Nike introduces new uniform concept

Back in 2015, Nike signed a deal to become the exclusive on-court uniform provider to the NBA, WNBA and the NBA D-League (now the NBA G League). The deal runs for eights years and begins with 2017-18 NBA season. While I am sad to see Stance loose the license to provide on court socks (hopefully they will retain their license to continue to provide their normal range of socks to help keep my sock game on point), I am excited to see Nike replace Adidas given my affection for Nike brand.

Earlier this week, Nike revealed the first design for their new jerseys. While the technical info is interesting – Nike employed the use of 3D-body maps of players to design the jersey and the uniforms which will be comprised of Alpha Yarns and recycled polyester – what really caught my attention was the new naming convention for the uniforms.

Staring with the 2017-18 season, each team will have four core uniforms

Gone are the days of home, away and alternate uniforms. The NBA and Nike worked together to create four new “core” uniforms for each team.

The Association Edition will be the traditional white home jersey and “pays homage to the league”.

The Icon Edition looks to be the teams traditional road jersey and is supposed to “represent the rich heritage and iconic identity of each NBA franchise”.

The other two core uniforms do not have an official name yet, but are described in the Nike press lease as being inspired by the athletes mindset and the community, respectively.

The concept for Nike four “core” uniforms for the 2017-18 NBA Season

The reference to four “core” uniforms suggests that Nike and the NBA have left the door open for addition uniform variations (think Christmas, Day, Latin Night, Chinese New Year, etc.).  Indeed, Nike’s press release specifically points out that eight teams will have a “Classic Edition” uniform.

Who decides what uniform to where?  According to Nike and the NBA, the home team gets to pick its uniform and then the visiting team selects a uniform with a contrasting colour (e.g., if the home teams selects white, the visiting team must select a dark colour).

It should come as no surprise that in addition to jerseys and socks, Nike will also have an “on court collection” that will also feature tights and socks (sorry Stance).

For the 2016-17 season, the Spurs had four primary uniforms

For the 2016-2017 season, the Spurs had four primary uniforms – home white, black away, the silver alternate first introduced in 2012 and the black-on-black alternate (my favourite) introduced in 2015.

Manu and Patty looking good in the black-on-black alternate uniform

The Spurs also had various special event uniforms including Christmas Day, Military Appreciate Night and Latin Night.

No more camouflage uniforms please…

It's time for a fiesta uniform!!!

Returning to the Nike announcement, it is this fourth “community inspired” core uniform that has me really excited.  I’m thinking orange, teal and fuchsia.  That’s right Spurs fans, it’s finally time for a San Antonio Spurs fiesta uniform!

Operating under the assumption that the existing four primary Spurs uniforms will act as the staring point for the four core Nike uniforms, one of the existing uniforms will have to go. My preference would be to jettison the traditional black away jersey, it’s time has come and there would still be the black-on-black to provide a dark colour (plus the black-on-black is just awesome). Dropping the traditional black road jersey would open up a slot in the four core uniform rotation for a “community inspired” fiesta uniform.

What should the the first uniform look like?

Brian Begley has some amazing Nike uniform concepts up on his website, including a silver uniform with some fiesta accents.

Nike uniform concept designs by Brian Begley of New Jersey

While Brian has some nice looking concepts, the fiesta core uniform will need to have the fiesta colours more prominently displayed.

Spurs by SB on Imgur was inspired by the Spurs warm-up jacket from the 1995-96 season. I like the unconventional thinking here but suspect that the sleeves make this a non-starter given Nike’s focus on responding to player feedback.

Fiesta style uniform created by Spurs by SB on Imgur

Perhaps, the best fiesta design I have seen to date is from Reddit user Dsarg_92 who did a nice job of incorporating the fiesta style strips from the 1994-95 Spurs warm-up jacket into a black uniform design.

Spurs fiesta uniform created by Reddit user Dsarg_92

Definitely some interesting uniform concepts to get the imagination going.  One would think that Nike would have to be totally ignorant of the San Antonio market/fanbase not to have fiesta themed uniform under consideration – I guarantee you that a fiesta themed jersey would sell out faster than fiesta medals! Ultimately, only time will tell and Spurs fans will have to keep their fingers crossed until the fall.