Shiny & New Theme Week
Lakers, Grizzlies, Nuggets boast new duds for 2018-19
Jazz, Hawks, Magic, Timberwolves, Hornets have a few new looks, too
Jeff Case, NBA.com
The Denver Nuggets, Memphis Grizzlies, Charlotte Hornets, Los Angeles Lakers, Minnesota Timberwolves, Atlanta Hawks, Orlando Magic and Utah Jazz all had varying degrees of success in 2017-18. One thing they all had in common over the summer, though, was a reworking of some (if not all) of their on-court looks for 2018-19.
To one degree or another, each of the teams unveiled new uniforms for the upcoming season. The Grizzlies and Nuggets also updated their logos and court designs for next season, but the Grizzlies’ logo still features the traditional stoic Grizzly bear face. The Nuggets say their new logos and uniforms “are a nod to the Nuggets’ past” as they approach the new season.
As for the Lakers, their uniforms have brought back elements of the team’s “Showtime” era from the 1980s — a time in which Los Angeles won five NBA titles and made eight NBA Finals appearances.
The Jazz, Hornets, Magic, Hawks and Wolves went through tweaks to their roster lineup, adding in new-look Classic Edition uniforms.
Here’s a closer look at each team’s new look and more …
The Los Angeles Lakers’ makeover isn’t being limited to just the names on the roster for next season. After signing free-agent forward LeBron James this summer as well as a host of other household names, the Lakers have changed up their uniform look for 2018-19, too.
According to the team, the new uniforms for next season “bring back an element of the 1980s Showtime Era — updated numbers, which use a vertical drop shadow — along with a rounded neckline. The font effect references the Lakers’ storied past, while also positioning a fresh direction for the franchise.”
The Lakers were one of the busiest teams in free agency this summer, adding James as well as fellow veteran players JaVale McGee, Michael Beasley, Rajon Rondo and Lance Stephenson. That group — coupled with youngsters Kyle Kuzma, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart and Lonzo Ball — are expected to help Los Angeles take a big step forward in the Western Conference this season.
Redesigned jerseys and branding will mark the beginning of a new era for a Memphis team hoping to recapture its usual place in the NBA playoffs.
The city’s famous Beale Street was the inspiration for much of the team’s new image, per Grizzlies.com. “The evolved wordmark and numbering system,” the site explains, “represent a more progressive and modernized take on its predecessor, while maintaining and deepening the connection to the Beale Street neon-inspired inline.”
Joining mainstay stars Marc Gasol and Mike Conley in the effort to restore the Grizzlies’ postseason aspirations is fourth overall pick Jaren Jackson Jr., who shined in NBA Summer League. Aside from the new uniforms, the Grizzlies also made updates to their home court for 2018-19 as well.
The Denver Nuggets are celebrating their 50th season in the NBA and doing so with a new look that both looks ahead to the future and embraces the team’s past. On June 6, the Nuggets unveiled new uniforms and new logos while also mentioning that their home court at Pepsi Center would get a new look for 2018-19, too.
“The key word that we’ve chosen around this event is ‘Evolve,’” Nuggets president Josh Kroenke said. “And I think that’s what we’re doing as a franchise. I think we’re evolving into something new and something exciting. I think our younger players in particular, this is something they can build and call their own, this type of identity.”
All of the uniforms have been made over, with the baby blue that has marked the team gone from the team’s color scheme. Their blue third uniform — honoring the Mile High City — is reflective of that, while burgundy has been added to the overall color palette in uniforms and logos for next season.
The Orlando Magic were granted their expansion franchise on April 22, 1987. Since then, the Magic have won five division titles, made 14 playoff appearances, two NBA Finals and watched as players such as Shaquille O’Neal, Penny Hardaway, Tracy McGrady and Dwight Howard enjoyed some of their best seasons in Orlando’s blue and white uniforms.
As the team enters its 30th season of existence in 2018-19, the Magic are throwing back to that era with a new Classic Edition jersey. From 1994-98, the Magic turned heads around the league with their blue pinstriped uniforms as O’Neal and Hardaway took the franchise to its first Finals in 1995.
