Orlando Magic make a Statement about past with new jerseys

Paolo Banchero was the big get for the Orlando Magic this offseason in what was an otherwise quiet summer. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Paolo Banchero was the big get for the Orlando Magic this offseason in what was an otherwise quiet summer. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /

All Orlando Magic fans want is a return to the pinstripes. Or rather, to the original jerseys.

The cartoonish font. The pinstripes that stood out among the other teams of the late 1980s and 1990s. The warmup jackets (especially the road ones).

The whole aesthetic just worked. It still works.

Orlando as a franchise will always be chasing these uniforms. And even as Nike has each team replacing uniforms each season, all fans want is a return to these jerseys.

That is not going to happen. The vagueries of the NBA’s jersey rules — including rules about “classic” jerseys and logos — will keep the Magic from wearing the original uniforms for a little while. The Magic will celebrate their 35th anniversary next season and it should be the time they crack open the vault.

Until then, the Magic are bringing back the pinstripes in blue, with a twist to honor the forgotten jerseys of the mid-2000s. If there is a statement to be made in the Magic’s new “Statement Edition” jerseys, it is that Orlando continues to embrace its past and give the fans hints of what they want.

The Orlando Magic officially announced a new Statement Edition jersey that blends the elements of their past as they prepare for their future.

Despite some early leaks from NBA 2K23 (that predictably did not do the real things justice), the Magic have released their new Statement Edition jerseys.

The fact that the biggest controversy about them is that the photo lighting made the side panels look green (there is not green in them), seems to make these jerseys a success.

This might now be the best jersey in the Magic’s uniform set (City Edition pending).

For the first time since the 2019 season, the Magic will return to wearing blue pinstripe uniforms (in my opinion, the 1995 alternate blue pinstripe uniforms are the best in Magic history, but that is certainly a debate).

The Magic originally had the blue jerseys as their original Association Edition jerseys when the league switched over to Nike. But Orlando favored the black uniforms and started using them as their traditional road uniforms.

Eventually, the blue pinstripes went away for different iterations of blue jerseys.

Orlando has worn a blue uniform with silver stars on the shorts and a black streak with pinstripes on the pants emanating from the stars on the pants. It was a different look and a solid one. But it was time for a change.

These are not the same blue uniforms the team has worn essentially from the 2009 season until 2019. Gone is the solid black cutout along the sides. This is not a return to the original “new blue pinstripes.”

Unlike the original pinstripe blues the Magic wore in this latest iteration, the uniform features black pinstriped as opposed to gray pinstripes. And that is a much better look.

These definitely feel more like the pinstripe uniforms of old that everyone loves. Even if they are not the exact versions of them.

The one good thing these jerseys add is the stars along the side.

One of the great design tragedies for the Magic has been how they have abandoned the star from their logo and many of their wordmarks and imagery. So seeing the team give tribute to the early-2000s jersey is a long time coming.

Having stars back on the jersey in a prominent way is a good thing.

In this way, all eras of Magic basketball are recognized — from the pinstripes to the original jerseys to the stars of the early-2000s jerseys to the font of the modern jersey. It is an embrace of Magic history.

Yes, many fans are still upset about the font. The current Magic uniform is not the greatest fan favorite. And everyone seems eager to see the team do a bit of a brand refresh (a new slogan replacing Magic Together should be coming this year).

That is not in the cards for now. For now, the Magic are coming out with a jersey that encompasses all of its previous eras. And they combined it into something solid.

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Now all that is left to see is whether the Magic stick with the orange theme for a fourth year for their upcoming City Edition jerseys or if something new is on the horizon.