Welp. We already kind of knew what we were getting after the leaks from the NBA 2K video game series a few weeks ago. But even though I was prepared for it, I’m still so disappointed in these uniforms.
Our own Josh Bowe was the first to bring them to my attention.
looks better than the leak, but still pretty boring. the green being back in the color scheme is by far the best part. pic.twitter.com/7DIevtbWtE— Josh Bowe (@Boweman55) December 27, 2017
He’s correct, the green is the only good thing about these. However, it isn’t even Mavs green -- its a lighter, almost neon green. Personally, I like neon green as an accent color but I know a lot of folks absolutely do not. As you can see from this tweet by Conrad Burry, a graphic designer who is one of the best sources for uniform-related leaks and mock-ups on the internet, the names on the backs of the jerseys will also be green:
And four more Swingman unis... pic.twitter.com/Tb6ZYMFnSR— Conrad Burry (@conradburry) December 27, 2017
So, let’s talk a bit about why these are lousy. First, they’re black. Black has never been a color used by the Dallas Mavericks, except for the outline of the primary horse head logo. I don’t know whose decision this was, but I’m go out on a limb here and guess it was Mark Cuban’s. It may also be something Nike suggested — at least two other teams have black “City Edition” uniforms, despite not having black in their color scheme. Four others have a similar situation, but with grey City unis. Personally, I’m not a fan of using a color that isn’t in the team’s color scheme as the primary color for an alternate uniform. Throwbacks like Sacramento’s powder blues or Memphis’ red uniforms that hearken back to the old Memphis Sounds are the only exception.
I really wanted these jerseys to be green. Not neon green. Mavs green. Like the throwbacks from two seasons ago. That shade of green is a great color and should be used more often. This feels like a wasted opportunity.
Next, the “DAL” on the chest. I get that this is a “City” uniform but the Mavs already have a uniform that says “DALLAS” and features the city’s skyline. Designate those as the City Edition and use the “Statement Edition” to make a really cool, standout (AKA “statement”) uniform featuring Mavs green. That isn’t hard. Hell, you know what looks great on the front of a jersey: “MAVS.”
While I’m on the wordmark, the font is beyond boring. I think in keeping with the theme of the whole uniform. The striping in the front isn’t awful, but it looks like someone spent 10 minutes in the 2K17 uniform creator, made this, and said, “Eh, good enough.” It is just so generic. And though it’s difficult to tell at first, the intent of the jersey is to evoke the Dallas skyline at night:
Only in Dallas will you feel the energy the downtown skyline brings to its Dallasites. Marked by the neon glow on the letters, numbers and piping, the new Mavs City Edition Jersey reflects the swagger of the Big D and the vibrancy of Dallas nights.#NIKExNBA #MFFL pic.twitter.com/aNNxUeJD8c— Dallas Mavericks (@dallasmavs) December 27, 2017
So, I see what they are going for with the black and the neon blue and green accents. Downtown Dallas is well-known for all the bright lights on the buildings at night. However, unless you’ve been told that this is what they were trying to do, no one will make that connection. It feels halfhearted. If you’re trying to do something cool with a uniform design, you shouldn’t have to explain what the hell it is you are trying to do. It should be obvious to the casual viewer what the design is when they see the jersey.
There’s one last thing to consider. These are going to clash with the predominantly blue and navy court in the AAC. Personally, I hate when teams mix and match navy and black — these colors are too similar and clash. It’s tacky. But that doesn’t stop teams like Cleveland and Dallas from doing it. Hell, the Mavs’ court already features both black and navy. The border of the court is navy while the outline of the mid-court logo is black. That, however, is not incredibly noticeable. The Mavs running around in black, with the navy outline of the court in every single shot, will absolutely stand out.
The Kings have a new court to pair with their new powder blue uniforms. The Mavs are not the Kings, however. While that is usually a good thing basketball-wise, it is a very bad thing design-wise. Sacramento is one of the best looking teams in the NBA from a purely aesthetic viewpoint. That’s because they try new things. Dallas’ approach to uniform design is conservative and, at times, downright lazy. I can’t see them springing for an alternate court to match these City uniforms. Even if they did, the court would likely be just as boring and uninspired as these uniforms.
It isn’t that these uniforms are bad, it’s that they look like some Joe Schmo designed them in 30 minutes. They aren’t creative or unique and have absolutely nothing to do with the city. Give me a couple of hours and someone who is good with Photoshop and I can come up with several better designs. That’s not something a random blogger on the internet should be able to say about a uniform designed by the biggest athletic apparel brand in the world for a Big Four sports team.
The Mavericks didn’t even try with their new jerseys. I know that design and aesthetics are secondary to the on-court product, but fans deserve better.