Starting this season, Nike will take over Adidas as the main jersey manufacturer of the NBA, in a deal that runs through 2026. This will also mark the first season in league history where sponsors can place their logos on the jersey of NBA teams.
With the introduction of Nike, the NBA has decided to abolish the home and away jersey rule implemented in the last few seasons. This means that teams can wear any jersey on any night they desire provided that the away team does not have the same primary color as the home team. With this rule, a Lakers purple vs Celtics green contest may finally happen.
The addition of sponsor logos on jerseys is obviously a quest for additional revenue, and in many fans’ eyes, sells the souls of the teams that paste them on. While the change has been met with criticism, there’s no turning back now; we can expect a vastly different look for many teams.
While not all teams have officially released their new looks, let’s take a look at those that have.
1 Charlotte Hornets
The Charlotte Hornets debut their new look with the Jordan Brand as their sponsor and manufacturer. Obviously owned by team owner Michael Jordan, Nike allowed the Hornets to rock the Jordan Brand since they own it. In design terms, nothing major has changed. The white, teal blue and purple color scheme dominates, and coupled with the iconic Jordan logo makes this jersey a standout.
2 Portland Trail Blazers
The Trail Blazers also have one of those jerseys with an everlasting design that shouldn’t change. White, black and red patterns surround the team name, while the font has changed from old italicized letters to a sharper straight rendition. It might be a small change, but it is really a new look for Blazers’ fans to get used to.
3 Oklahoma City Thunder
The Oklahoma City Thunder have been sporting one of the best color combinations since they came into the league in 2010. With the simplistic blue, white, and orange color scheme, the jerseys will be almost similar to previous years, with a twist of simplicity. One disappointment, though, is that Nike will not bring back the bright orange OKC jerseys next season, which rated among the best in the league.
4 Cleveland Cavaliers
In one of Nike’s boldest moves, they have revamped the way the Cleveland Cavaliers look. Arguably the second most marketable jersey that will surely change after Nike has released their new look. The reality is, they fall completely short of expectations. With Goodyear as their new sponsor, let's hope they can use those tires to find a better design for their jersey.
5 Golden State Warriors
Nike has kept it simple for the reigning champions, just how it has been for the past few years. The association colorway features the same dominant white with the logo at the center, along with shades of yellow and blue on the outskirts. Just like the current roster of the Warriors, nothing much had to be altered. Simple and effective.
6 Sacramento Kings
Arguably the cleanest jersey so far, the Sacramento Kings are finally good at something. Following their rebranding, there is a better emphasis on the grey, which suits the purple and white combination. Aside from the Blue Diamond Almonds sponsorship, Kings fans have something to boast about.
7 Detroit Pistons
It's more of the same with Detroit when it comes to their red, white and blue color scheme. A more rounded collar and the addition of Flagstar Bank as their sponsor will be the only thing that will separate this design and the previous one.
8 Utah Jazz
The Utah Jazz jerseys have looked great ever since they reverted to their throwback look. It is nice to see that Nike has continued with that trend. The signature note logo remains and is adorned with a sponsor logo from Qualtrics. This rates among the best jerseys released for the 2017/18 season so far.
9 Milwaukee Bucks
Ever since their rebranding two years ago, the Bucks’ jerseys have been more pleasing to the eye, and the good news is that will continue in the upcoming season. The sharper collar gives the jersey a cleaner look while the introduction of the Harley-Davidson logo isn't too distracting. Another nice, clean look.
10 Indiana Pacers
This was a big gamble Nike made, but it certainly paid off. They have completely revamped the jersey of the Pacers and it looks great. Replacing the old uniforms that featured a heavy font, they have given the jersey a more dynamic look by wrapping the team name around the front of the jersey like a wheel symbolizing Indianapolis 500. Keeping the same white as before and a darker blue this time around, the designers have placed stripes on the sides of the jerseys down to the shorts, which also offer a slick look. One of the best decisions Nike - and Indiana - have made so far.
11 Chicago Bulls
The Chicago Bulls jersey is one which should always keep it’s vintage look and Nike did a good job in this regard. The iconic red, white and subtle black color scheme is implemented, and the jersey features the right mix of modern and vintage features. The fact it has no sponsors is a big plus.
12 Philadelphia 76ers
It may seem that nothing much has changed here, but in truth the Sixers jerseys were a modern design of the 80’s version. Adidas already saved Nike time by designing their new jerseys when the Sixers underwent rebranding in 2015. A major accessory in the jersey is the sponsorship of StubHub in the upper right corner, but luckily this isn't too conspicuous.
13 Washington Wizards
The Washington Wizards also kept their slick design from Adidas and moved it over to Nike. From the font to the tricolor-striped jerseys, nothing much has changed, and these remain among the best-looking outfits in the NBA.
14 Denver Nuggets
It was about time the Denver Nuggets got a revamp. The old jerseys felt so outdated that people still associated them with Carmelo Anthony. With the launch of a new look, Denver has a new identity. The jersey features a bolder design for the up-and-coming Nuggets, and is definitely more pleasing to the eye. It is great to see Denver finally taking advantage of the great color scheme they have.
Which of these jerseys is your favorite? Comment below!
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