Christmas is a big day for the NBA, which has made an effort to “own” the holiday on the sports calendar in recent years. The league has no games scheduled for Dec. 24 (presumably so the players can have a sort of surrogate holiday) but has five games slated for Xmas Day. The league has used a snowflake patch for its Xmas uniforms over the past few years, and has also tried to create red-vs.-green match-ups when possible. This year, however, they have something else in mind.
I’m basing that statement on a bunch of video game screen shots that a source has provided me with. They show a new batch of uniforms to be worn on Dec. 25, most of them featuring outlined chest lettering, like in the case of these designs for the Heat, Bulls, and Thunder (for all of these, you can click to enlarge):
As you can see, these three uniforms take some mild liberties (I like seeing “Thunder” on the blue uni), but nothing too outrageous. The same can’t be said, however, for the Knicks’ Xmas design:
Yowza. Have the Knicks ever worn a solid-orange uni before? I’m trying to reserve judgment until we see it on the court, but I have a feeling that’s gonna be more like a lump of coal, not a fancy stocking-stuffer.
Next up we have the Nuggets and Lakers:
The L.A. design feels appropriate — a white Christmas and all that, right? And the Denver design looks fine.
Next up are the Celtics and Clippers:
Man, how many different versions of that green uni have the Celtics had over the past decade? There’s the standard white lettering, the black lettering, the gold lettering, and now the white-outlined lettering. Enough! As for the Clippers, that’s sort of a smudgy screen shot, so I’m reserving judgment, but I have a feeling that an outlined script isn’t gonna look so hot.
One last pair of teams — the Nets and Rockets:
Again, I’ll reserve final judgment until I see it for real, but I think I really like the Nets’ look with the outlined lettering. Much better than the standard road version. As for the Rockets, I find it hard to care one way or the other about what they wear.
Another big day on the NBA calendar is Feb. 17, 2013, when the All-Star Game will be played. My source provided images of those uniforms as well:
Not exactly a thing of beauty, and I really dislike the stencil font. But hey, it’s just an All-Star uni set, so whatever.
Will this be the final season of All-Star and Christmas uniforms that aren’t sullied with advertising patches? Hope not.
Update: Several readers are saying that these Xmas uniforms are actually the “Winterized” uniforms, which teams will supposedly be wearing for weekend games during the second half of the season. I had mentioned/linked to this in the Ticker back in July but had actually forgotten all about it.
However, note that the Rockets jersey in that last link does not match the one in the video leak. Perhaps the Winterized uni program will unveil on Xmas..? Hmmmm.
ESPN reminder: In case you missed it yesterday, my latest ESPN column is a look at the surprisingly wide-ranging history of the wishbone-C logo.
PermaRec update: A Permanent Record reader is facing a tricky decision regarding what to do with some artifacts, and he’d like to get some feedback and advice. Please check out the full scoop and feel free to offer your thoughts (either in the PermaRec comments or via e-mail, not in the Uni Watch comments). Thanks.
Signal Flare: Do we have any Texas Rangers fans here on the site? I’m sure we do, just by the law of averages, but I feel like I’ve rarely if ever heard from any of you. Anyway, if you are indeed a Rangers fan — and only if you’re a Rangers fan — I’d like to have a word with you, so please drop me a line. Thanks.
Ibanez, on his way into the interview room, had a bottle of water. Some flack asked him to pour it into a Gatorade cup. See it to his left?
— David Waldstein (@DavidWaldstein) October 11, 2012
Now, it would be fair to say that Raúl Ibañez is not exactly my favorite person today. Closer to my least favorite. But for fuck’s sake, after single-handedly
driving a dagger through my heart rescuing his team from a very tough spot last night, can’t he be allowed to drink a bottle of water — a bottle of, you know, the purest, most elemental stuff on the goddamn planet — without some pathetic functionary transforming him into a marketing vehicle for whichever brand MLB has sold its soul to this week?
