DETROIT — Teal returns to Motor City after more than two decades away.
The nostalgic Detroit Pistons uniforms were reintroduced Monday night among a select group of partners, influencers and season ticket holders as the official Classic Edition jerseys for the upcoming 2022-23 season.
Overlooking the city of Detroit from the 72nd floor of the Renaissance Center, former Pistons star Jerry Stackhouse returned to his old stomping ground for launch party to showcase the jerseys.
Stackhouse was among those franchise legends, including Grant Hill and Ben Wallace, who made uniforms popular during their generation.
“Those guys wearing that teal, it was also a proud feeling for that band. Knowing that we obviously didn’t have the success of the Bad Boys or the ’04 Pistons, but we helped close that gap and keep it going. the identity of Detroit,” Stackhouse told ESPN. “Even though we were into teal and brown at the time, it was still a fun time and I’m glad the fans resonated with it.
“They spoke, they said they wanted him back and they appreciated what we did in that time, so it’s great fun to see the excitement around that.”
However, not everyone was a fan of the colorway change – including Hill – especially at the time.
Given how spectacular Hill was during his tenure at the Pistons, even he can’t deny the modern day popularity of uniforms and why his Detroit career is still identified with those colors.
“First of all, just because I played in teal didn’t mean I was a big fan of it. I had no choice. At the time, I didn’t quite have a understood,” Hill told Andscape in October. “I know teal was kind of a go-to color in the 90s and you think of Charlotte and Vancouver as new franchises, expansion teams, and they had teal, so whatever group of discussion at the time, I guess teal was the color of the future, but I never really embraced it.
“I wore red, white and blue the first few years and nothing is more perfect than that. It’s synonymous with the Pistons and tradition,” he said. “At the time, I thought of the Lakers or the Celtics, ‘They’re not going to change their colors.’ So, that’s something that I haven’t quite grasped or understood, but whatever, you go out and play.”
Pistons guard Cade Cunningham and the Pistons’ new look will now wear the retro jerseys for 10 games this season. Detroit originally moved away from its traditional red, white and blue threads from 1996 to 2001 to adopt the teal horsehead jerseys before reverting to the previous colorway.
Stackhouse was a two-time All-Star in 2000 and 2001 with the teal jerseys. Detroit has also reached the playoffs three times in these uniforms. Even as the current head coach of Vanderbilt University, the 47-year-old Stackhouse often remembers those times through those jerseys.
“I saw somebody wearing the jersey randomly in Tennessee, so it has its own life. It has its own identity,” Stackhouse said. “I was even a huge fan of the brown jerseys. I know they probably don’t get as much love as the teal, but it’s good that he’s back.”