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A definitive ranking of the best Maverick jerseys

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We’ve designed a system to perfectly grade Dallas Mavericks jerseys...or something like that

BASKETBALL: Dirk NOWITZKI/DALLAS Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Bongarts/Getty Images

In today’s NBA, players come and go from team to team, leaving fans looking for a symbol to rally behind. That’s why the team jersey, the aesthetic of the team itself, has become so vital. It’s why we here at Mavs Moneyball, like so many others, have begged for a rebranding of the Dallas Mavericks.

A few weeks back the Twitterverse was doing all they could to find unique and dumb ways to pass the time. And the Dallas Mavericks Twitter account joined in, asking MFFLs everywhere to pick their three favorites from a list of nine Mavericks jerseys.

And while the desire for some of the classic looks from Mavs-past seemed overwhelmingly clear, we decided to take it a step further — let’s score and rank the jerseys to find the definitive Mavericks look. With three categories scored from 1 to 10, here’s our criteria:

  • Color Scheme: How do the colors on the jersey work together? Would someone be able to look at this jersey and know it’s the Dallas Mavericks?
  • Statement: What kind of impact does this jersey make? Is this jersey creative, classic, cutting edge? Will I remember this jersey 25 years from now? ...is that a good thing?
  • Would I Buy: Self explanatory.

Check out our ranking, then let us know your favorites in the comments below!


9. The Grey Silence

CS: 5
S: 4
WIB: 3
Total: 12

Nike has endeavored to give these alternate jerseys to teams, something to not just be a unique collector’s item, but to represent the cities these teams play in in a creative way. Instead we got this.

I initially defended these when they were released, but seeing them on the floor...in combination with the shorts...nothing could have been worse. It’s sad because I like the idea of the logo (which might be the only strength in Mavs branding currently) being featured on the jersey front. And I like the numbering as well. But everything about this: the color, the variety of blues on a grey canvas...it’s all mediocre. And mediocre is worse than bad.

8. The Carlton

CS: 6
S: 5
WIB: 3
Total: 14

Where to begin. With this year’s alternate (not the statement jersey, which was announced like some kind of Men’s Warehouse commercial) the Mavericks decided since they did so little last season with the grey, why not do EVERYTHING this season? And everything they did.

This Carlton-Banks-trying-to-be-DJ-Jazzy-Jeff jersey is jaw dropping. Somehow it looks better with the graffiti-themed court to accompany it...and yet...the font (THE WORD ART FONT), the gradient color scheme, the neon. Good god. One of the very few pluses of the season possibly being cancelled is we won’t have playoff memories featuring these jerseys. But at least they tried? That’s more than can be said about the grey...

7. The It’s Not Easy Being Green

CS: 7
S: 6
WIB: 3
Total: 16

Look, I get it. We want the green back. I’ve been yelling about it for years. But also, this ain’t it. The green with this blue doesn’t blend. The faux-retro font, while cute in it’s time, now looks like the cool dad saying “he got next” at Lifetime wearing two knee braces, goggles and a shooting sleeve. Why are the numbers way up there in the corner? Why is this jersey trying to give everyone hips?

These alternates were used in a beautiful if not dramatic era of Mavericks basketball. But am I going to buy it? Am I even going to remember this jersey from its time? Nope. Cuban, give us green. Just maybe not this.

6. The Gas Station Jersey

CS: 9
S: 4
WIB: 4
Total: 17

I wanted to be on board with this one. While black jerseys, or the color black in general, had never been part of the Mavericks palette I was okay with that. The jersey looks bold, strong, and it even ties into the city nicely. The color scheme looks great — the blue and green pop nicely against the black background, and the centered numbers work well.

But...DAL? HUH?? The letters and font combined look like one of those t-shirts or hats you buy at a gas station off I-35. The ones where a traveller wants a sporty souvenir of the city, but really isn’t a fan of one team, so it’s just kind of all-encompassing team sports gear. It’s unacceptable is what I’m saying. Put the Mavericks horse-basketball logo from the grey jersey with this color scheme, and I swear you have a hit.

5. The Trash Bag

CS: 5
S: 7
WIB: 8
Total: 20

It’s iconic. It’s quite literally one-of-a-kind. What else is there to say that hasn’t already been said? As a fan of grey myself it makes me sad the Mavericks can’t make a grey jersey work.

This is the first jersey in our rankings that features the full team name — it’s smushed together, but I appreciate the effort. We’re working with two separate blues, but they’re mostly spaced enough apart that it isn’t egregious. The offset numbers work better under the team name. Look, we know these don’t work and are iconic for several wrong reasons. But that’s also why I’m buying it. It gets the bump here.

4. The Title Town

CS: 8
S: 6
WIB: 8
Total: 22

I know I previously docked points for the corner-numbers, the dad font, and the hip silhouette...but it all works just slightly better with the multi-blue alternate. It isn’t so busy, and it feels more representative of the Mavericks in the peak-Dirk Nowitzki era.

On top of all of that, this was the alternate for the Mavericks’ title season. Will I ever attribute this jersey to the title run itself? No probably not. But if the detective is lining up these nine jerseys and asking me to point out which one locked up LeBron James in the NBA Finals, I’m pointing to this one.

3. The So Fresh and So Clean

CS: 9
S: 10
WIB: 9
Total: 28

For me, this is without a doubt the most underrated jersey in the Mavericks collection. This shade of blue looks great against the white, and the green accents are *chef’s kiss*. Extra points for it fitting “Mavericks” across the front with the classic script. The block numbering isn’t my favorite, but it works in the design.

Am I going to buy it? Probably not. I don’t trust myself with a white jersey. I’ve bought too many white hoodies, hats, and t-shirts, excited to wear them to the game only to see some dumb stain that I swear wasn’t my fault. But that’s on me. I take the L here.

2. The Green It Back

CS: 9
S: 10
WIB: 10
Total: 29

What is this feeling, so sudden and new? This is the icon, this is what all MFFLs everywhere have been longing for. The green jersey of all our dreams. And I believe somewhere just beyond the horizon our dreams might be met.

I wish the jersey said “Mavericks” instead of “Dallas”, and I wish there was some more pop around the numbers. But that’s just being picky. Imagine Luka Doncic throwing no-look passes to the corner in these. Kristaps Porzingis taking 60-footers like an 8-foot green unicorn. Maxi Kleber looking devilishly handsome swatting shots. We need this classic green back, and the day it does I’m standing in line for the release and snagging the whole store.

1. The Blue Beauty

CS: 10
S: 10
WIB: 10
Total: 30

Heading into this I honestly never guessed this would have come out on top. And yet here we are. The Mavericks haven’t used this jersey since 2001, and I can’t imagine we’ll be seeing it anytime soon. But I might beg for its return.

The blue just pops. It’s better than the standard blue used now, and it’s more unique than the navy. The green accents are still choice. And the simplicity of this, with the other classics in the top three, shows confidence. Like they don’t have to try so hard (we’re looking at you, graffiti-jersey)!