The NFL has the Color Rush; the MLB occasionally has throwbacks, but the NBA blows all other sports leagues out of the water with their special set of jerseys known as “NBA City Jerseys.” Teams can pay homage to their city, a former resident of their city, a former jersey, or literally anything. This year, some of the greatest uniforms in sports history came out, so let’s walk through the complete rankings.
30. Phoenix Suns
By no means are these Suns’ jersey that bad; I was just extremely disappointed in their lack of creativity. The Suns have always had some of the best jerseys in the NBA, and they really could’ve done a lot with their Hispanic heritage jerseys. Instead, we get a very bland purple slate with “Los Suns” worded across the front.
29. Dallas Mavericks
A lot of NBA fans hated these Mavericks’ jerseys. While I didn’t dislike them as much as the general public did, they were still fairly disappointing. A simple logo with an awkward looking number underneath isn’t enough for what’s supposed to be an exciting jersey.
28. Memphis Grizzlies
I dislike these Grizzlies’ jerseys. While it appeared they made an effort to provide their fans with something exciting, the execution was poor. The yellow-on-gray affects the readability negatively, and the Nike Elite design on the side just looks like an afterthought. I appreciate the effort, but it was a lackluster design from the beginning.
27. Los Angeles Lakers
Yikes. I’m not sure why the Lakers gave Magic Johnson the responsibility of designing their city jerseys, but these are pretty close to what I would’ve expected. That purple color and those thin pinstripes are tacky, and the Lakers continue to disappoint with their uniforms this year.
26. Charlotte Hornets
We have officially exited ugly territory. These Hornets’ jerseys aren’t that bad, but they were close to good with a couple small changes. I don’t know why the Hornets didn’t color their neckline, but that would’ve at least jumped them up 3 or 4 spots. It was just a little too simple for my taste.
25. Milwaukee Bucks
I like the creativity with the colors of the Bucks’ old arena, but it is still kind of ugly. They threw together some colors that don’t really work together, just because they pop. It’s nice that they tried to put out something different, but their execution was also poor.
24. Portland Trail Blazers
These Trail Blazers’ jerseys are literally just a less complex version of their normal black jerseys. You probably won’t even be able to tell if they’re wearing their city jerseys; I’m disappointed.
23. Sacramento Kings
These Kings’ jerseys are one white stripe away from being cool. I’m not sure why the top of the jersey is still white, but it just gives it a trashy vibe overall. At least they improved from their logo jerseys from last year.
22. Cleveland Cavaliers
By far the most polarizing city jerseys this year belong to the Cavs. I’ll just say this; you will definitely know when the Cavs are playing in this uniform.
21. Indiana Pacers
The Pacers have the most average city jerseys in my opinion. The gray, blue, and yellow combination with the speedy design down the side all look great; there’s just nothing special about them. Overall, a good job though.
20. Orlando Magic
While I usually dislike the simple city jerseys, something about this Magic one just works. The way the number fits inside the logo like that with the small amount of galaxy down the sides look great; it’s once again, just nothing special.
19. Detroit Pistons
Here’s where we start getting to the special ones. I’ve always loved the Pistons’ “Motor City” uniforms over the years and the addition of the two racing stripes on the black base create a great contrast from their normal uniforms. Great job.
18. Los Angeles Clippers
While I may not love every design element of these Clippers’ jerseys, they have some really cool elements. They’re inspired by Team USA uniforms, as seen on the shorts with striped design down the side and the stars on the jersey. The number font and LA font just look a little awkward next to each other, however.
17. Boston Celtics
You never expect the Celtics to do anything crazy with their uniforms. That being said, the simple usage of the gold representing their past adds a perfect touch to their otherwise boring uniforms. I could see a lot of fans buying this one.
16. New York Knicks
Like the Clippers, these Knicks jerseys aren’t the best looking overall, but they have some really cool elements. The usage of the New York City skyline down the side of the uniform and the idea of the throwback is great; there’s just better-looking jerseys.
15. Atlanta Hawks
Here’s where we start getting to the nice ones. The Hawks use this gold color in homage to their 50th year in Atlanta, and their feather-like pattern on the side creates an absolutely amazing uniform design.
14. Golden State Warriors
The Warriors always have a Chinese heritage uniform, and this is by far their best one. They used a darker blue and better font for the number just to separate them even further from their basic home/away jerseys.
13. Chicago Bulls
These have some of my favorite symbolism. The simple usage of Chicago’s flag is awesome, and I really don’t think I’d change this at all. It’s really a perfect jersey for the Bulls; there are just better ones out there.
12. Houston Rockets
For example, the Houston Rockets tried something never done before on an NBA jersey. They actually textured the fabric with the threading of clouds for their Japanese heritage uniforms, a really cool concept.
11. San Antonio Spurs
The Spurs’ camouflaged uniforms may be basic, but they are the perfect representation of San Antonio and the Spurs’ organization.
10. Minnesota Timberwolves
These Timberwolves’ uniforms made me realize something. Pink and purple are great colors and need to be utilized more on jerseys. The way that bright purple pops on the court is amazing, and the clear homage to Prince makes it just that much better.
9. Denver Nuggets
The Nuggets did a great job of modernizing their throwback jerseys. The Dikembe Mutombo era in Denver was a great one, and the reconstruction of those jerseys couldn’t have been any better.
8. Utah Jazz
The Jazz city jerseys were literally so good last year that they couldn’t change them at all. Congratulations to the Utah Jazz for being the originators of the wild city jersey!
7. Washington Wizards
These Wizards’ jerseys may be extremely simple, but the purity and simplicity are beautiful. I love the “District of Columbia” written across the front and the contrast between white and black. I honestly couldn’t tell you why else I like them; I just do.
6. Oklahoma City Thunder
The Thunder have the worst uniforms in the NBA, and this makes up for all of them. The diagonal design across the front with the diamonds adds an extra dynamic to an already amazing jersey. The bright blue really pops and there isn’t much you could do to improve them.
5. Toronto Raptors
I love Drake. I love gold. I love Canada. I love Kawhi. What else could you possibly ask for?
4. Miami Heat
The clear number one jersey are those of the Miami Heat. Their vice colorway is amazing and hadn’t been seen on an NBA floor until last year. Somehow, the black adds even more contrast and improves on those from last year.
3. Philadelphia 76ers
I may be biased, but Rocky is my favorite movie. Therefore, these 76ers’ sweatsuit uniforms hold a special place in my heart. The design isn’t spectacular, but the creativity is absolutely amazing.
2. New Orleans Pelicans
I’m not even a Pelicans’ fan and I would consider buying an Anthony Davis jersey for this design alone. The simplicity along with the Mardi Gras colorway creates an amazing jersey that New Orleans will love.
1. Brooklyn Nets
The Nets have created the perfect NBA jersey. The otherwise simple and boring Nets’ jersey was combined with the “Coogi-style sweater” material that Biggie Smalls used to wear. This uniform is art, and I can guarantee you, NBA fans across America will be repping Brooklyn for this reason only.