Ranking Every NBA Jersey
30. Oklahoma City Thunder
These jerseys are atrocious. The Thunder have had the worst uniforms in the league since their inception. When was the last time you saw something orange and blue and thought, “I want that.” Also, when was the last time you saw actual thunder and thought, “That looked orange and blue.” This team is in desperate need of a re-design. And the obvious solution here is to give Russell Westbrook creative control of the uniforms. Every night the team would end up wearing a subtle diss about Kevin Durant.
29. Brooklyn Nets
I need a little bit more than a black-and-white color scheme. The Nets have the type of uniforms worn by the villainous squad in a sports movie. Brooklyn deserves something that’s a little more vibrant.
28. San Antonio Spurs
When I said I needed a little bit more than a black-and-white color scheme, I didn’t mean just throw some silver in there. Knowing Gregg Popovich, however, these uniforms are probably purposefully bland.
27. Atlanta Hawks
Atlanta’s Pac-Man-style logo is cool, but these jerseys are unpleasant to look at. I never liked the triangle pattern, which, according to the team website, is inspired by an actual hawk’s breast. Isn’t that the least intimidating part of a bird? Beyond that, the shade of yellow is off putting, and the mix-and-match jerseys and shorts are cooler in theory than in practice.
26. Los Angeles Clippers
The Clippers would be well-served returning to a script font on their jerseys. Or just throw a ship on there already. I actually kind of like the blue version, and I wonder if the NBA would have allowed a “Lob City” alternate. But these are mostly just plain.
25. Dallas Mavericks
I don’t really understand the black striping on the underarms and top of the pants. I also don’t like that the name, number, and team name are all in different colors on the blue jersey. Nothing here pops.
24. Detroit Pistons
I’m glad the Pistons returned to their Bad Boys-era color scheme after a brief departure in the late 90s/early 00s. But they should lean into that era more. The current unis are a bit too streamlined. Detroit should bring back the larger wordmark on the front. And while they’re at it, the Pistons should also bring back the warmups with the first name on the chest.
23. Orlando Magic
Another team trying to have it both ways. The Magic haven’t quite let go of pinstripes, but they want to look futuristic while trying to pull off the look. I miss the star in the logo and the more vertical stripes.
22. Houston Rockets
For a team with a cool name, the Rockets can never quite match up uniform-wise. Nothing about this evokes rockets and/or space. Why is the color scheme even red and white? An overhaul could be in this team’s future.
21. Miami Heat
Pat Riley and the Heat will never really try anything super out there with their jerseys. Their Nike threads remain unchanged from the start of the decade. I will always have a soft spot in my heart for their red alternates, however.
20. Golden State Warriors
These are mostly fine except for the weird neck-striping. I’m only mildly surprised the Dubs don’t have a ham-handed tech innovation weaved through their uniforms to represent their insufferable relationship with Silicon Valley.
19. Toronto Raptors
Another team whose color scheme doesn’t really evoke its moniker. Why red, Raptors? I’m not sure what much else they could do, but these jerseys are pretty simple for a team named after a dinosaur. Maybe they should throw a triangular pattern on there inspired by an actual raptor’s feathery breast.
18. Sacramento Kings
Love the color scheme, don’t love the Sac wordmark replacing Kings.
17. New Orleans Pelicans
I like all the colors involved here, they just don’t come together.
16. New York Knicks
These are classics, which I can respect. But the Knicks are paying a severe tax for being an awful team to watch. And how long do you have to be bad before you should move away from tradition?
15. Cleveland Cavaliers
These are actually kind of fresh. I love the Cavs wordmark on the white unis, and the red icon version stops just short of looking too busy. This is a simple look that the Cavs should try to stick with for a few years.
14. Denver Nuggets
As the Nuggets grow up as a team, I like the embrace of navy blue, which looks a little bit more mature than the powder-blue look of yesteryear. I can almost picture Antonio McDyess suiting up in these.
13. Memphis Grizzlies
The Grizz look mostly the same as last season, though they lightened the shade of light blue they’re using, which is the kind of subtle move that improves the whole ensemble.
12. Boston Celtics
Tried and true. No reason to go crazy here.
11. Los Angeles Lakers
Another classic, though one that could afford to be even more retro.
10. Charlotte Hornets
The jumpman is the biggest selling point here, but that’s one hell of a way to stand out.
9. Washington Wizards
The striping on these uniforms is exquisite, and the Washington wordmark fits across the chest without being to small to read. Great color scheme, and this jersey feels like it would fit in any era of the NBA.
8. Phoenix Suns
Bringing back purple is the only reason to ever watch a Suns game.
7. Utah Jazz
When I look at these uniforms I instinctively order a dark cocktail and start snapping my fingers. Will Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone take credit for these jerseys, too?
6. Chicago Bulls
Maybe the smoothest uniforms in the game. Recognizable across the world. Love the switch to white lettering for the name on back of the red unis. If they bring back the script Chicago on the front it’s over.
5. Indiana Pacers
These have an extremely collegiate feel, but I love that for Indiana. There’s an old-school vibe to these jerseys, and the color scheme does it for me. The only issue? Make the letters bigger and the numbers smaller on the front.
4. Philadelphia 76ers
Maybe even more patriotic than the Wizards uniforms. The Sixers have great colors and uniforms filled with throwback flourishes. They’ll look good in these for a long time.
3. Portland Trail Blazers
The stripes here have always been awesome. The Blazers have to be one of the league leaders in people who aren’t fans of the team wearing their gear.
2. Milwaukee Bucks
The striping on the side of these jerseys makes me go full Antonio Banderas closing his laptop.gif. The green and goldish is extremely pleasing to look at.
1. Minnesota Timberwolves
Okay, controversial pick. But the stripe across the chest is a bold move, and it makes everyone look a little extra yoked. I’m mostly commending the Wolves for actually trying something with this design and stepping out a little bit. One consequence of the strip that I kind of enjoy? It neatly separates the swoosh and sponsor from the team name. These will grow on you, I promise.