Here we are, on the top 10 uniforms in today's NBA. If you waded through the Orlandos and Minnesotas of the uniform world before making it here, congratulations. All these designs are glorious, and could be ranked in (nearly) any order.
And for one last time, a reminder that this ranking is completely subjective. Art hits everyone differently, and I am not mandating which uniforms are good or bad. All that being said, enjoy the top 10. Each design is worth a long look.
10) Miami Heat
The Heat sport an aesthetically pleasing red-yellow-white-and-black color palette, and a uniform that really fits the team. The color scheme, italicized font, and fire accents all contribute to the overall effect of a radiant uniform.
The circumventing shorts trim is often a weak feature of a design (Pacers), but it works perfectly with the Heat's uniforms. On the home design, the red-yellow jersey trim flows seamlessly into the shorts trim, with the thicker red band snaking around to fill out the kit. The effect is the same across the entire set of unis, giving the Heat some of the strongest shorts in the league. Considering how the shorts are often seen as periphery in a uniform design, Miami's look shifts the onus to the shorts. This is an overall unified design that takes advantage of the team name, and the visual effects it evokes.
9) New York Knicks
When the Knicks made 'minor changes' to their uniform before the 2012-2013, they stumbled upon one of the best looks in the league. The main adjustment was the waistband, and what an adjustment it was. By making the waistband an integral part of the color scheme and overall design, it gave the Knicks a unique feature. The band is the secondary color within the design, and acts as a barrier within the uniform as a whole. While this seems a rudimentary concept, look at every other design and you'll realize how original the Knicks' uniform is.
Beyond just the waistband, the design is still pleasing to the eye. The block font has a noticeable outline that avoids being overbearing, and the lack of jersey trim is a great decision. The jersey and shorts themselves are almost completely one color, and this allows the waistband to shine through. With minimal decoration lining the jersey, it's a clean look. Finally, I have to commend the color scheme. It's one of the most recognizable in all of sports, and the designers have made it the star.
8) Brooklyn Nets
Speaking of recognizable color schemes, Brooklyn has the NBA's most simple. It seems a boring design, a barebones black-and-white uniform with minimal trim. In fact, the Nets have perfected the modern, cosmopolitan look they're going for. The Nets are all about branding, and printing 'Brooklyn' on both the home and away jerseys is a savvy move. Better to focus on the culturally rich borough of New York rather than your terrible team name.
The jersey itself is wonderfully simplistic, with block lettering sans trim, and a simple black stripe running down the length of the uniform. The collar and sleeve are adorned with a black stripe as well, which flows smootly into the jersey trim. Finally, the only design on the entire uniform is the shield on the shorts and back of the jersey. Once again, it's a simple black-and-white look, perfectly capturing what a modern NBA uniform ought to be.
7) Washington Wizards
One of the newest designs to appear in the top-10, the Wizards uniforms harken back to their days as the Washington Bullets. Beyond the striped design, it also incorporates a basketball into the jersey text.
A strong aspect of this uniform are the clear levels of red-white-and-blue on the primary home and away jerseys. Because of the thick slabs of color, it achieves the striped design without being too busy. In addition, the lowercase italic font is original and allows the jersey to add a basketball as the dot for an 'i. Finally, the shorts design is possibly my favorite of the entire uniform. Rather than have a stylized basketball, the Wizards opted to prominently feature their secondary 'DC' logo. As a fan of mixing the team with the city culture, it's a great move to further the relationship between the Wizards and Washington.
6) San Antonio Spurs
Rarely is a color palette such a perfect fit for a team as gray and black is with the Spurs. They're a businesslike organization that values professionalism above all else. Even their uniform is a classic design without flash, stripes, or even color.
Outside of a very simple design, San Antonio uses the Spur logo as the 'u' within 'spurs.' This idea is extended even further on their alternates, which feature the logo itself as opposed to any text whatsoever. Additionally, the jersey trim is a simple gray-and-white, and the collar is a single band outlined with white or black. Overall, its a perfect design for a team that is run more like a Fortune 500 business than a sports club.
5) Portland Trail Blazers
For a team boasting a great name, court, and logo, a solid uniform seems almost routine. Outside of the no. 1 team on our list (coming up), Portland may be the most artistically sound organization in the NBA.
