Hi everyone, and welcome to the newest feature we’ll be sharing here on Chode League: Suit & Nut.
Mike is the Suit. Rick is the nut. Together, we’ll discuss the more frivolous side of the NBA.
This week? Every team, ranked 1-30 on the strength of its jersey game.
Blurbs by Suit. Captions by Nut.
This is Suit & Nut.
TEAMS 26-30: GOD WE LOOK LIKE SHIT.
30. Houston Rockets
SUIT: Reminds you of that kid who tries so hard to look cool, he looks silly.
NUT: A bold mistake looks like a choice. Here, no one was fooled.
The awkward shoulder swoops. The PlayStation 2 font. The alternates that look like McDonald’s uniforms. The Asian-inspired design that doesn’t make sense anymore since Yao and Jeremy Lin aren’t on the team. The Rockets had such a great thing going in the Hakeem and Clyde era, and even the jerseys of the Barkley era were fresh. Then they threw away all colors except red and ended up with THE ugliest jerseys in the NBA. They just need to look to their alternates and totally redesign with a bit more yellow.
29. New Orleans Pelicans
SUIT: The city with the most vibrant colors has the blandest uniforms.
NUT: Unfortunately, the levees aren’t the only thing looking washed out in New Orleans.
It’s sad that their uniforms are so ugly, because their logo is so great. Though the lettering of these jerseys is unique, “New Orleans” is written so incredibly tiny that you can’t really tell. These jerseys are just unnecessarily bland for a team that could get away with crazy colors as the Mardi Gras team.
28. Atlanta Hawks
SUIT: The Hawks have embraced one of the most common colors in the NBA (navy) for no reason.
NUT: Doesn’t really look like the Hawks jerseys were designed with a brand in mind.
So…why are the Hawks primarily navy? Oh sure, they have red jerseys too, but when you think of the Hawks, you think of Dominique or Mutombo in RED. REEEEEED. We don’t understand why they are shying away from the franchise’s main color. Hopefully bringing back the Pac and changing the court design will spark a revamp of the jerseys as well. As it stands, racism is not quite the ugliest stain on this franchise.
27. Utah Jazz
SUIT: An attempt to make a classic jersey that just comes out bland and leaves out the history of the team.
NUT: These make me think I wouldn’t want to live in Utah.
In an attempt to go classic, the Jazz have simply gone boring. Aside from overly simplistic jerseys, the color scheme of navy, dark green, and gold just looks odd. They shouldn’t shy away from purple. It was the defining color of the organization for most of its history, and these current jerseys are trying to emulate those of the Pistol Pete era. Why not pick the right color as well?
26. Detroit Pistons
SUIT: These jerseys were a breath of fresh air…ten years ago.
NUT: Nothing good comes out of Detroit these days.
It’s almost unfair to criticize the Pistons for these jerseys because at the time they were a great idea. The Pistons replaced their terrible teal look AND were one of the first to adopt the red, white, and blue color scheme. These jerseys looked fresh and modern in 2005, but now they just look dated. Even the new Motor City alternates look awkward, especially with that font. Maybe Coach/GM/President/Ballboy/Cracker-Jack-Seller Stan Van Gundy will give the real-life city of Gotham the jersey redesign it deserves.
TEAMS 21-25: FORGETTABLE. THAT’S WHAT YOU ARE.
25. Oklahoma City Thunder
SUIT: These jerseys scream “Kendrick Perkins,” and no one wants that.
NUT: Gotta love openly rocking pseudo-retro alternates. That’s Westbrook-level confidence.
The Thunder uniforms are just as ugly as their logo. The color scheme is bland, the fact that “Oklahoma City” takes up two lines is weird, the numbers are oddly tiny, and all in all it’s just an unexciting jersey. And then they have the pretend-throwback jerseys that are navy blue and white for some reason with an incredibly awkward vertical lettering surrounded by borders. Why they have these alternates, the world will never know.
24. Minnesota Timberwolves
SUIT: These jerseys are reason enough for Kevin Love to leave.
NUT: I’m a little skeptical of the font. But that drab color scheme – no green??
Despite having a great font, the blue color the T-Wolves use in their current jersey is just pale and sad. They have abandoned the forest green of the Garnett era that truly made those jerseys pop. With a young and fresh team, the Wolves should get some jerseys to match.
23. Milwaukee Bucks
SUIT: These are the jerseys that make people give fake compliments like “Well that’s…unique.”
