By Ben Golliver
The Oklahoma City Thunder officially revealed new alternate jerseys on Thursday. The plain dark blue uniform features vertical lettering that reads "Thunder" on the right side with a large number in white over the heart. The shorts are adorned with "OKC" lettering on the side. The goal seems to be a simple, vintage look, which is a slightly odd turn for a team that is currently in its fifth year of existence.
The Oklahoman reports that Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook,
James Harden, Kevin Martin and company will wear the jerseys, which first leaked in the NBA 2K13 video game, 13 times this season, beginning with Friday's game against the Pistons.
Unique new jerseys + popular team = instant, passionate reaction. Here's a round-up of first impressions from basketball writers and fans alike.
Rob Mahoney, The Point Forward: "There's some definite potential in the minimalistic design of the Thunder's new alternates, but stripping down a uniform scheme to its basics puts an even greater attention on its specific execution. Vertically oriented text? Broken lines from jersey to shorts? It's as if OKC's designers got so caught up in simplification that they abstained from common aesthetic sense." Rating: 3 out of 10
Ben Eagle, SI.com: "What are they throwing back to?" Rating: 4 out of 10
Royce Young, Daily Thunder: "I’m a big fan of the idea. They have a real throwback look to them (a la the Cincinnati Royals), but the color scheme is just weird. Navy and blue is cool, if that looked anything at all like the Thunder’s regular … anything. All these uniforms needed was a hit of yellow/orange/Oklahoma blue somewhere in them. ... They aren’t completely horrible. They’re just a missed opportunity. Why not go with “OKC”? Why only the two colors? Why navy and white?" Rating: 6 out of 10
Tzvi Twersky, Slam Magazine: "For such a stylish group of guys, these kind of miss the mark. But I see what they were going for." Rating: 5 out of 10
J.E. Skeets, The Basketball Jones: "I dig the clean navy/white color scheme -- it's definitely better than their current crayon look -- but why wasn't I told that vertical is the new horizontal?" Rating: 8 out of 10.
David Roth, The Classical: "I'm of two minds on the uniforms, if only because they both look like sports-themed children's pajamas that would've been sold while Jimmy Carter was president, and because I think that's actually kind of a cool look, and an improvement on the current uniforms." Rating: 7.5 out of 10
Matt Moore, CBSSports.com's Eye On Basketball: "I'm giving it a deuce, because that's what it's going to look like on the court." Rating: 2 out of 10
Holly MacKenzie, SportsNet.ca: "I thought I was a fan of these, except for the way they make Kevin Durant look like he's 12 years old, but the more I look at them the more I can't decide if I like them or absolutely hate them. They make me feel some kind of way. I'm just not sure what that way is." Rating: 6 out of 10
Brian Floyd, SB Nation: "It looks like they're trying to be the Nets and Heat without quite being the Nets and Heat, but they're still clean. That vertical thing isn't quite working for me." Rating: 7 out of 10
Kevin Pelton, Basketball Prospectus (and Seattle resident): "I don't want to have to hate on the Thunder because I'm biased, but those jerseys are turrible." Rating: 2 out of 10
Ben Golliver, The Point Forward: "Good color choice and vertical is generally fresh, but these just don't look like a finished product. The throwback feel is a touch disorienting considering the circumstances." Rating: 4 out of 10
Average rating of this completely arbitrary panel: 4.9 out of 10
And, now, some thoughts from the Twitterverse.
@riNickulas: "Look like some old AAU jerseys."
@airricuhJay_09: "Eastbay catalog."
@SamHumphreys34: "The Thunder need orange jerseys."
@dlentzsofresh: "The Thunder alternates are dope, should be their full time jerseys."
@ScottGerbal: "New thunder jerseys = fire!!!"
@GotEm_Coach: "Worst jerseys in the league just got worse."
@lindsaymills: "Those Thunder jerseys are awful. Even worse than their regular ones."
@AlanSiegelDC: "All three versions of the Thunder uniforms look like the ones used by high school teams in '90s sitcoms."
@JonesOnTheNBA: "These Thunder alternates are as bad as their road jerseys ... I know Sam Presti wants a no frills team, but those uniforms are turrible. No personality to them whatsoever."
@AirAsher15: "The new Thunder jerseys are super sexy."
@dc_fusion: "you guys and gals are missing the pt with Thunder's alternate jerseys: with less clutter, there exists more space for corporate advertising"
@_CherieAmour: "Why do people think that the new thunder jerseys are ugly?? And why does it matter what they wear...?"