Nike is taking over as the official outfitter for the NBA soon. Today, a hint of what Nike intends dropped all over the internet.
The biggest takeaway here is that Nike is doing away with the idea of home and road unis, at least in name. Instead, each team will have four uniform options, with the “Association Edition” taking the place of the traditional white home uniform and the “Icon Edition” taking the place of the traditional road uni. Each team will also have a third uniform that is “inspired by the athlete’s mindset” and a fourth “inspired by the community.” No word yet on what the hell that even means.
The coolest thing here is that Nike is reporting that the home team gets to choose what uniform they wear, and the only requirement for the road team is that they wear something contrasting. In other words, we could potentially be getting a lot more color-on-color matchups. Or as I like to say, yum.
The most interesting aspects generally are the changes to the shoulders and the hem of the shorts. If you recall from the most recent Olympic jerseys designed by Nike, the shoulders were much thinner than we’re used to.
These new NBA uniforms aren’t quite that thin up top, it would seem, but still a bit sleeker and slimmer than the previous Adidas versions. So far only the Sacramento Kings uniforms have been released, and you can get a feel for how the new fit looks.
You can see in these photos the other obvious change: the hem of the shorts. It’ll be really interesting to see how teams incorporate side striping into that new hem style, with a larger cut on the sides and the front seam wrapping over the bottom one.
The Mavs in particular may have to move or make smaller the circular horsehead logo they have placed at the bottom of the shorts currently, as seen below.
Right now, it’s anyone’s guess what the Mavs’ “athlete’s mindset” and “community” uniforms might look like. The Association and Icon editions should hew closely to the current versions of the white home and royal blue road uni, with the exception being the previously revealed minor change to the shade of blue used.
One tiny detail that seems like a sure guess is that we know what the collar will look like. For over a decade, the Mavs’ normal uniform set has utilized the “wishbone” collar style. The Golden State Warriors also use this collar style, and Nike has given us a look at what their version of this collar style will look like:
So here’s the part where I offer my own unique brand of rampant (but educated) speculation. If I was the sort of person who placed bets, I’d place a lot of money that the Mavs’ “community” uniforms will be a fairly identical replication of the current “skyline” alternative uniforms they use. This seems obvious, since well, they were literally designed by a member of the community.
The “athlete’s mindset” uniforms are totally up in the air though. If I had my way, they would be green. I don’t care if that’s green like the 2000s era Diddy alts or green like the 2015-16 retro alts. But I WANT THE MAVS IN GREEN. PERIOD. The only complication here is that there are also a number of reports that eight NBA teams will have a fifth “classic edition” jersey, which seems like an obvious name for retro uniforms.
There is no indication whether the Mavs are one of these eight teams, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they aren’t going back to those green retros anyway. For whatever reason, Cuban has seemed hesitant over the years to let the green stick around too long. Because he hates me, I guess.
It’ll be interesting to see if the “athlete’s mindset” version is something more modern and daring than we’ve seen the Mavs try in recent years, maybe a silver or gray uniform. (Here’s the part where I shudder at the memory of those awful “trashbag” unis from the early Cuban years.)
I’ll be the first person to jump on it with an update when we get some hint of which direction the Mavs will go, but it’s clear that Nike is trying to shake things up. I’m eager to find out what the two additional Mavs uniforms will look like this season. I’m even more eager to see if Mark Cuban might look to enact a more thorough rebrand once Dirk retires in a year or two.
For now, let’s enjoy the speculation.