NUT: They look more like the Milwaukee Reindeer. What was wrong with green and purple?
Though it is refreshing to see a team have the unique color scheme of red and green, it simply doesn’t work. Also, the lettering on the jerseys looks incredibly out of place. The beveling on the letters is a bit too much and doesn’t fit the team name or the city at all. This will be a common cry throughout this entire article, but BRING BACK THE PURPLE!
22. Dallas Mavericks
SUIT: These jerseys are like a Volvo: safe to drive and exceedingly average-looking.
NUT: These jerseys are like a condom: safe to drive and exceedingly average-looking.
Though the colors of these jerseys are nice, absolutely nothing about them is exciting. The font is bland, the design is safe, and they make you forget that “Mavericks” is actually a great team nickname. Green is incredibly underutilized in the NBA, and I think the Mavericks should bring it back and incorporate it into their jerseys. A modern version of the “M” wearing a cowboy hat would be lovely.
21. Toronto Raptors
SUIT: Oh how the mighty have fallen.
NUT: What was wrong with purple? Even the camo is cool, but red is just bland.
Why would the Raptors phase out their iconic purple color? Why would the Raptors adopt the incredibly popular red instead? The problem is not that the current Raptors uniforms are bad, but the fact that they would be so much better if they still had purple. Don’t listen to Drake; black and gold is not the way to go. EMBRACE THE PURPLE.
TEAMS 16-20: YES! SLIGHTLY BELOW AVERAGE.
20. Memphis Grizzlies
SUIT: Nice colors, but poor design makes for a mediocre jersey.
NUT: I actually don’t mind the colors or anything. It’s just a stunningly average jersey.
The font the Grizzlies use is interesting, but “interesting” in the same way your roommate is a little bit weird. The line in the middle of all the letters and numbers looks odd and the font overall is too curvy. The biggest problem is the hideously shiny light blue jerseys that look awful. Their color scheme is fine, but the jerseys could use a bit of work. A team with such an intimidating mascot should have a more fearsome jersey.
19. Orlando Magic
SUIT: Great intentions, but not the best execution.
NUT: Always skeptical of pinstripes. The side vents help here.
The Magic jerseys are the perfect example of a team trying to put a modern spin on a classic jersey, but failing. Pinstripes are a bold move that actually works well and the side panels are cool, but the font just doesn’t fit and fails to tie the uniform together. With a simple change of lettering and logo, the Magic could return to having the freshest uniforms in the game.
18. Los Angeles Clippers
SUIT: A lovely font on a lackluster jersey design.
NUT: Red, white, and bored.
The cursive font sets these jerseys apart, but the rest of the jersey brings it right back down to the middle of the pack. Even with crisp red, white, and blue colors, these jerseys are pretty forgettable. In fact, we forgot what we were talking about. Was it black people?
17. Cleveland Cavaliers
SUIT: A great color scheme lost in an over-simplified design.
NUT: Great colors. Maybe too much of them.
Wine and gold is an awesome color scheme, but the Cavs haven’t translated these colors into a very appealing jersey. It’s nice to see the Cavs try for a classic look, and it works pretty well for the wine jerseys, but fails for the gold ones. These jerseys are too simplistic, having the pattern of an old school jersey without the feel of it.
16. Philadelphia 76ers
SUIT: Clean jerseys with colors that pop, but lack excitement.
NUT: I get what they’re going for with red, white, and blue. And they almost get there.
Along with D.C., Philly may be the only city truly deserving of the overly popular red, white, and blue color scheme. The colors of the Sixers jerseys are fresh and bold, but the jerseys are just not as classic as the logo. These jerseys look nice, but they lack flavor. With the addition of some stars or other embellishment to pay homage to the city of brotherly love, the 76ers could have incredible uniforms.
TEAMS 11-15: VAGUE RESPECTABILITY.
15. San Antonio Spurs
SUIT: A formerly colorful logo meets its demise with totally colorless rebranding.
NUT: I actually like these, very straightforward and minimal. Good personality fit.
The Spurs have truly committed to trying not to be exciting, and it shows in their jerseys. It’s strange to have a jersey that matches a team so well. Simple, nothing flashy, but it gets the job done. The Spurs jerseys look very nice, there just isn’t really any wow factor. When they tried to add some pizzazz to their wardrobe, the result was the drabbest alternates ever conceived. It wasn’t always this bad – the old Spurs logo had teal, pink and gold in it. But who could make an attractive jersey with those colors, right? WAIT, TEAL, PINK, and GOLD and you went with black, grey, and white for your jerseys? Come on bruh.
