Every NBA Team’s Jersey That NEVER Should Have Been Seen On The Court
There are a few cardinal rules the NBA fashion police should enforce. First, pin stripes don’t belong in the NBA and should be left to baseball. Second, the color black doesn’t need to be used on every uni. Third, a team shouldn’t be married to spelling the city and team name, and should create iconic logos like the NFL and NHL. Most importantly, a team should NEVER copy a cereal box character, drive in burger joint, or beer commercial.
Perhaps no league shuffles the deck when it comes to jerseys as much as the NBA. Most teams change their look whether by color schemes or fonts every 5 years or so, and they also caught the bug of alternative, camouflage, and throwback jerseys. As advertisements start to spread on teams’ jerseys, teams will probably keep changing their uniforms again and again.
A league that prides itself on style has some teams like Boston, Golden State, and San Antonio that got it right from the start and only designed a handful of disastrous threads. Other teams, like the Jazz, Hawks, and Sixers tried to capitalize on the trends of different decades, terribly missed the boat, but corrected the errors of their way. Still, some teams, like Toronto, Denver, and New Orleans have never gotten it right and should start over.
As the NBA now moves ahead with new jerseys for next year, there is a lot to look forward to and back on. However, when owners need to generate even more income, let’s hope they don’t just add more ads or bring back these nightmares as throwbacks.
30. ATLANTA HAWKS: ROAD JERSEY, 2007- 2012
Whoever chucked the sleek red and yellow for this unoriginal, boring hack job should be fired. There are enough teams with red, white, and blue and the side stripes are just ugly. This kind of looked like a dumbed down version of the Washington Wizards.
The Hawks also have a pretty cool logo with the hawk’s head, so they could create a sweet look by using that emblem instead of a mundane print. The Hawks have since gone back to red and yellow, which was the right call. There was just nothing about this uniform that stood out at all and it just made the Hawks look like a bland organization. The Hawks of this era would often disappoint after promising regular seasons, but these unis were the most disappointing of all.
29. BOSTON CELTICS: GREY SLEEVED ALTERNATE
No, no, no, no, no… The Parquet Pride jersey with symbolic but weird parquet piping down the sides is an easy choice for Boston. Though they are one of the few teams that can get away with just spelling the team’s name on the jersey, they could have thought a little more out of the box.
If they were going to go “alternate,” why not use the clover on the shorts with a number inside? It’s always bothersome to see sports’ most historic franchises tamper with tradition and the Celtics going all out with the gray just felt wrong. You’re also probably not surprised to see it was a sleeved jersey that took the spot for the Celtics here, as they’ve mostly stuck with their traditional green and white.
28. BROOKLYN/ NEW JERSEY NETS: ROAD, 1997- 2012
People often say how they look impacts their performance, and it’s no wonder the Nets were so pitiful. Sure, they had some good years when they were led by the likes of Jason Kidd and Vince Carter but a part of them must have felt terrible about having to throw these jerseys on every night. These unis were as unoriginal as they come, and I can’t understand why they abandoned some good looking previous jerseys like the original Nets look. It’s poor marketing when a team with a cool name, Nets, can’t figure out how to use a neat image of a net instead of spelling it out. The Nets would abandon this look once they moved to Brooklyn and adopted the black and white color scheme.
27. CHARLOTTE HORNETS/BOBCATS: 2004 – 2009
We can’t decide what was more embarrassing; the teams that the Bobcats sent to the court in their Bobcats days or the jerseys they had to wear. Talk about an organization with an identity crisis. First, the font is a poor choice because the “A” and “R” look too similar and I doubt they were going for that Southern drawl. The piping on the sides is also played out and the color scheme is collegiate. By falling into the same trap of many NBA teams, they missed out on designing a cool hornet or bobcat either taking a jump shot or dribbling. Thank goodness the Bobcats got the Hornets name back for Charlotte, as the Hornets have brought some cool looking jerseys back to Charlotte since the name change.