If you’ve watched NBA TV lately, or visited the league’s website, you’ll have noticed that they are currently plugging their ‘Big Color’ Christmas Day jerseys—which, incidentally, are very cool. But as well as the super-stylish limited-edition jerseys on offer, the NBA is currently stocked-full of awesome home and road jerseys that have nothing to do with any festive promotional drive.
In-fact, aside from a couple suspect ones (Miami’s all-white jersey, for example), NBA teams in 2012 seem to be in a pretty good place style-wise. There are no purple dinosaurs, oversized deer, or anything by the Vancouver Grizzlies currently making us gouge our eyes out. But even in today’s relatively inoffensive world of on-court attire, not everything is equal.
Here are today’s 5 coolest jerseys in the NBA.
Despite the Dubs’ troubles on the court over the past 20 years, they’ve always been somewhat ahead of the curve when it comes to their hard-court wardrobe. It helps that they have one of the best logos in the NBA, which to be honest, looks cool on any jersey. Their current road jersey has been around for quite some time, albeit with some slight alterations made down the years—even Rick Barry, clad in much tighter shorts, rocked it back in the 70s. The colours, particularly the royal blue, are bright and stand out nicely, without being over-the-top and gaudy. And with the Warriors currently among the top teams in the NBA, those jerseys look even cooler.
It seems as though people either love or absolutely hate the new OKC alternate jerseys. Not too many people are sitting on the fence, and it’s easy to see why this jersey has divided opinion. It’s simple and lacks the vibrant blue and orange colouring that can be seen on their traditional road jerseys. But the simplicity, in my opinion, is what makes this jersey super-cool. The understated navy blue is nice and original—for the NBA at least—while the vertical lettering is a big winner for me. And the stylish simplicity of the jersey sort of suits the personality of the team—cool, low maintenance, and business-like. Durant and Westbrook are throwbacks in a lot of ways, and this is an ‘old-school’ throwback kind of jersey.
Sometimes it’s cool to go retro, and this is definitely one of those times. The new Nuggets skyline jerseys are a throwback to that classic—and awesomely ugly—multi-coloured jersey worn by the likes of Alex English and Dikembe Mutombo. The 2012/13 version is a little less loud in its colour scheme—no longer including all the colours of the rainbow—but it captures the essence of the original jersey nonetheless. The skyline jersey is engrained in the minds of hardcore basketball fans, and despite its mildly cartoonish appearance, it just works. The Nuggets are a fun team that play an up-tempo style, and this is a very fun jersey.
Just like the OKC jersey, this new piece of Cavaliers garb has probably induced some pretty extreme reactions on either end of the opinion spectrum. Sure, it looks like it might have been created by a co-collaboration between Heinz and French’s—and the mustard yellow isn’t exactly subtle—but there is something pretty swagtastic about this jersey. The Cavaliers, led by the amazing Kyrie Irving, are young and loud, and this jersey fits them to a tee. Cavs fans haven’t had much to shout about recently, but watching Irving break ankles clad in mustard yellow is enough to make even the most tortured Cavs fans excited.
Somewhat ironically the Heat are currently responsible for both the best and worst jerseys in the NBA. The all-white monstrosity, unveiled this season, is awful—it looks like something you’d wear to a rec league game. However, this all-black get-up, unveiled last year, is hands down the coolest jersey in the NBA. It manages to look super-cool and super-intimidating at the same time, and it’s relatively simple—nothing but black with a slick white trim around the lettering, showing that sometimes less is more. It doesn’t seem fair that a team that possesses the greatest basketball player on the planet, and the scariest roster in the league, also gets to wear the coolest jerseys in the Association.