14. Sacramento Kings
SUIT: With some changes to font, the Kings could truly look like royalty.
NUT: Love the use of purple and even black. But yes, we’d like to see more cursive.
The Kings jerseys look classy. They have a color scheme that fits their nickname (purple is the color of royalty), and they have EMBRACED THE PURPLE. The Kings do a great job of modernizing their jerseys every now and then while still keeping a consistent theme that always allows for the jerseys to look recognizable. Another distinguishing step would be expanding the use of cursive beyond just their alternates. Don’t let the Clips have all the fun. You hate them!
13. Miami Heat
SUIT: They have a million different jerseys and they all look great.
NUT: While terrorizing the league these past four years, looked pretty fresh/threatening.
The Heat were truly blessed by the “The Team that LeBron Plays for Gets Tons of Alternates” rule the NBA has adopted recently. Not only do the heat have fresh jerseys that look incredibly intimidating, but their alternate jersey game is also ON POINT. From the red alternates to the white-hots to the 90s throwbacks to the Floridians jerseys, the Heat have a plethora of looks that all look great. Like many of the teams towards the top of this list, they have a color scheme that makes sense with their nickname and has been in the organization for its entire history. Even now when LeBron is gone, the Heat can keep riding their sartorial success into the near future.
12. Portland Trail Blazers
SUIT: No Blazers jersey has ever looked out of place.
NUT: Terrific incorporation of team logo into jersey. Very clean.
Like the Kings, the Blazers have made consistently solid jerseys throughout the years by sticking with the same motif throughout the organization’s history. The red, white, and black works well, and they’re something about that diagonal belly stripe that’s just hypnotically beautiful. The Blazers play around with their color scheme, but ultimately keep it simple, which is why they look good whether they’re in their black, white, red, or Rip City jerseys.
11. Charlotte Hornets
SUIT: 90s colors with an ultra-modern look that flirts with being too modern.
NUT: A bit TRON for my taste. Looks like an Air Jordan shoe. But could be cool.
Major props for embracing the two of the most abandoned colors in the NBA: teal and purple. They played their cards right and chose the color scheme of Charlotte’s prime in the 90s, but went with an ultra-modern look to set themselves apart. The brightness of their new uniforms is unreal, and it makes for an exciting and distinct look. The jerseys aren’t perfect however, as it looks like they’re trying a bit too hard to be a futuristic team in a universe controlled by Nike. This rank is subject to change since we haven’t seen the jerseys on humans yet, but with jerseys that will stand out the most amongst NBA teams (in a good way), the Hornets deserve to be near the top.
TEAMS 6-10: LOOKING GOOD SON.
10. Indiana Pacers
SUIT: These jerseys are listed as a synonym for smooth.
NUT: Great cohesion between home, away, and alternate jerseys.
These uniforms are simply elegant. The navy, gold, and white work well together and there’s nothing on these jerseys that looks out of place. Indy’s font is powerful, modern, and simple, just like the uniforms. Like the Blazers, the Pacers do a great job of interchanging their color scheme to make jerseys that look good in all three of their colors. If they could find a way to pay homage to their pinstripe Reggie Miller days with a new alternate jersey, the Pacers would look even better.
9. Chicago Bulls
SUIT: The Bulls found the right formula years ago and they’ve stuck to it.
NUT: Classic. Mostly unaltered.
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. The Bulls have had some of the best jerseys in the league since the 80s and they’re smart to keep them almost identical to the jerseys of the Michael era. The Bulls get an extra jump in the rankings since they’ve brought back the black alternates with red pinstripes. These jerseys are bold and strong, much like Joakim Noah’s hair game.
8. Boston Celtics
SUIT: An iconic jersey that differs from the rest of the NBA.
NUT: The Celtics have had the best numbering in the game for years.
Being unique enough to sport a two-color scheme AND embrace green as a primary color easily lands the Celtics in the top ten. The Celtics also do a great job of staying consistent throughout the years. The jerseys are simply classic and yes, they DO have the best jersey numbers in the league. The details count, and the flourish of the three-leaf clover just above the numbers is the perfect flair for these historic jerseys. The one downside to the Celtics uniform repertoire is those new black and green alternates. They lack flavor and are unnecessary. Stick to the classics, boys.
7. Brooklyn Nets
SUIT: An absence of color results in an abundance of cool.
