Cleveland Cavaliers Unveil 2020-21 City Edition Uniform as an Ode to Cleveland’s Rock and Roll Roots

Cleveland’s rock and roll history began in the 1950’s when a new genre of music was introduced to a mainstream audience by Cleveland disc jockey Alan Freed.

On his WJW-AM radio show, Freed started to play the rhythmic and soulful songs that made the kids dance in the aisles at the local Record Rendezvous store, and with that, he popularized African American music called “rhythm and blues” to a new audience craving the urban vibe.

He coined it “rock and roll.”

Freed went on to organize the Moondog Coronation Ball featuring a lineup of R&B artists that drew an estimated 20,000 fans outside and inside the 11,000 seat Cleveland Arena on March 21,1952. Considered the first-ever rock and roll concert, it foreshadowed a city that was passionate about its music.

In the 1970’s Cleveland’s impact grew with the emergence of progressive rock station WMMS 100.7 FM and the Agora concert venue, both credited for shining the spotlight on little-known artists like Bruce Springsteen, David Bowie, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and many others, solidifying the city’s reputation as a breakout destination for music’s rising stars.

Through the decades Cleveland’s music scene has continued to thrive and evolve. Fans fill local music halls to hear the artists that move them, and Northeast Ohio has remained a must-stop market for major tours hosted at concert venues such as Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse, one of the most active arenas in the world for touring acts.

Today, Cleveland is home to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, a shining glass pyramid that sits on the shores of Lake Erie where music lovers from around the globe come to celebrate the power of the music it represents— in the city where the story began.

City Edition

The Cavaliers in a partnership with the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame introduce the team’s 2020-21 City Edition uniform, featuring a design and style that reflects the grit, attitude and spirit of Cleveland’s rock and roll roots.

“At its heart, Cleveland is a rock and roll city in a passionate sports town,” said Tracy Marek, Cavaliers CMO. “The Cavs new City Edition uniform brings together what makes us move and groove in the streets and on the court.”

The Cavaliers will wear the City Edition uniform for select games throughout the 2020-21 season.


The 2020-21 Cavs City Edition uniform is anything but uniform. Its unconventional style embodies a decades-long desire for excitement and individuality as fans of rock and roll turn to the music that continues to define generations as a unifying force and form of true self-expression.

"We are thrilled to team up with the Cavaliers to amplify Cleveland’s rock and roll heart through the City Edition uniform. This allows us to tell our exciting story throughout the Cavs basketball season,” said Greg Harris, President & CEO, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

City Edition

Designed in collaboration with Nike, a black uniform shell and gritty design highlights the attitude and influence of rock and roll through fashion. The irregular type that spells out CLEVELAND takes center stage on the front of the jersey, accompanied by a bold, sharp player number. A thin wine and gold trim accents the uniform, adding a textured pop of color. The front of the jersey features the Nike Swoosh on the right shoulder and the Goodyear Wingfoot on the left.

Above the jersey jock tag reads LONG LIVE ROCK in bright red type, a nod to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame’s anthem and the iconic sign that guards the entrance of the museum in Cleveland.

The back of the uniform features the player name and number centered in white with the NBA logo above the lettering of the player’s last name. On the back center collar, a small gold square patch displays the number “1” positioned inside of the Larry O’Brien trophy to represent the Cavaliers NBA Championship in 2016, a standard feature on the uniforms of all teams who have won an NBA Championship.

The waistband of the black shorts features a silhouette of the Cleveland skyline within a white guitar pick. A large weathered “C” makes a statement on the left shorts panel and on the right, a collective of Cleveland badges inspired by tour pins and jacket patches amplify the bond between the Cavaliers, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and THE LAND they both call home.


City Edition

The Cavs and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame collaboration features the “Cleveland Amplified” exhibit at the museum in Cleveland. The exclusive exhibit features artifacts that speak to the longstanding connection between music and sports, including:

  • Larry Nance Jr.’s #22 2020-21 City Edition uniform
  • Jeff Ament of Pearl Jam Poster, c. 1993 - Pearl Jam bassist Jeff Ament, a basketball enthusiast, is pictured with Shawn Kemp of the now-defunct Seattle SuperSonics in a poster created as a fan giveaway at Sonics games. Ament’s NBA-themed bass pictured in the poster was displayed at the Rock Hall in 2017, the year Pearl Jam were inducted.
  • Russell “Rusty” Pistachio of H20 Jersey, 1998 - The members of NYC hardcore band H20 wore these basketball-style jerseys on the 1998 Vans Warped Tour to “symbolize that the band was a team.” This jersey was worn by guitarist Rusty Pistachio.
  • Chuck D of Public Enemy Shoes, c. 1990 - PE frontman Chuck D wore these Air Jordan IV sneakers around the time Public Enemy’s third studio album Fear of a Black Planet was released.
  • “Come On Cavs (Got to Make It Happen)” Record, 1975 - Cleveland radio legend Larry “The Duker” Morrow and program director Dick Fraser created this fight song for the Cavs’ fifth year as a team. “[Then-owner] Nick [Mileti] asked me to write a song that would be synonymous with his team,” Morrow recalled. “Just like ‘Sweet Georgia Brown’ is with the Harlem Globetrotters. And he wanted something ‘soulful.’” The tune features vocals by Julien Barber.


City Edition

Fans can purchase City Edition tees, hoodies, jackets, hats and face masks and pre-order adult and youth player jerseys (with the Goodyear Wingfoot logo) NOW at Cavs.com/Shop. Fans can also sign up to receive the Cavs Team Shop newsletter to be notified when custom City Edition jerseys are available for purchase.

The Cavs 2020-21 City Edition collection is limited in production and will only be available during the 2020-21 season.

With the purchase of any item from the City Edition collection at Cavs.com/Shop, fans can also choose to donate $1, $5 or $10 to the local Save Our Stages campaign dedicated to preserving the ecosystem of our local independent live event venues and promoters. The Cavs and Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse organization will also match every fan donation to Save Our Stages through this platform.


On designated City Edition theme nights, a specially designed court featuring the weathered “C” at half court will complement the team’s uniform throughout the 2020-21 season.

City Edition

A black perimeter features a design inspired by the Record Rendezvous storefront sign and frames the smokey gray hard wood floor. On each baseline, Cleveland is centered in the same white irregular type from the front chest of the uniform. Tour pin inspired Cleveland badges and the Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse logo can be seen on each half court.

The east sideline features the Goodyear wordmark on each half court with the NBA logo position at the half court line.

Designed by the Cavaliers creative team, the City Edition court was constructed by Cincinnati Floor Company in Cincinnati, Ohio.