Basketball is unique among sports today in that it sits at the crossroads of sports and culture. Arguably, no other sport can make that claim, and no place is it more prevalent than the NBA.
Looking more specifically at the NBA uniform nothing has the same the impact when it comes to instilling pride, extending storytelling, and fortifying the relationship between a team and its fans.
That said, the Phoenix Suns are looking to the future and how we celebrate the communities and cultures that support us through uniform design, in this case our Mexican and Mexican-American fans.
Honoring our fans today with a a tribute to early ancestors of the Valley whose imprint on art, innovation, clothing and beyond is still felt today, the Phoenix Suns have been working on a uniform concept based on ancient Aztec symbolism. Currently conceptual, the Suns are pulling back the curtain on the potential design for fans to weigh in and provide their input.
Steeped in symbolism, the uniform boldly blends the grit, unity and history of the Aztec civilization, harnessing the prowess and battle-hardened strength of its people, and the influence it has had on Latin culture for centuries.
The Aztec Sun Stone centered on the chest, as well as within the “PHX” word mark, symbolizes a gathering of deities working as one. The rays surrounding the triangular design represent emanating heat and unity, all originating from a single source, the Sun.
The armor displayed down the left side of the leg depicts the ultimate warrior animal, a jaguar. The inner animal of the Hispanic people stands for strength and the notion that those who bear the armor are ready to strike and attack at any time.
The Aztec Death Stone imprinted on the back of the jersey pays homage to fearless warriors even in the face of death. They carry an all-or-nothing mindset into battle, often leading to victory through intimidation or strength or both.
Let us know if you think the Suns should take these uniforms into battle in the near future.