After unveiling a new hardwood court for the 2012-13 season – a modern design with a black and orange palette – the Phoenix Suns will soon pay tribute to their past with black and orange Hardwood Classics uniforms.
One of seven NBA teams chosen to go retro for select games this season, the Suns chose the popular jerseys with the large, bright sunburst across the chest that were worn for occasional road games from 1994-2000.
The black uniform was first introduced in 1994-95 as a third, alternate version of the team’s sunburst style that was originally unveiled in 1992-93 with white and purple uniforms. More than 40 different players in Suns history wore the black uniforms during its initial run, including some of the franchise’s all-time greats, such as Charles Barkley, Kevin Johnson, Jason Kidd and Shawn Marion. Even former Suns guard Steve Nash wore the uniform for a handful of games after being drafted by Phoenix in 1996.
The current edition of the Suns’ roster will debut their throwback threads on national television, when Phoenix hosts the Lakers on Jan. 30, as Nash makes his first appearance back at US Airways Center since a trade sent him to Los Angeles during the offseason.
“Every basketball player wants to wear their team’s throwback jerseys,” Suns guard Jared Dudley said after getting a sneak peek after shoot around on Wednesday. “It reminds me of Barkley and those good old days. Obviously, those black uniforms always stood out. As a kid, everyone loved those.”
The Suns will model the new, old look in 10 games this season, seven at home and three on the road. The Adidas jerseys will also be available for purchase in the Suns’ Team Shop in February.
“Most players like that all-black look,” Dudley added. “That black makes the bright orange stand out even more. And the ball, it’s like shooting a three with the flames coming off it.”
The black and orange uniforms are a welcome site, not only for today’s Suns players and for longtime fans who have been requesting their return via Twitter and Facebook in recent years, but for the alumni who wore them the first go-around, as well.
“To be honest with you, I thought they never should have gone away,” said Suns VP of Player Programs, Mark West, who wore the first sunburst unis in 1992-94, and the alternates after returning to the roster in 1999-2000. “I thought once we introduced them it should have been a part of the Suns legacy moving forward. But since they weren’t, I’m really glad to see them coming back.”
Suns Hardwood Classic Games