Welcome back to Prolific Ranker; the segment where I rank things not so prolifically. Today, I’m going to be ranking the latest City Edition Jerseys in the NBA. This season’s release was a bit underwhelming compared to year’s past, but there is some fire in here. So let’s get ranking!
30. New York Knicks
I physically hate this jersey. It looks like a worse version of a practice jersey. Plus the center circle with text very rarely works. Especially when you have a truncated version of a city’s phrase in it. This is garbage.
29. Cleveland Cavaliers
I will admit, I kinda liked the idea the Cavs were going for; using fonts from famous rock & roll icons to make up the team font because the rock & roll hall of fame is in Cleveland. Two problems; first, using only one (or two in the Sex Pistols case) letters makes it harder to determine where they’re from; and secondly, the way they’ve done it makes it look like the Zodiac Killer designed it in one of his notes to the police. To rub salt in the wound, the court they’re using in conjunction with these jerseys is awful too.
28. New Orleans Pelicans
This one is just aggressively bland. I’m never a fan (or very rarely) of when a jersey doesn’t have a team or city name on the front. The Pels go one further and don’t even put a logo on the front. All it has is the three gold fleur-de-lis on the front. This mirrors the New Orleans flag, so maybe the locals will like it more than I do, but that won’t be hard.
27. Detroit Pistons
What I said about the Knicks jerseys applies here too; the circular writing on the front of the jersey rarely works. Add to that that the Pistons just keep going back to the same old colour scheme every season when they have those fire teal jerseys in their back catalogue to borrow from, and this was a recipe for a weak jersey.
26. Boston Celtics
Yawn. I get that this is meant to represent the championship banners in the Celtic’s stadium, but could these jerseys be any more boring? The only reason they aren’t dead last is because the clean font is aesthetically pleasing. But so, so boring.
25. Toronto Raptors
Maybe I’m biased because the Raps keep enlisting the help of the corniest rapper in the game, but I just don’t like these at all. The thing is, Raptors are such a bad ass creature that there is so much design potential, but sure, let’s just go back to the black and gold and give some weak excuse for a line that is meant to be the scratch from a Raptor. Weak.
24. Oklahoma City Thunder
This looks like someone liked the Buffalo Braves jersey, then recreated it, poorly, in 2K or something. I do give them credit for fitting Shai’s full name on the back, but I’m not a fan of the jersey overall. Maybe it’s still too soon but how about paying tribute to the team that died so the Thunder could exist and doing something in green and yellow?
23. Washington Wizards
While I don’t hate this design overall, it loses a lot of points for being the exact same as last season’s jersey, except gray instead of white. If you’re going to replace a colour, don’t use the blandest colour as it’s replacement. Even a black or red version of this could’ve been really cool, but instead…gray.
22. Miami Heat
The Heat went back to the Vice well one too many times it’d seem. Historically, the Heat’s jerseys have always been good, so one miss is allowable, and this will probably still sell a bunch, but I’m not a fan. The Vice jerseys are usually so clean, that’s the appeal. This one is too much.
21. Dallas Mavericks
I’m not entirely sure what it is about these I don’t like. It might be the stripes down the side that makes them look ribbed. It might be the odd gray and gold colour combination. It might be that I am so used to Mavs uniforms having such nice greens and blues in them. Whatever the reason, I don’t like these.
20. Houston Rockets
For the most part, I find the Rockets selection of uniforms boring, with the exception of the pinstripe numbers in the 90’s and the red and yellow previous to that. Since they changed to the red and white, I have not been a fan. So this gets bonus points just for not being red and white. But overall, it’s kinda boring as well. But it’s a different boring.
19. Milwaukee Bucks
It’d appear I am picking on the colour blue, but I’m not. Just like the Rockets, I appreciate the Bucks going against typical colour schemes for them. I also like the Bucks representing the rivers and lakes of Milwaukee/Wisconsin. I’m not a fan of the numbers not being straight on the front of the jersey. Why are they on the slightest lean? That’s annoying as hell.
18. Denver Nuggets
For the last couple of seasons, the Nuggest City jerseys have been amongst my favourites. And I get where they were going with this one; trying to replicate Utah’s previous City jersey with the sun rising over the mountains. But I find this just too dark overall. There is no contrast minus the mountain in the middle.
17. Minnesota Timberwolves
I’ll admit, this one is clean. I like the star representing the North Star, with Minnesota being the North Star state and all. What I don’t like is the randomly-abbreviated version of the city/state. I get Minnesota is long, but why not Wolves? Or something like that. This is much better than the ones below it, but it’s still only okay for me.
16. Philadelphia 76ers
This one left a sour taste in my mouth because, before it was released, the Sixers got Allen Iverson to hype it up and everyone thought they were bringing back the black jerseys that he made famous. Now that I’ve had time to get over that, I kinda dig this a little, but it has flaws. First, stop trying to feign that this is in any way a tribute to the aforementioned jerseys. It’s not. Secondly, Numbers over city/team name? Yuck.
