The NBA will look a bit different when it takes the floor again in October. Nike unveiled its plans for the league’s jerseys this coming year.
Nike is taking over the NBA apparel deal this season in the first of an eight-year contract. There is a fair amount of excitement for the change. Nike is very much the head of the game when it comes to shoes and apparel in the basketball world.
The changes from Nike in the first year to the designs are likely to be cosmetic — some new material but likely very similar actual designs. But there will be a new way teams pick their uniforms. Nike is going to change the game just a little bit.
According to Nike’s press release unveiling the first Nike NBA jersey of this deal, the league is doing away with the “home” and “road” designation for uniforms. Instead, teams will pick a permanent home jersey and opponents will choose from one of four jersey varieties to contrast against it.
Yes, this means there will likely be more color-vs.-color matchups.
The jersey plan seems more similar to soccer jerseys where teams have one primary uniform they wear during home games and they do not change their uniforms unless there is a color clash on the road — think Orlando City wearing purple for the majority of their games.
The four jersey designs include the traditional white jersey (the “Association Edition”) and the traditional road jersey design (the “Icon Edition”). They will also have two more jerseys available to them — one inspired by the athletes and one inspired by the community. Many believe the Community Edition will replace the “Pride Jerseys” adidas commissioned. That would include more familiarly the Portland Trail Blazers’ “Rip City” jersey.
Additionally, eight teams will have Historic Collection jerseys — likely throwback jerseys — that will be added to their set.
It is still unclear exactly how this all will work. But the traditional way NBA teams have picked jerseys is certainly changing. The most iconic versions of the team’s current set of uniforms will now likely be worn at every home game now.
There are still a lot of questions about how this new jersey format will work. There are still a lot of questions about what the Orlando Magic uniforms will even look like.
For now, it is safe to assume the team’s jersey design will likely remain pretty much the same. There are not any expected changes to the Magic’s uniforms (for now). The changes are cosmetic.
Nike, consulting with players in the league, is changing some of the designs for the sleeves and shoulders. There is also changes to the hemming to allow more mobility and emphasize player’s agility. The uniform changes are very cosmetic for next year.
For now, only the Golden State Warriors and Sacramento Kings have unveiled their uniforms. The other teams around the league will unveil their Nike uniforms at some point this summer — specifically the traditional home and away jerseys. Teams will unveil the other uniforms closer to the beginning of the season.
The NBA is indeed turning a new leaf with the switch to Nike. The league will look a bit different when it takes the court again in early October.