Suns Going "Retro"
Posted: Feb. 25, 2003
As part of their 35th anniversary celebration, the Phoenix Suns will turn back to their roots for Wednesday’s game at Milwaukee against the Bucks. The Suns will wear their original home uniforms with the design worn by Suns players during the club’s inaugural campaign of 1968-69.
The original design featured a sunburst on the side of the shorts, with PHOENIX in block letters and the uniform number on the front, and the player’s last name on the back of the white jersey with orange trim.
With the players in their “retro” uniforms on the court, retro will also be the theme of Wednesday’s telecast of the Suns-Bucks game on UPN45. Tom Leander and Tom Chambers will have special features on the early days of the Suns on the Gametime pre-game show, and during the game, Suns’ highlights from the era of the original uniform will be featured. Gametime begins at 5:30 p.m., with tipoff at 6 p.m.
The game broadcast will also feature a “history lesson” on the evolution of NBA television coverage as the picture will progress from grainy black and white images in the first quarter to muted colors with dated graphics in the second to the full color and computerized graphics of today.
“We want to give viewers a feel of just how far we’ve come in terms of televising games,” says Dan Siekmann, director of the Suns’ broadcasts on UPN45. “It should be fun for fans to follow along as we progress through the different technologies and graphics.”
The retro theme will continue on March 24 at America West Arena as the Suns don their original home uniforms when they host the Seattle SuperSonics.
The opponents for the two Suns retro games have a unique link to Suns history. Milwaukee joined Phoenix as NBA expansion clubs in 1968, and Seattle was the Suns’ first-ever regular season opponent, with the Suns recording a 116-107 victory over the Sonics at Veterans Memorial Coliseum on October 18, 1968.
Fans will be able to take part in the celebration, as the Team Shop is offering a wide range of retro items. Click here to check out the items available, including jerseys of Suns Ring of Honor members Connie Hawkins, Kevin Johnson, Tom Chambers, Paul Westphal, Walter Davis and Dick Van Arsdale. In addition, T-shirts, caps and basketballs featuring the retro look are now on sale.
Fans attending the March 24th game are encouraged to dress the part and wear clothes reminiscent of their favorite decade of Suns basketball — ‘60s, ‘70s, ‘80s and even ‘90s.
“We hope to see everything from ‘60s flower children to ‘70s disco to ‘80s skinny ties to ‘90s grunge in the arena that night,” says Suns Senior Vice President of Marketing Communications Ray Artigue. “We want the fans in the stands to have as much fun with this night as we are going to have on the court.”