The jersey is the only one in the league to use a diagonal design strategy. The trio of red-black-gray/white stripes is all the design needed on the jersey. There is a single-banded collar and sleeve trim, and italicized font with a thin outline. The Blazers are the rare team with a connection between their logo and uniform design. They have one of the rare abstract logos in all sports, a two-colored pinwheel that leaves in opposite directions. One can see the inspiration from the logo on the uniform, which uses the same color scheme on the diagonal stripes. Finally, the logo itself appears on the shorts, tying the entire artistic piece together.
And I can't really talk about the Blazers unis without mentioning the Rip City alternates. The name came about from an innocuous announcer's call in the 1970s, but has stuck with the team ever since. The font is awesome, the diagonal stripes appear as jersey trim, and let's face it, it's really cool to wear a jersey that just says 'Rip City.'
4) Utah Jazz
When I started this list, I never would have thought the Jazz would place this high. They're an unheralded team that goes unnoticed in Salt Lake City, but they have some glorious uniforms. The centerpiece of the design is the music note logo that doubles as a 'J'. If that wasn't enough, the dot of the note is a multi-colored basketball that includes every aspect of Utah's color palette. It's possibly the best design feature in the entire NBA, and it is smartly incorporated twice on the uniform.
In addition, the yellow-navy trim on the home jersey is a great marriage of color. It flows from the collar, sleeves, and side all the way down to the shorts. The uniformity as a whole gives the uniform a clean look despite the multi-banded trim. On the jersey, the font is given a shadow effect that makes it seem three-dimensional, and accentuates the shape of the 'z's. If you take nothing else away from this list, understand this: the Jazz have some great uniforms, and it's high time people took notice.
3) Boston Celtics
Along with the no. 2 team, the Celtics have the longest time-tested jerseys in the league. Gray alternates non-withstanding, there's a reason the green-and-white look has lasted over 50 years. It's a nearly flawless uniform, with thin stripes, block text, and a cleverly located shamrock on the waistband. There's really not much to say about the Celtics uniforms. They show how less is more, and why longevity is the ultimate proof of a design's greatness.
2) Los Angeles Lakers
The Lakers also get huge points for their longevity. When the Celtics and Lakers play in 2015, it looks like it could be taken right out of 1968 (just in the realm of jerseys. I'm not comparing Jonas Jerebko to John Havlicek). The purple-and-gold design is paried with a unique stylized font, creating a classic look. It's such a great color scheme that the Lakers are the only team in the NBA to not play their home games in a white jersey. Instead they rock the Laker gold at Staples, a perfect fit for their brand as a whole. Just like the Celtics, I shouldn't have to say much more about these uniforms. Their looks and prestige speaks for itself. But no matter how recognizable they are, the Lakers couldn't edge out our no. 1 uniform.
1) Golden State Warriors
Ladies and Gentlemen, the winners of the 2015 NBA uniform rankings! Turns out the championship was only the second-most important thing Golden State would win this year.
But onto the design itself. This is not just an NBA uniform. It's a god damn work of art. The color scheme is beautiful, the shield containing the number is genius, and the font and jersey trim are among the best in the league. Having the full 'Golden State Warriors' written around the circular shield cleverly fits the entire franchise's brand into every jersey. The bridge against a solid color plane is not only wonderful to look at, but unifies the Warriors as a team that everyone in the Bay can root for.
Any peripheral facets of the uniform are clean, including both the collar and jersey trim. The simple two banded collar is nicely rounded, and showcases the cohesive color scheme once again. The sleeves are accented by just one stripe (blue or yellow), and the jersey has two thick stripes running lengthwise. This trim flows into the shorts design, which has no team shield. Instead, it is replaced by a pinstripes design that serves as the cables that hold up the bridge on the jersey.
I dare you to find anything wrong with this uniform. It's a marriage of city culture, modern design trends, and old color schemes. It's a completely original design that no team would dare imitate, because any imitation of GSW's uniform would come off as a failed rendition.
At the end of the day, there can only be one champion. And when you look at every design, it's clear that the Warriors deserve this title.