‘PRIDE’ UNIFORMS BLEND OF PAST AND FUTURE

Sunday home games for the Clippers will be steeped in blue.Photo of Chris Paul wearing new blue jersey

Harkening back to their San Diego and Buffalo roots, the team will wear light blue short-sleeve alternate uniforms during all Sunday home games throughout the 2013-14 season.

“I like the baby blue,” Clippers guard Jamal Crawford said. “From afar, I was watching when they wore [light blue uniforms] before, so I’m glad we get to wear baby blues.”

The uniforms are somewhat of a merging of the past and future. The Clippers are one of five teams participating in adidas and the NBA’s Pride Uniform program, designed to reflect each team’s region or unique history. But they are also advancing the next wave of light-weight, short-sleeve jerseys, which several teams, including the Clippers wore during the Las Vegas Summer League in July.

“I think the place where the Clippers are right now with the team and resurgence they’ve made, winning the Pacific Division last year, it’s the perfect time for them to make that next level of statement of what the team looks like on-court,” adidas Senior Manager David Cho said. “They were, true to form, one of the first teams that took the opportunity to add this fourth jersey to their jersey collection.”

Beginning in the 1971-72 season the Buffalo Braves wore light blue and some semblance of the color stuck with the team through their six-year stint in San Diego. The San Diego Clippers uniforms are often considered one of the franchise’s most iconic looks, including the appearance of traditional nautical flags down the piping of the shorts. The new “Back in Blue” uniform incorporates three flags as well, spelling out L-A-C (Los Angeles Clippers).

“It’s a ‘pride’ jersey, so in addition to the home, road and alternate, this one allows for a little more freedom of expression,” Cho said. “I think with this particular franchise, having moved from Buffalo to San Diego to L.A. they had a story that they wanted to tell with it.

“It’s mixing the idea of performance and innovation on the court and matching it with the style, history, and heritage of the team. “

The Clippers will debut the “Back in Blue” jerseys on Oct. 19 in an exhibition game in Las Vegas. The first Sunday home game of the regular season is Nov. 24, in Derrick Rose’s first trip to Staples Center since tearing his ACL in the 2012 NBA Playoffs.

The uniform is 23 percent lighter than the standard NBA issue, featuring 360-degree stretch fabric for free motion and range. In addition to wearing short-sleeved jerseys in Vegas, the Clippers practiced in a generic version of them in March last season, so they have an idea of what it might be like to play in them.

“We practiced in them last year,” Crawford said. “They’re different. Obviously, you’re doing something you’ve never done before, probably at least since college. But I’m okay with it.”

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