15. Utah Jazz
The ‘sunrise’ Jazz jerseys were great when paired with the court they used as well as the shorts, but didn’t stand up well on their own. This version, dark mode, is a cool idea but loses points for it not pairing well with the rest of the uniform, at least not as well as the previous jersey.
14. Brooklyn Nets
This jersey has probably grown on me more than any other City jersey, except one, since it was first leaked. I’ve grown to really like the colour scheme, especially the scratch design down the side. I get that it’s a tribute to Brooklyn artist Jean-Michel Basquiat as well, but man, I just can’t like that font on the front. I just can’t.
13. Sacramento Kings
I seem to be in the minority here but I dig this one. I think a couple of things could’ve made this even higher up the list though. I’m not a big fan of “Sactown” on the front. Second, I’d like a bit more contrast in the checkers on the side to make them pop just a little more. Finally, I’d have loved if they could incorporate some purple in here somewhere. Maybe even on the aforementioned checkers. But overall, I dig these.
12. Chicago Bulls
This one is a hard one. I actually really dig this one and everything above it. I don’t think this has any discernible flaws in my opinion, and I really like the font. But I just like everything else above it more.
11. Los Angeles Clippers
I criticised the Wizards for using the same jersey but just lazily changing a colour and yet I have the Clippers this high. That’s mainly because the white font on black works SO much better than the previous black font on white. The blue and red trim on the sleeves feels like a “hey we changed this too” type minimal effort. But I can’t deny that this just looks so clean.
10. Portland Trail Blazers
From the front, this looks like a nice jersey, nothing more, nothing less. But I love the details in this one. The stripes down the side representing the mountain ranges of Oregon and the different colours representing different areas of the state. Even the font is the same used in the Portland, Oregon sign in downtown Portland. The reason this isn’t further up is because you kinda have to dig to find the details.
9. Atlanta Hawks
The Hawks City jerseys are usually amongst the best and this season is no different. I normally don’t like when a team doesn’t have their city or team name on the front, but this is an obvious exception. This jersey is very clean, and comes with a really nice court too.
8. Golden State Warriors
I love all of the rest of these jerseys so it’s basically gonna be me talking about how much I like them. These are a tribute to one of my favourite jerseys of all-time, the ‘We Believe’ era Warriors squad. I like them putting Oakland on the front but I find it ironic that it’s the season after they left Oakland for San Francisco. This is kinda like firing someone before christmas then sending them a Xmas card.
7. Memphis Grizzlies
With the exception of the weird Memphis Tams jerseys that looked like Team Australia jerseys, have the Grizz ever had a bad jersey? It’s a rhetorical question and the answer is no. They continue that tradition here, honoring the history of Memphis music, with tributes to Isaac Hayes and Stax Records. I like the actual jersey itself having grooves, meant to replicate a vinyl record.
6. Phoenix Suns
There’s a lot to like about these jerseys. Great colour scheme; Great font; Solid overall design. The one thing that stops this from being in the top, top tier is the pixelated parts. It just doesn’t quite work for me. I’d still gladly rock one of these though.
5. Los Angeles Lakers
This is a very sleek, tidy design. Traditional LA Lakers jersey with the Minneapolis Lakers colours. The one thing letting me down, and this is a very minor nitpick, is that I like a little more contrast in my jerseys. A black outline on the numbers would’ve made this pop so much more. But these are very good regardless.
4. Orlando Magic
These are fantastic. Throwing back to one of the best jerseys ever, but incorporating the states ties to Oranges, may sound weird, but it works so well. I even like using just the ORL with a star. It breaks my rule, but I likes what I likes. What can I say? I think having a black outline on the ORL like they do on the numbers would’ve put this as top two for me, I think.
3. Charlotte Hornets
What a comeback story. I was not a fan when these were first announced but they grew on me really quick. You might think I am just being biased but I promise I’m not. I am on record as saying I hated our City Jerseys from last season. But keeping the pinstripe tradition, while incorporating the city and state’s history (Mint representing the first US Branch Mint; Gold representing the state’s Gold Rush in the 1800’s) works very well. Plus Buzz City is my favourite “not team or city” phrase on the front of a jersey and I will always allow it.
2. San Antonio Spurs
Look what happens when the Spurs decide to add even a little colour to their jerseys. In all seriousness, it’s about time the Spurs used these colours, even if it is just three stripes. I also believe this is the first jersey to have “San Antonio” on the front instead of Spurs since the late 80’s. Great font, great colour scheme. I’m not a Spurs fan and I’m tempted to cop one of these.
1. Indiana Pacers
These are incredible and one of my favourite City jerseys ever. Combining two of the Pacer’s most famous jerseys; the blue and yellow of the late 80’s/early 90’s and the pinstripes of the late 90’s, this is just beautiful. The blue is even dark enough that the white outline on Indiana and the numbers works well enough. I don’t have anything else to say. These go hard.
There it is. Don’t forget to hit us up on Twitter and let us know what you think. As always, until next time…