Best NBA jerseys of all time: Our top picks

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As a basketball fan, you've probably wondered what are the best NBA jerseys of all time.

Fortunately, we've put together a list of some of our favourite jerseys throughout the history of the sport based on their designs and any success the teams had during each kit's time period to help you figure out the answer.

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Like some of the best NFL jerseys though, NBA uniforms rarely change throughout the years, although Nike has changed that more recently by introducing City Edition strips.

Despite this, we believe that a handful of timeless jerseys really stand out from the rest and deserve to be recognised as some of the best NBA jerseys of all time.

So from amazing retro offerings, like this Denver Nuggets jersey, to something a little more modern, like this Atlanta Hawks City Edition kit, we've rounded up the very best from some of the greatest teams in the history of the sport.

Keep an eye out for some of the 2022/23 uniforms this year as, depending on what goes down on the court, some may be in with a chance of making the cut.

For now though, here's our list of the best NBA jerseys of all time...

Best NBA jerseys of all time

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Los Angeles Lakers Home (1978–1999)

Best NBA jerseys of all time Los Angeles product image of Magic Johnson wearing a yellow strip with purple details.
Credit: Curbed LA

The Los Angeles Lakers are one of the most successful NBA teams of all time with a joint record-breaking 17 titles at this moment in time.

As a result, we feel it's hard to look past the team's legendary yellow and purple jersey as one of the best NBA kits in the history of the sport.

We believe this 1978 adaptation, in particular, is one of the best thanks to the subtle but iconic modification of the numbers and letters to purple, thus helping the jersey stand out on the court with one of the best basketballs in hand.

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With a star-studded selection of players who have worn the shirt as well, we feel it's only right that the Los Angeles Lakers jersey makes our list.

Denver Nuggets Swingman Road (1991–1992)

Best NBA jerseys of all time Denver Nuggets product image of Dikembe Mutombo wearing a blue strip with a rainbow city skyline across the centre.
Credit: The Denver Post

The '80s saw the debut of this incredible Denver Nuggets jersey which we feel sums up the term retro superbly.

What we like about the kit, in particular, is the horizontal rainbow stripe cutting straight across the chest to provide a backdrop to the white city skyline graphic, a design that's not too dissimilar to the Purple Mountains of the Utah Jazz Classic uniform featured in our list of the best NBA jerseys this season.

The rest of the shirt arrives in a dark blue contrasted by the Denver Nuggets' iconic yellow tone that helps make the kit really stand out on the court.

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While the Denver Nuggets have never really seen much success as a team, we believe the franchise's rainbow skyline jersey remains one of the best in NBA history.

Atlanta Hawks City Edition (2021-2022)

Best NBA jerseys of all time Atlanta Hawks product image of Trae Young wearing a yellow City Edition kit featuring a red hawk.
Credit: Sports Illustrated

Nike's City Edition NBA jerseys are a recent edition to basketball; however, we feel they provide a great means of connecting the franchise to the city and its fanbase.

Therefore, topping our list as one of the best current-day NBA jerseys is this Atlanta Hawks City Edition strip.

The kit arrives almost entirely in yellow but is especially eye-catching thanks to the soaring red hawk stretched right across the middle of the jersey.

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Ultimately, the red and yellow colour scheme combined with contrasting black details make this jersey one of the best around right now. That said, if you're looking to support the team wearing this kit, then check out our list of some of the best sports ticket sites around right here.

Also, keep an eye out for all the new NBA jerseys for the upcoming season being revealed right now as one or two of them might just take the Atlanta Hawks' top spot in the future.

Chicago Bulls Road (1985-Present)

Best NBA jerseys of all time Chicago Bulls product image of Michael Jordan wearing a red kit with black numbers and lettering outlined in white.
Credit: Fox News

When it comes to the best-looking NBA jerseys, we feel it's hard to beat this Chicago Bulls kit made famous by non-other than Michael Jordan himself.

The jersey featured as part of the infamous three-peat where a team consisting of Michael Jordan, wearing his infamous Air Jordans, alongside Scotty Pippen won back-to-back-to-back NBA titles.

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The kit itself is an absolute classic, featuring a simple red and white colour scheme combined with contrasting black lettering that just suits Chicago to a tee.

As a result, we feel this jersey is one of the most stunning to watch on the court and is definitely one of the best in basketball history.

Boston Celtics Road (1972-2014)

Best NBA jerseys of all time Boston Celtics product image of Larry Bird wearing a green kit with white numbering, letters, and accents.
Credit: NBA

Like their long-term rivals the Los Angeles Lakers, Boston Celtics are one of the most successful teams in the history of the NBA, but throughout their long history, the classic green and white jersey has remained almost exactly the same.

That doesn't mean it's not great though. The kit's simple yet effective two-tone design perfectly captures the essence of the city.

In particular, we're a fan of the 1972-2014 iteration which featured the "Celtics" banner across the chest as opposed to the now reverted "Boston" branding from pre-1972.

Overall, the Boston Celtics jersey is truly a great throwback kit from one of the best teams to ever play basketball which, we believe, would look great paired with some of the best basketball shoes around right now.

Frequently asked questions about NBA jerseys

As new NBA jerseys come out each season, you may have a few questions surrounding them. Don't worry though because we've answered some of the most commonly asked questions right here.

Where can you buy NBA jerseys?

One of the go-to places to pick an NBA jersey is the official NBA store. You can pick up both new and retro kits, including swingman and authentic jerseys, across every team in the Eastern and Western Conferences from the website.

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You can also find jerseys at Nike as the sportswear brand manufacturers every kit seen in the NBA as of right now.

What are the rules for an NBA jersey?

There aren't too many rules surrounding NBA jerseys and what is and isn't allowed, with most restrictions placed on the name and number in order for it to be clearly visible on TV.

According to the NBA rules, a jersey must have the name and number of the player on the front and back in a colour that contrasts the jersey. A player must also keep their basketball jersey tucked into their shorts whilst in play.

Other than that, there really aren't too many more official rules of note.

You may think there's a rule about the uniforms being vests; however, this is only done to allow players to move more freely without any restrictions around the arms.

Do NBA jerseys fit true to size?

Generally speaking, most NBA jerseys, particularly those from the modern era, will run slightly small due to their athletic, slim-fit designs.

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If you're unsure, we'd recommend taking your measurements with a tape measure and then comparing them to a size chart. You can find these on most manufacturers' websites.

For a slightly baggier fit, we'd recommend going for something slightly larger than your measurements.

How do you start an NBA jersey collection?

This depends on the type of approach you take to collecting basketball jerseys.

As Nike releases such a wide variety of uniforms each year now, like City and Classic uniforms, it might be a good idea to begin by purchasing the kits from your favourite franchise. Eventually, you'll start to amass a sizeable collection if you continue to pick up jerseys at the start of each season.

You could also pick up any kits you simply like the look of or that you like the story behind, like this new Celtics City Edition uniform which honors the Hall of Famer Bill Russell.

Ultimately, the choice is yours. Once you start to buy a few, your collection will no doubt continue to grow.

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