WORST TO FIRST: 2018-2019 Nike City Edition Jerseys
We’re huge fans of NBA jerseys and are elated that Nike has implemented City Edition uniforms: a line of jerseys that each only last a year so that every team is adding at least one new jersey to their lineup annually. Since HORSE is an an audio podcast, an article was the only way to properly do these bad boys justice. We worked together on ranking the jerseys, then Mike wrote the reviews for the odd numbered teams (because he’s so darn zany!) and Eric wrote the reviews for the even numbered teams (so he could praise the Celtics and dunk on the Cavs). Enjoy our first edition of Worst to First!
30. Cleveland Cavaliers
BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH. Guys. C’mon.
When I was doing research for this article, I told a bunch of my friends the reasons behind these choices. The orange and blue is the city butting up to Lake Erie, I said, and the font is from the Welcome to Cleveland sign on the highway. No one would believe me. The worst part about this is that there is no justification for these terrors.
29. Orlando Magic
Last year, Orlando’s City Edition jersey was all stars and they received a mixed reception (I loved how bold they were). This year, they decided to take out all the color and make it only on the sides of the jersey, which is a bad decision. For a city that literally has all of the good theme parks, this jersey is the antithesis of fun.
28. Charlotte Hornets
BUZZ CITY IS A DUMB NAME. BUZZ CITY IS DUMB NAME. FREE KEMBA. BUZZ CITY IS A DUMB
27. San Antonio Spurs
Look, I get wanting to support the troops, but the Spurs do this literally every year and they are ignoring THIS ICONIC COLOR SCHEME. GIVE ME A FIESTA JERSEY TO CONTRAST YOUR BLACK, WHITE, AND GRAY JERSEYS, YOU COWARDS.
26. Dallas Mavericks
This jersey is nothing. It’s like someone just hit the Night Mode button on the regular jerseys. Was the designer afraid that Mark Cuban was going to come after them so they made the most conservative jerseys possible?
25. Detroit Pistons
The racing stripe and “Motor City” makes sense because of Detroit’s car manufacturing, but why does the uniform have to be so drab? Who thought black and gray would look fun? Every car that has this paint design is either cherry red, cobalt blue, or black with a neon accent. Any of those would’ve been better, and the Pistons’ colors are literally red, white, and blue.
24. Phoenix Suns
Hey, Suns. “Los Suns” is a janky way to refer to your Latinx fanbase. And hiding the Adam Sandler level of Spanglish with “Somos PHX” above the back tag doesn’t count either.
23. Memphis Grizzlies
The only good thing about these jerseys is the “GNG” for “Grit ‘n Grind,” the Grizzlies unofficial but I guess now official motto. The gray is so boring and dull. Take a risk! Make these yellow! Put “Grit ‘n Grind” on the front! DO SOMETHING. Apparently this jersey is inspired by Memphis’ love of wrestling, AND WRESTLING IS ALL ABOUT FLAIR! COME ON.
22. Los Angeles Clippers
I don’t dislike the jerseys -- the red, navy, and white is a great combo and could be an interesting throwback to the ABA’s San Diego Conquistadors. But no one is jonesing for a 1984 Olympics throwback. Y’all are LA - reference, like, ANYTHING else that happened there.
21. Indiana Pacers
The font is cool, the stripe is cool, BUT WHY ARE THEY GRAY. WHAT ARE WE DOING HERE, NBA OWNERSHIP?! WHY ARE YOU ALL CONVINCED THAT THE LEAST FUN COLORS ARE THE BEST FIT FOR THESE JERSEYS?! A more fun version of this uniform would’ve been a bunch of Pacers logos so the players looked like NASCAR cars.
20. Atlanta Hawks
Here are five ideas that are more original than these jerseys that I will come up with in sixty seconds: 1) a jersey that’s just Donald Glover’s face 2) the Atlanta font on the skyline 3) Georgia Peach jerseys 4) Coca Cola branding 5) a better version of the ATL jerseys. And time!
19. Milwaukee Bucks
The Bucks were trying to pay homage to their iconic Mecca court design with these uniforms. That court was out there and different and beautiful. These jerseys are also out there and different, but certainly not beautiful. The issue with these jerseys is that they have the Mecca colors, but aren’t “Mecca” enough to make the connection clear. Honestly, just put the diamond/circle combo on these jerseys and they’re easily top 10.
18. Portland Trail Blazers
Points for Rip City and the color scheme is already solid. But what are these details? “ the northwest-facing sash, and gray-on-black color blocking representing the city’s dark, rainy skies.” This is what you write for a paper in 10th grade English class when you didn’t read Great Expectations but got to sound smart.
17. Sacramento Kings
The baby blue is wonderful. “Sactown” is wonderful. The names being under the number is a fun touch. The Kings lose originality points here because they’ve had similar jerseys to these for the past 5 years. They also lose style points because the old baby blue jerseys used a cursive font, which would’ve been BEAUTIFUL for these.
