The NBA game is a visual game. There are strategic decisions, plays and thousands of little details to follow below the surface. Yet at the end of the day, the NBA is such a popular product because of the visuals – the dunks, crossovers, celebrations, shoes, and most importantly the jerseys.
Other sports leagues have equally recognizable uniforms, but none of the other top leagues embrace creativity and visual pop like the NBA. Each team has a variety of jerseys to choose from each year, and each season teams come up with new looks to show off their players and grab the attention (and money, to be honest) from fans.
Every NBA team wears their jersey with pride, but not all shirts are created equal. Which teams have the best jerseys and which can improve?
NBA power ranking: Ranking of the NBA jerseys of the 30 teams
The question then becomes, who has the best jerseys? Which is better and which teams should return to the drawing board? This is a difficult and subjective question in itself, but becomes even more complicated when you take into account that each team has between four and six shirts. This year, the league’s 75th anniversary season only increases the number of potential looks circulating.
We’re going to try to simplify things a bit and only look at each team’s top three shirt looks. Nike marks them with the “Association” edition (house white), the “Icon” edition (colorful, old road jerseys) and the “Statement” edition (Jordan brand, bold look). All 30 teams have kept these jerseys the same this year, so we had at least one full season for each of them to assess.
City Edition jerseys are almost entirely new this season. We’ve left them out of the equation here, but look at a breakdown and ranking here. For teams that have other replacements, including the “Classic” edition for the three league teams also celebrating an anniversary (New York Knicks, Boston Celtics and Golden State Warriors), they will not be included here. Shout out to Locker Vision for providing visuals of all the jerseys this season, as well as the schedule for their wearing.
Our jersey evaluation criteria take this into account a lot. Is the look clean? Is it confusing? How well do the colors work together? How does he represent the city and the team? What story is involved in this look? do I love him? All of these factors and many more went into the ranking.
Finally, I thought it would be useful to bring an outside point of view. Evaluating shirts for die-hard fans is one thing, but what do casual or “non-fans” think? To help with that, I pulled the opinion of my wife, who doesn’t watch basketball. What did she think of the swimsuits at first glance?
Without further ado, let’s join our 30th ranked team, who made a design choice for all three jerseys that just doesn’t look right.