wonder why they went 10-72 that first season…
I think when the Nets realized they gave this up, they had to get rid of the blue…
27. CHARLOTTE BOBCATS/HORNETS: RED BOBCATS ROADS
Because they haven’t been around for long, the Charlotte Bobcats/Hornets haven’t really had as much of an opportunity to mess up the way other teams have. However, their bright road jerseys from the franchise’s early days easily take this spot – and that’s not because all I think of when I see these is Adam Morrison’s flow.
Going with a bright jersey works at times, and I will say the Bobcats took a nice risk here, but this was the best they came up with? Why not try to find a nice hybrid between orange and blue, not unlike the New York Mets’ current road alternate, as a way of paying back to the past (Charlotte Hornets) and the new-look team the Queen City has to offer? Well, at least the Bobcats/Hornets nailed it with future uniforms…
26. CHICAGO BULLS: ST. PATRICK’S DAY
Well, I did say holidays where teams routinely used the same jerseys – or at the very least, extremely similar jerseys with minor alterations year after year – were eligible. So congratulations, Chicago Bulls, this is your option. There’s very few teams that I think successfully pull off the St. Patrick’s Day jerseys (yes, the New York Knicks were one of them), but the Chicago Bulls, known for black and red? Nope.
That may be a lame take, but come on. When you think of the Chicago Bulls, you know you’re thinking of Michael Jordan’s game-winners in the red jerseys, or Scottie Pippen showing he was more than just a Robin to Jordan’s Batman in the home whites. You don’t mess with tradition, not even for holidays, so this is an automatic no in my book.
25. CLEVELAND CAVALIERS: THE PRE-LEBRON ERA
Maybe I’m being too hard on the Cavaliers because of the new uniforms they recently unveiled, but can we agree that the new-look is a great fit? There’s not many jersey options the Cavaliers have used on a regular basis that I don’t like – and in all honesty, I didn’t even mind the sleeved ones…well, after LeBron James showed what they’d look like without sleeves – but these are way too bland and boring.
Say what you want about the Cavaliers’ history prior to landing LeBron in the 2003 NBA Draft, but that history – win or lose – was always filled with wine jerseys and attempts at using orange in different ways. What do we get from these jerseys? It feels like a blatant attempt at ripping off the Detroit Pistons, who we’ll get to in a few minutes.