NUT: These make Kevin Garnett look scary as hell. Are you kidding? Terrific jerseys.
When THE Jay-Z plays a major role in the rebranding of your team, you’re gonna be left with some mean jerseys. These jerseys are edgy, intimidating, and downright fresh. The Nets took a bit of a risk going with the black and white color scheme, but it works incredibly well. The unique and classy font compliments the simplistic nature of the jerseys. In these jerseys, the Nets look like a bunch of guys you don’t want to mess with, like the Russian Mob. Good thing they have the owner to fit the bill.
6. Denver Nuggets
SUIT: UNF THOSE YELLOW ALTERNATES UNFFFF!
NUT: Definitely the best alternates in the game.
If this were an all-time jersey ranking, the Nuggets would easily be at the top of the list for their rainbow skyline jerseys. The Nuggets deserve top-5 credit alone solely for their yellow alternates that modernize the iconic rainbow jerseys and make them embrace the current color scheme. Fortunately, the standard jerseys for the Nuggets are also incredibly stylish. The light blue and yellow combo is great, and Denver is not afraid to embrace these colors which are not widely used in the NBA today. Honestly, it would be fantastic if they just made white and light blue versions of the skyline alternates and rocked that look every game because it is fresh to death.
TEAMS 1-5: FLAWLESS THROWBACKS.
5. New York Knicks
SUIT: The perfect example that less is more.
NUT: Somehow elegant enough to wear in public, day-to-day. Quite an achievement.
It was a glorious day when the Knicks decided to pay homage to their old school jerseys and remove those atrocious, black side panels that reminded every Knicks fan that Eddy Curry was once considered the cornerstone of the franchise. These new uniforms are a perfect remix of the classic design, and they really pop with bright colors, colored waistbands, and white trimming to accentuate the distinct Knicks lettering. Also, despite going 0-7 in them last year, the orange alternates are FRESH. These jerseys remind Knicks fans of the good ol’ days, and they could use that reminding.
4. Los Angeles Lakers
SUIT: Simply, a classic.
NUT: The most iconic basketball jersey in the world.
The gold and purple garb of the Lakers is easily the most recognizable jersey in the game. The colors and style have been a mainstay of the organization ever since its move to LA, and the Lakers have always looked classy. Recently, they’ve tried to spice things up a bit with alternates like the white ones, which look great, and the black ones, which look not-so-great. The Lakers would benefit from staying a bit more classic in their jerseys, much like the Celtics and Knicks have done.
3. Phoenix Suns
SUIT: The pinnacle of the modern jersey paying homage to old school design.
NUT: Modern, clean, and vibrant. Great color palette.
The Suns’ jerseys have always stood out, but not always in a good way. Purple, orange, and grey is a unique and bold color scheme, and when used well, it looks amazing. These current jerseys use the colors to their advantage, using a rich and dark purple and a rich, non-traffic-cone orange. These uniforms take the busy designs of the 90s and make them simple with a modernized version of the classic font, simplified lines to show what was the accelerating sun, and subtle flair like the sun rays emerging from the bottom of the shorts. Major bonus points to the Suns for having the only good looking sleeved jerseys in the game with their orange alternates.
2. Washington Wizards
SUIT: Again, old school meets new school and beauty results.
NUT: Many teams attempt red, white, and blue. No one else comes close.
When the Wizards switched from their awful blue and tan uniforms to the old-school red, white and blue ones in homage of the Bullets, they leaped from one of the ugliest jerseys to one of the best. Now the Wizards have a color scheme that makes sense with the city, point to the team’s history, and STILL look modern. Just when you thought they couldn’t look any fresher, they unveil the new blue alternates for this next season which are beyond fresh. These jerseys look great, especially when John Wall busts out the dougie.
1. Golden State Warriors
SUIT: Without a doubt, the freshest jerseys in the league.
NUT: To me, the perfect NBA jersey. Clean, regional, recognizable.
Hands down, the Warriors have the best logo in the league, and with a logo that good, it only makes sense that they would have the best uniforms in the NBA. Like the Wizards, the Warriors also catapulted from the ugly navy and orange uniforms of the Jason Richardson era to the classic blue and golds they sport today. They prominently display their logo on the front of their jerseys, and putting the uniform number inside the logo is both rare and beautiful. Props to the Warriors for being visionaries in the jersey game as well, being the first team to don the controversial sleeved jerseys. They don’t even need to innovate, because they’ve already created something beautiful, but it’s exciting to see what’s to come.
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