We used to be in there, now we’re out here
Part 3 of OTPB’s uniform series proved to be the hardest thus far, as there was wide-ranging debate on the best and worst of the
David Stern league National Basketball Association. In the end, however, the cream rose to the top and we got to stick it to the Thunder once again.
Uniformity wraps up the week with the NHL on Thursday and a look at the best and worst of uniform history, across all sports, on Friday. At some point in the future, we’ll take a look at college uniforms, but we may wind up breaking that down by conference or region due to the sheer number of teams.
Portland Trail Blazers (home, road, alternate): The Blazers have always had great uniforms, dating all the way back to their 1970s looks, but their current set is hands-down the best in the league. It helps that they have great colors, a unique name, and a logo that actually evokes something. The “blazed trail” pattern on their unis is tastefully done, and the slanted lettering in their wordmark gives the uniform a sense of action. (Elliott)
Chicago Bulls (home, road, alternate): Yeah, Michael Jordan made them look cooler than they were, but the Bulls’ uniforms already had the look. Black and red is a lethal combo, and that red bull head with the white horns makes them look even meaner. What sports fan can’t picture the red jersey with the black No. 23 on it? Jordan had opponents seeing red – even when the Bulls were wearing their whites. (Chris)
Miami Heat (home, road, alternate): Notice a pattern here? For some reason, red and black works wonders in the NBA. The Heat’s uniforms don’t try to do anything particularly flashy, instead opting for a relatively literal representation of their name. I like that their jersey appears to be on some sort of shiny fabric, giving them a sheen that only a couple of teams have. Plus, the flaming basketball logo on the shorts is a nice touch. (Elliott)
San Antonio Spurs (home, road): The Spurs have a cool uniform because they have cool colors. The white home unis with the black trim are sharp, and the black road unis with the silver are even sharper. But what makes the Spurs stand out (aside from having Tim Duncan) is the creative use of name and logo: the “u” in Spurs is, in fact, a Spur, and that simple addition makes the uniforms stand out compared to the rest of the boring uniforms seen in the NBA. (Paul)
Sacramento Kings (home, road): This was a close call, with the Kings just edging the Lakers on the second vote for the fifth-best unis. The common thread, so to speak, was the use of the color purple (no Whoopi Goldberg references, please). But the Kings got it because their purple is better than the Lakers’ purple. The font is unique, with the number offset to the lower left under “Sacramento” (purple) or “Kings” (white) on the front. And a crown sits in the middle of the shoulder blades on the back. It’s a fresh look, if not as celebrated as the Lakers’ purple and gold. This time, the Lakers will have to settle for being sixth man. (Chris)
Oklahoma City Thunder (home, road): Throwing out the fact that the Thunder hijacked the SuperSonics (one of the NBA’s coolest names), they hit the court wearing one of the ugliest uniforms in pro sports. Their colors have nothing to do with thunder, lightning or anything-else weather related, the typography on the jerseys looks as if they got a little old lady to write super-tiny letters, and their logo is ridiculous in so many ways, but this graphic designer breaks it down best. A disaster on all levels, but that’s what you get when you steal another town’s team. (Elliott)
Washington Wizards (home, road, alternate): Political correctness robbed the NBA of one of its best uniform sets. Forced to change their name, the former Bullets came up with one of the lamest names possible and assigned them some terrible uniforms to boot. The Wizards’ logo is truly an abomination (I can’t believe someone got paid to come up with that), and the uniform is a reflection of that, complete with weird looking “W” and crescent moon over the “I”. And I don’t have enough room to discuss the atrocities that are the Wizards’ alternates, although, thankfully somebody in DC came to their senses and removed them from circulation. (Elliott)
Houston Rockets (home, road): It’s neat that the Rockets’ logo seems to be blasting off (although, using the H for Houston instead of R for Rockets may have been a better idea). But the rest of the uniform is pretty boring. Another of the teams using red (where IS the creativity these days?), the Rockets’ uniform is simple, but has too much piping/stripes down the side. The incorporation of gray highlighting is decent, but it would have been better had they kept that yellow. That makes me think more of fire and blasting off and…rocket ships. They’re not the worst uniforms (but they would be had they kept the one from the 90s with that stupid face on it). (Paul)
Milwaukee Bucks (home, road, alternate): Do the Bucks even have an identity? The green and red reminds of Christmas, and not at all of bucks or even Milwaukee. It’s an upgrade, I guess, from the purple of a few years ago, and the font is kinda funky, but I suspect the Bucks’ uniforms will change again in the near future. Perhaps they should return to that Rudolf-looking one from the late 60s. Merry Christmas. (Paul)
Toronto Raptors (home, road, alternate): The Raptors changed their sets in 2003, trying to join the power reds worn by Miami, Chicago and Portland. It just doesn’t work though. Then they added black in 2008. Plus, they have the purple and the whites. It doesn’t matter. The thing that kills them all is that black and white ribbing down the sides. Like so many teams that have come along in the last 15 years, the Raptors have no visual identity because they keep adding and changing. If they had stuck with the purple, they would have been better off. (Chris)
Two former sports reporters freed from the constraints of traditional print media write about the hot topics on both the Seattle and national sports scene. No deadlines, no word count, no press box decorum — we're Outside The Press Box.