On Thursday, the Spurs unveiled a new alternate jersey scheme as a part of the NBA Pride Uniform Collection: a camouflage design intended to pay tribute to the men and women serving in the U.S. armed forces. The city itself is a military hub due to the operation of Joint Base San Antonio, a shared campus between the Army and Air Force, and a release from the team notes that more than 300,000 active and retired military and government workers currently live within the city limits.
“Playing in San Antonio, we’re constantly reminded of the selflessness and courage of those that serve,” said Spurs guard Danny Green in the release. “We owe them a debt of gratitude and it is an honor to recognize and show support to all active and retired military members.”
The Spurs are currently slated to wear their camo alternates on two occasions: a USAA Salute Night game against the Wizards on Nov. 13 and a Military Appreciation Night game against the Bobcats on Feb. 28. On such occasions, the Spurs will offer discounted tickets to active military and veterans and then auction off the game-worn camouflage jerseys with the proceeds benefitting Silver & Black Give Back youth programs.
All of this makes for a worthy cause and justification for an aesthetic that could charitably be called "odd." It's often best to reserve judgment for any new-look uniform set until it's actually showcased in game action, but on first glance these new alternates are a bit arresting. Camouflage is a tough foundational design element; it's inherently busy, and thus difficult to incorporate in any sensible way. That silver accents don't exactly lend themselves easily to the scheme only makes the complete look that much more jarring. Still, one can only quibble so much with a well-meaning gesture like this, especially considering that they'll only be put into use on a pair of occasions this season.