NBA City Edition Jerseys: The Best and the Worst

By Staff Writer Greg Estabrooks.

Earlier this month, NBA teams released their City Edition jerseys, which teams will wear as one of their four uniforms throughout the rest of the season.  

2018 represents the second year that the flashy unis have hit the courts, as their inception coincides with when Nike began their contract with the NBA in 2017-2018 to act as their official jersey provider.  

The City Edition jerseys allow teams to get creative with their uniforms, and also let them pay homage to their respective cities or regions by incorporating themes or tributes into their designs.  

With that being said, let’s get down to business and talk about the good, the bad, and the ugly.  

Beginning with the good, there were a few teams who really outdid themselves this year and whose jerseys are undoubtedly flying off of the shelves.  

The Brooklyn Nets paid their respects to the late-great Notorious B.I.G., aka Biggie Smalls, by dropping a jersey that is similar to their classic black uniforms in almost all aspects except for the trimmings, which feature the Coogi sweater pattern that was so often worn by Biggie. These were one of my personal favorites.  

Right up there with Brooklyn for me is the Denver Nuggets. For their City Edition, they turned back the clock and brought out a revamped version of the classic rainbow skyline version of the jersey they used to wear in the 1980s. The design sits on a white jersey, with navy blue trim and lettering. This jersey gets two thumbs up from me.  

One of the most popular and raved about jerseys has been those of the Minnesota Timberwolves, which honor hometown legend Prince with a “Purple Rain” inspired look. The vibrant purple lettering and trim is eye popping, and this jersey is great on all levels.  

The Houston Rockets and the Golden State Warriors paid homage to their Chinese communities and fans by incorporating Chinese characters into each of their jerseys. Both jerseys are really good, but I give the edge to the Rockets because of the intense detail in the background which is described by them as “auspicious clouds”. Very cool. Shouts out to Yao Ming.  

Some of the teams, including the Miami Heat, didn’t try to reinvent the wheel and stuck with their designs from last year. The Heat’s City Edition jerseys, which are inspired by the classic TV show Miami Vice, are straight fire, and they look even better this year in black as opposed to last year’s white.  

It wouldn’t be right if I didn’t mention the Boston Celtics. The Celtics rolled out some simply clean jerseys with yellow highlighting around the numbering and lettering. I like them a lot, and although they are not amongst my favorite of this year’s release, I may have to snag one for myself this holiday season.  

So now that we have gone over the studs, it is time to get to the biggest busts of the 2018-2019 City Edition jerseys.  

The Los Angeles Clippers featured an “LA” logo on the front that is supposed to resemble the logo from the 1984 Olympics which were held in Los Angeles. These just were not executed well, and could have been a lot better. Not a fan. 

The Philadelphia 76ers conjured up a Rocky inspired jersey, and while the idea of it is cool, they ended up looking exactly like a gray sweat suit. You couldn’t pay me to wear one in public or private. 

And finally, the Milwaukee Bucks. I don’t know what the Milwaukee Bucks were thinking this year when they decided to release the atrociousness that they are calling a jersey. It looks like a bad Picasso painting. They were trying to pay tribute to their former arena called MECCA, which had a rather colorful floor, but the jerseys are just plain ugly. They absolutely take the cake for worst City Edition jersey.  

Nike has overall done a fantastic job with the City Edition jerseys, as they are fun and a way for teams to get creative with their on-court apparel. Hopefully next year, the good stay good, and the bad step their game up and release something that is at least bearable to look at.  

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