Millennials aren’t the only ones excited for the return of the teal.
During a community outreach event at the SAY Detroit Play Center on Tuesday morning, Detroit Pistons manager of retail marketing Reagan Dailey-Chwalilbog couldn’t help but ask for a little feedback from kids on the Pistons’ retro look.
The response was overwhelmingly positive.
“I use them (teal jerseys) in NBA2K,” Loyola High School student D.J. Johnson told Pistons.com later. “They feel old school and I think it will bring back the real Pistons.”
Just hours earlier the Pistons officially unveiled the teal jerseys at a launch party at The Highlands restaurant on top of the Renaissance Center in downtown Detroit. The Pistons will wear the Classic Edition uniform 10 games for the upcoming season as part of the regular jersey rotation. It’s a replica of the road uniforms the Pistons wore from 1996 – 2001.
The announcement came after several years of speculation that the Pistons were going to bring the teal back.
“To Pistons fans everywhere – we heard you, and this is for you,” Pistons chief business officer Mike Zavodsky said. “The teal jerseys represent a ‘colorful’ time in Pistons basketball and NBA history. We are thrilled to re-introduce the teal to a new generation of basketball fans and can’t wait to see this version of Detroit Basketball suit up in them.”
The jersey features black, yellow and red trim on a teal jersey with a flaming horsehead. United Wholesale Mortgage, the sponsor of the Pistons’ jersey patch and exclusive mortgage partner, is featured prominently on the jersey’s left front strap.
Jerry Stackhouse, who holds the franchise record for points scored in a game (57), was a mainstay on the four teams that wore the teal. Now the coach at Vanderbilt University, he was the featured guest at the launch party that was attended by social media influencers, local celebrities and media members.
“I’m just happy to be back here and bring the teal back,” he told the cheering crowd. “It was a very exciting time for me and my fans. They wanted it back and now it’s here.”
‘This new squad is going to look good in teal’
The Pistons and #ReturnOfTheTeal were trending on Twitter early Tuesday morning with the team account sharing content featuring players like Cade Cunningham and Jaden Ivey adorned in teal.
The response wasn’t surprising. The teal jerseys have been a consistent topic with the Pistons fanbase on social media for the past several years so it was only a matter of time before the franchise catered to the demand.
“That was one of those alternate colors that I liked, it was different and no one else had that color in the NBA,” Detroit resident Christian Dorsey said. “It made us standout and it was one of those jerseys that I had to have.”
It’s notable that younger fans have embraced the teal. Dorsey understands the reasoning.
“The look made us distinctive,” he said. “I think this new generation with this new squad is going to look good in teal on that court.”
But for the kids at SAY Detroit who weren’t around when Stackhouse, Grant Hill and Lindsey Hunter were starring in teal, the look is simply cool.
“Many of the students said the fact that there's so many bright colors like teal, yellow, and crimson; all of those colors together make it a lot brighter and it like catches the eye more than our normal jersey,” Dailey-Chwalilbog said.
The jersey will be available for purchase in the weeks leading up to the 2022-23 NBA season. Fans can now sign up for pre-order alerts to give them an exclusive window for pre-sale purchase once available. As the jerseys officially become available, the Pistons and DoorDash will partner to create a limited, teal-themed exclusive item for select fans.