The uniforms for the 2016 NBA All-Star Game will feature reference to Canada and Toronto basketball history.
In the first NBA All-Star Game outside the United States, Adidas embraced the True North of Toronto in All-Star uniform design. Toronto will host the 65th All-Star game on Feb. 14, and Adidas tied design elements of Canada and Toronto basketball history into the two on-court uniforms.
The red-and-white Western Conference and white-and-blue Eastern Conference uniforms both feature a maple leaf overlay on the front with Toronto’s cityscape across the back. The single-layered fonts harken back to the NBA’s early days in Toronto, where the first NBA game was played on Nov. 1, 1946, between the Toronto Huskies and New York Knickerbockers.
The upper back of the uniforms feature a star patch incorporating a maple leaf and NBA logo and Toronto’s black/gold alternate colors show up in jock tags with the team’s claw logo. The jersey’s neck liner and draw strings on the shorts offer a mosaic of flag colors meant to represent the multinational makeup of the league’s players.
“This is the first NBA All-Star Game to be played outside the United States, and it is a very exciting time for basketball in Canada,” says Chris Grancio, Adidas global basketball general manager. “To honor this global celebration and pay tribute to Toronto—the site of the NBA’s first game—we’ve incorporated design elements that are inspired by the city’s basketball history, sports culture and unique fashion scene to make an All-Star collection that players and fans will love.”
Along with the uniforms, the warm-ups go with a winter style of black and heather gray fleece jackets. Star patches show off the number of NBA All-Star appearances for each player and additional patches will signify other awards, such as MVP honors. The on-court warm-ups include a fleece shooting shirt and a tapered pant with white and gold trim.
The maple leaf lives on.
Tim Newcomb covers stadiums, sneakers and technology for Sports Illustrated. Follow him on Twitter at @tdnewcomb.