These throwback jerseys utilize nearly the same design as the pinstriped blue jersey the team used as a road jersey from 1994-98. However, there are some modern, subtle changes to them. The “Orlando” script on the front of the jersey features a silver star in place of the “a”, there are Disney and Nike logos on the jersey and the word “Magic” is splashed across the front waistband.
The Magic will wear these Classic Edition uniforms for select games in the coming season.
Much like the Orlando Magic, the Minnesota Timberwolves entered the NBA on April 22, 1987. Although they didn’t officially play a game until the 1989-90 season, the Wolves are celebrating their 30th year of existence by busting out a uniform from the team’s glory days of the late 1990s and early-to-mid 2000s.
Memories of Kevin Garnett, Stephon Marbury, Latrell Sprewell, Wally Szczerbiak, Sam Cassell and others are sure to return when Minnesota dons its Classic Edition jerseys in 2018-19. The look, per the team, is the Timberwolves’ longest-tenured uniform and highlights what the team wore from 1996-2008. During that stretch, the Wolves made eight straight playoff berths and reached the Western Conference finals in 2004.
The uniform is complete with black as its primary color, proudly showcases the team’s name across the chest, and is complemented by sets of green trees which are symbolic to the Minnesota environment.
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A look at the NBA history books shows that the Atlanta Hawks are one of the longest-tenured teams in league history. With the 2018-19 season approaching, the Hawks are closing in on their 50th season in Atlanta since moving there from St. Louis. As such, they will have a new Hardwood Classics uniform to sport once this new season begins.
Per the team, the Hawks will wear the first jersey they wore in Atlanta this season — a powder blue and red-trimmed uniform that was worn most famously by Lou Hudson for just one season in 1968. Aside from these uniforms, the Hawks also have two new home-court floor designs they’ll debut in ’18-19.
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It was 30 years ago come the start of the 2018-19 season that the Charlotte Hornets burst onto the scene in North Carolina. As a new season awaits, the team is celebrating that debut of the franchise with a new white Classic Edition uniform to be worn during the 2018-19 season.
Like the teal version from last season, this new uniform throws back to the original Hornets style the team wore from 1988-97. When the team sports the uniforms, it will be during the Hornets’ series of “Classic Night” games — ones in which the team will honor franchise greats and feature giveaways of bobbleheads and T-shirts commemorating some top players and moments in team history.
“With the success of our teal Classic Edition uniforms last season, we felt it was only right to bring the white version back this year as part of our 30th Anniversary celebration,” said Hornets President & Vice Chairman Fred Whitfield said in a statement. “As we look to replicate the experience and excitement of the early days of the Hornets, wearing the white uniform that the original team wore every night at the Charlotte Coliseum brings another layer of authenticity for our fans.”
As part of this celebration of the Hornets’ past, Charlotte will bust out a throwback home-court design to honor their anniversary season.
Since the 1979-80 season, the Jazz have called Salt Lake City home. The team moved to Utah after spending its first five seasons of existence in New Orleans and, after doing so, became one of the more stable NBA franchises ever since. In celebration of their 40th season as the Utah Jazz, the team will pay homage to one of the great eras of success the team enjoyed — the mid-1980s and early 1990s — by sporting uniforms from that era in 2018-19.
The Classic Edition uniforms feature the original Utah Jazz logo in gold and white on the front chest of the jersey, and the original J-Note logo is placed on the front left leg of the shorts. These uniforms were the road get-ups the Jazz wore during the heyday of the John Stockton/Karl Malone-era teams, squads often among the best in the Western Conference.
“These classic jerseys are an instant visual connection to our rich and storied past in the state of Utah,” Jazz senior vice president of marketing Bart Sharp said in a statement. “Our 40th season celebration is a natural time to reflect on the past and all we have shared together with the fans of Utah, but it’s also an opportunity to look ahead to what is undoubtedly an exciting time for this franchise and the entire state.”
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