16. Los Angeles Lakers
Did you know that the Lakers were good in the past? And they were the Showtime Lakers? And MAGIC IS RUNNING THE TEAM NOW? DID YOU KNOW THAT? I wasn’t sure because no one said it out loud in the last 20 seconds. Beat LA. (Editor’s note: Eric hates the Lakers. I think the jerseys are pretty nice! -Mike)
15. New York Knicks
These jerseys are fine, but they’re the ultimate case of going for two things at once and falling short on both. They tried to combine these classic jerseys from the 50s with a modern twist. The navy is nice and the stripes forming into the skyline are innovative, but it’s just too hard to tell what this jersey was going for unless you’re as obsessed with the Knicks as I am (which, in the interest of your health, you really shouldn’t be). All of the fun in this jersey is on the side, which is hard to realize until you’re actually watching the game live.
14. Toronto Raptors
Drake is not an identity brand. The white and gold is classy and I love that it points north. But you can’t just say “we’re OVO” and that’s it.
13. Golden State Warriors
These aren’t perfect by any means, but Golden State gets points for pushing the boundaries and staying very on brand. These jerseys are an amazing tribute to the established Asian heritage of The Bay, thought they are a bit too busy to be a top jersey. The font, the numbers, the talisman, and the design on the side all fit the bill, but it’s just a lot happening all at once. Also navy for the warriors is less fun when they could always use more yellow jerseys. Last year’s were perfect.
12. Washington Wizards
I’m a sucker for any jersey that has different words with the same branding (except for Buzz City. Buzz City is dumb). And reminding everyone that it’s the District of Columbia is *chef’s kiss.* Now, if they could just get a senator.
11. Philadelphia 76ers
The best part about these jerseys is that they perfectly fit what a City Edition jersey should be: a uniform that celebrates something unique about the team’s city. Basing a jersey off of Rocky, a movie franchise that embodies Philadelphia, is great, but why did they choose his sweatsuit? Even so, the heather gray actually looks alright because it’s so unique and I love the boldness of a jersey with no words on it. Maybe next year they’ll go with an Italian Stallion or an Apollo Creed stars and stripes design.
10. Boston Celtics
*gif of Bill Simmons drinking a bowl of clam chowder with two hands like it's the dregs of ramen* But seriously, this is the best alternate jersey since the ghost of Red Auerbach said it was okay to use black. The gold accents are perfect and I can already envision buying my dad this on a sweatshirt.
9. Houston Rockets
The Rockets have been improving upon their Asian heritage night jerseys every year, and they have hit the freaking jackpot with these beauties. Replacing english text with Chinese characters is such a solid move, and the darker red and golden trim make this iteration perfectly fit the team while still looking like a rockets jersey. And that subtle Asian-inspired pattern within the red portion? HELL YES, HOUSTON. Now if only the rest of your jerseys didn’t look like garbage…
8. Oklahoma City Thunder
“The Oklahoma City Thunder’s City Edition uniform honors the American Indian Nations in Oklahoma with design elements inspired by traditional Native regalia.” Who came up with this idea? Give them a raise! And a promotion! And give all of the profits from the games where they wear these jerseys directly to reservations! No, not part of the plan?
7. Utah Jazz
MAKE THESE YOUR OFFICIAL JERSEYS AND COLORS AND CHANGE YOUR NAME TO SOMETHING ELSE, YOU COWARDS. These are fucking dope, they’re beyond unique, and they actually make sense to Utah unlike their not-so-thriving jazz scene.
6. Brooklyn Nets
Holy hell, do I love these jerseys. As soon as I saw the pattern, I saw Biggie’s sweater and the Do The Right Thing font staring back at me. I want it very badly, but I had to dock it points as me wearing it feels like gentrifying Brooklyn just a little bit more.
5. New Orleans Pelicans
MAKE YOUR OFFICIAL COLORS MARDI GRAS, YOU COWARDS. These are clean, elegant, and scream NOLA. Seriously, why are the Pelicans’ colors navy, red, and bronze? YOU ARE THE MARDI GRAS TEAM, WEAR MARDI GRAS COLORS. INSTEAD OF ONE DOPE MARDI GRAS UNIFORM, YOU COULD HAVE FOUR, BUT YOU PLAYIN’.
4. Chicago Bulls
1) Chicago has the only good city flag. 2) Use of the city flag should be everywhere. Therefore, 3) this jersey is amazing.
3. Denver Nuggets
The Nuggets rainbow jerseys from the 80s/90s are without a doubt the best in league history. Rather than simply run those back (which would still be incredible), Denver effectively remastered those uniforms for a sleek, modern adaptation. These are great and they should replace the Nuggets’ current home jersey, but all the white space makes them lose just a bit of pop. Next year, hopefully they’ll unleash a blue version, and if they do that, you can get ready for that to easily win #1 in our hearts.
2. Miami Heat
Hail to the chief. I never want Dwyane Wade to wear another color ever again, and the court just knocks the neon out of the park. Miami is coasting off of its goodwill from last year, so it doesn’t deserve that number one spot. Wow wow wow this is amazing, huh.
1. Minnesota Timberwolves
PURPLE REIGN, PUUURRRPLE REIGN. These jerseys are as bold as the artist formerly known as “the artist formerly known as Prince” himself. The base color is incredible, the accent color and trim are incredible, the font is increible, the numbers are incredible, THE SHOULDER STRIP THAT IS AN HOMAGE TO THE STUDDED CLOTHING PRINCE USED TO WEAR??? INCREDIBLE. Minnesota did the unthinkable and toppled the Miami Vice jerseys. That’s how good these are. The official description of these jerseys says the white trim is an homage to Prince’s ruffled blouses, so in the words of Prince himself, “Game, blouses.”