Until now, the Nuggets have made subtle uniform changes here and there, tinkering with this and that.
That’s all over.
The big change has arrived. The Nuggets have undergone a complete overhaul of the uniforms, colors, and logos to take them into the future.
“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.”
The new uniforms and logos kick off a new era of Nuggets basketball – an energetic team coming off its most successful season in five years. A group of young stars, led by center Nikola Jokić, growing into prominent names in the NBA. A team trending up, on the cusp of returning back to the NBA playoffs.
Nuggets staffers, in conjunction with Nike, have captured it all in a brave, fun, and Colorado-connected set of new uniforms. One of the first orders of business was to get burgundy incorporated back into the color scheme. After all, the name Colorado is of Spanish origin, meaning ‘colored red.’ On the white jerseys, the name Nuggets across the chest and the Nike logos are emblazoned in reddish burgundy.
All of the uniforms have been made over. Baby blue is gone from the team’s color scheme, and their blue third uniform – honoring the Mile High City – is reflective of that.
“This is something we’ve been working on for a couple of years now with input from a lot of different areas – both inside and outside – the company and the club,” Kroenke said. “This is the culmination of a lot of people’s efforts and a lot of people’s ideas. No doubt it’s different. It’s much different than where we’ve been the last few years. But I think that’s exciting.
“I think it’s a reflection of what I think our team has evolved into at this point. You start talking about the Nuggets, and – even though I think we have a great bunch of veterans down there led by Paul Millsap – I think that primarily we’re skewed towards a younger team; kind of a fresh start so to speak.”
Nike designed the uniforms. And the company did so with eyes on the Nuggets’ past and future.
“One of the biggest things that we tend to do here as a company – and it’s part of our ethos – is this notion about respecting a past and representing a future,” said Michael Smith Sr., Product Manager for Promo Basketball at Nike. “Making sure that it’s rooted in a tradition.”
Kroenke and everyone involved pored over every uniform and logo in the team’s past.
“We looked at all of the history with the uniforms, dating back to the Denver Rockets in the ABA,” Kroenke said. “You look at the different logos and how they’ve evolved over the years, the different colors and how they’ve evolved; we toyed with a lot of different things. Ultimately, we thought kind of how it reflects on Colorado in general.
“That was something we tagged on early, looked at our history; throughout the 1990s seeing that color red very prevalent in the uniform. And we started to focus on a few different things incorporating even some things even past that date whether it was a pick axe from the original Maxie Miner. We had those two cross pick axes in our logo for the last several years. We decided to update that to give it a more modern feel, and kind of a more classic feel.”
There will be four new uniforms in all, with the fourth to be revealed during the season.
“I think that basketball jerseys in general, the simpler they are, the better they are,” Kroenke said. “And I think that with the shorts and the jersey it’s a very unique look. It’s a very different look than we’ve had, and hopefully something that our fans will embrace going forward.
“It’s going to be different, having that color red in the front of the home jersey. And we still are the Nuggets, there’s still a lot of gold in there. The baby blue is now gone. That’s been replaced by one of our secondary logos. You’ll see an updated skyline, which we’re very excited about. The skyline jersey and the rainbow is such an iconic thing for the Denver Nuggets franchise that it was really exciting for us to try and create a newer modern version of that. Hopefully that’s something our fans can identify with as well.”
Christopher Dempsey: firstname.lastname@example.org @chrisadempsey on Twitter.