I’d love to know who that functionary was. Imagine his life: “How was work tonight, Daddy?” “Oh, it was fine. I told a man to use a Gatorade cup, even though he wasn’t actually drinking Gatorade. Good stuff.”
How do these people even look in the mirror? And by “these people,” I don’t mean the functionary and his ilk; I mean the people who give him his marching orders (presumably with a straight face), the people who negotiate these deals and then shake hands at the end like they’ve created something of value instead of something vulgar, the people who’ve created a world where there are “Gatorade Only!” posters in the dugouts and a man can’t drink a bottle of water in peace.
Douchebags. Total fucking douchebags, every last one of them.
Uni Watch News Ticker: Earlier this week I interviewed a guy who’s starting up a company called JerseySquare, which will be sort of like a jersey version of Netflix: They’re gonna rent out jerseys. Perfect if you want a jersey for one special occasion and don’t want to spend $250 on a polyester shirt, or don’t want to get stuck with the jersey after the player is traded, or whatever. This will be the subject of my ESPN column next week, but for now you can see JerseySquare’s beta site and their crowd-funding page. More details on all of this next week. … The MLB logo on the back of the Nats’ caps has been red, white, and blue for the past two seasons. But the logo on Craig Stammen’s cap yesterday was blue, white, and gold. Hmmm, did MLB come up with those “Postseason” cap patches just as a way of unloading a bunch of dead stock? (Great spot by Paul Gaiser.) … Fans were allowed to sign the final construction beam of the new Scranton/Wilkes-Barre minor league ballpark (from Art Savokinas, whose son was among those who signed the beam). … Buncha great NFL photo finds by Bruce Menard, including the Lions’ 1971 memorial armband for Chuck Hughes; a 1971 shot of a Raiderette cheerleader; some really great colors in a 1971 Oilers/Redskins shot; and a beautiful 1972 shot of Jim Otto (“I love the juxtaposition of the black/silver uni and the mod orange/pink striped drinking cup,” says Bruce). … “In the Milwaukee suburbs, two small schools — Shorewood (public) and Messmer (private/Catholic) — have merged their football programs into one, called Messwood,” says Ray Barrington. “But it’s under fire because they’re also using a combined logo — a greyhound for Shorewood and a cross for Messmer — which is causing controversy.” Insert all the obvious dog/god jokes here. … New road hockey jersey for Nebraska-Omaha (from David Westfall). … Great DIY project by Dan Taylor, who designed a Wild-themed jersey for his daughter, Marianna. “My wife made it into a reality with her sewing skills,” he says. … Jeff Flynn Jr. found a Raiders helmet with a logo I’ve never seen before before. I realize the helmet isn’t authentic or anything — I’m just curious about the logo. Anyone know more? … With the passing of Alex Karras yesterday, Ronnie Poore sent along some pics of Karras from his days at the U. of Iowa. … The Jags ran an online poll yesterday, and the background of the page featured a long-outdated jersey. “Makes you wish they’d bring back the gold number outline,” says James Comfort. Actually, lots of things make me wish that. … Some good background info on Stanford’s use of Native American mascot imagery back in the day (thanks, Kirsten). … Check this out: FNOB and HNOB in one shot! That’s Tom Brandt and Khary Bailey-Smith of UMass, whose roster also includes Tom’s half-brother, Tim (from Charles Norenberg). … Mike Park reports that the Chicago Fire supporters group, “Section 8,” recently hosted a Fire 15th-anniversary bash that included a cool display of old Fire jerseys. … Maryland’s new hoops uniforms aren’t supposed to be unveiled tomorrow, but they’re already on sale in the school bookstore. “I love them,” says Jeremy Schneider. “A nice mix of the new logo and an homage to the past with the sleeve trim.” … New women’s hoops uniforms for VCU. … O’s pitcher Miguel Gonzalez was wearing Luis Ayala’s glove last night (from Chris Wautel). … I think I’ve already run photos of Michigan’s new basketball uniforms, but definitely not from this angle (from Nick Sands).