With a new global multiyear partnership beginning this season, the NBA and Nike aren’t just sewing new numbers and logos on uniforms. It was announced today the 2017-18 season will also feature several new uniform combinations and options.
The new uniforms, which will all be released by the start of the 2017-18 season, were designed using input from current NBA players, as well as 25 years of technological research conducted by Nike at different levels of basketball. The jerseys will be created using a version of the Nike Aeroswift basketball chassis.
On average, NBA players travel four miles per game. Rather than a smoothly sustained effort, their movements are typically contained to 1.6-second bursts, tallying hundreds of tiny directional changes over the course of a game. This kind of constant motion reflects the free-flowing nature of the sport and underscores the importance of a lighter and more flexible uniform silhouette.
In order to achieve these goals, Nike tuned the uniform design to the rigors of this increasingly intense 82-game season by employing 3D-body maps of players, including heat and sweat maps. This research led Nike’s designers to make significant changes to the weight, fit and construction -- with special attention to enhancing agility.
NBA players, including members of last summer’s gold medal-winning USA Basketball team, tested an early version of the uniforms and provided specific feedback, requesting even more adjustments.
“The mental advantage of a quality uniform is priceless,” said Kyrie Irving. “The fact that Nike listened to all of our feedback while developing the new NBA uniforms speaks volumes, I’m excited for the new fit and feel.”
This insight prompted the designers to move the armhole, neck and side seams to eliminate distractions for athletes. The most significant change comes to the back shoulder of the uniform, where Nike designers altered the construction of the jersey.
Additionally, the hemlines on the bottom of both the jersey and shorts were modified to allow for full range of motion.
“When you look and feel good, you play good,” said Draymond Green. “I welcome any competitive advantage on the court and the new Nike NBA uniforms deliver on the feedback that we've provided."
The uniform is comprised of a combination of Alpha Yarns (details) and recycled polyester (each athlete uniform represents approximately 20 recycled PET bottles). Not only does this yarn blend match Nike’s broad commitment to sustainability, it also removes moisture more quickly than previous NBA uniforms -- wicking sweat 30% faster than current NBA uniforms resulting in a 15% quicker drying time.
Another significant change coming this fall involves adjusting the nomenclature of what were formerly known as “home” and “away” uniforms. Beginning with the 2017-18 season, home teams are not automatically assigned to wear white uniforms, and instead will be allowed to choose which uniform they want to wear for each home game. Visiting teams will then choose a contrasting uniform from their available options.
Instead of “home” and “away,” each team will now have four primary uniform “editions” from which to choose. The “Association Edition” will be the team’s traditional white uniform, while what was formerly the road uniform will now be designated as the “Icon Edition.” The two remaining editions will be revealed later this fall.
Along with those four uniform editions, eight teams will have a “Classic Edition” available this fall, a nod to these team’s most iconic looks which they can also choose to occasionally wear.