Players Interested But Unconcerned With Impending Uniform Changes
While there wasn't much breaking news at Portland's 2016 Media Day, the confirmation from team president Chris McGowan that the team would be making long-rumored changes to both their uniforms and logos in the spring of 2017 definitely qualified as one of the more surprising moments of Monday's event. While there were few specifics given as to the nature of the changes, let alone images of what the tweaks might look like, the admission that changes to both the uniform and logos are in the works was a new development.
"I think it’s a modernization, I wouldn’t call it drastic," said McGowan of the proposed changes. "I think we’re blessed with some of the best uniforms in professional sports, our fans really like our identity, people know it whether you live in Portland or not. So I don’t know if drastic is necessarily what we need to do, but I think you always need to modernize. When you have the opportunity to work with create people like the folks at Nike, you’ve got to take advantage of that opportunity. We’re having fun with it, but like anything that we do, we’re testing it, we’re talking to fans, we’re using survey information to make sure we’re being guided in the right way so we’re not putting something out there that’s not authentic to who we are or not something that wouldn't be generally supported by our fans."
Finding a option that allows the team to "modernize" their look while also retaining the elements that fans already love about the current uniform will go a long way toward ensuring what whatever the team unveils in spring is generally well-received, it sounds as though the guys who wear the jerseys for a living are open to just about anything. While a few players had opinions about what they'd like to see in regards to the new uniform, none seemed all that concerned about the impending changes.
"I like original stuff," said Damian Lillard. "I was just walking through the hall yesterday saying how I liked the throwback jerseys, how they used to look. I like our jerseys now, but things change. Over time, things change. What the uniforms look like, that’s nice when you walk in the locker room, you like ‘Man, that’s a nice uniform,’ but at the end of the day, you’ve still got to get out there and do something. That’s what really matters."
Lillard's starting backcourt partner, CJ McCollum, was even more ambivalent about potential changes. McCollum is one of the best dressers in Portland's locker room, but when it comes to jerseys, the fourth-year guard said he'll wear whatever is put in his locker by the equipment manager.
"I just show up and just do my job," said McCollum. "I get paid, I’m happy with where I’m at and my job is to just be ready to play no matter what they put on it. I’m sure the rest of the team is just happy to be out here and happy to be able to play the game we love. So they can do whatever they want with the jerseys and I’m going to wear it... I'm going to look good, I ain't worried about that."