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Kickin’ It in NYC


By Phil Hecken

As you all know (or should know) the NBA All Star Game is tonight, in Madison Square Garden, and we already know what the teams will wear. The East will be the home team in white, and the West will wear the dark color. Nothing too crazy, and the only kinda-newish thing is the players will have first name above the numbers with their last name below. And there will be no sleeves.

If you’ve been reading Uni Watch for the past half-decade or more, you know that I always tap our resident sneakerhead, Matt Powers, to do his writeup and review of the sneakers that will be worn by the players in the game (and even guys who are hurt and won’t play). It’s like Christmas/Hanukkah/4th of July for those who are into sneakers (which I decidely am not). As Paul mentioned in his earlier piece this week (“Probably The Only Sneaker Entry I’ll Write”), he’s not a sneaker guy either — although I do own about 30 pairs of Chuck Taylors.

If you’re not a sneakerhead, you can still give this section a look-see, but make sure if you’re not to scroll right past this to the next few sections — there’s some really good stuff after Matt’s annual indulgence. Promise you won’t be disappointed.

So, sneakerheads, rejoyce, for your day is here, and here to tell you all about the kicks you’ll see tonight, is the one, the only Matt with…

. . . . .

Kickin’ it in NYC
By Matt Powers

Anyone close to me knows that Memorial Day is my absolute, favorite holiday. Acquaintances might guess that it’s Halloween but they would be steering you wrong. The last Monday in May signifies many great things to me:

1. A gratitude and humility for those we are remembering.
2. Gorgeous weather when I can spend time with my girls and break out the barbecue.
3. My second-favorite sporting event of the year, the NCAA Lacrosse Championships.
4. An actual day off, during a month when I normally referee and play multiple games every day.
5. The light at the end of the tunnel of yet another school year.

This brings me to my favorite, non-official holiday of the year and my number one, favorite sporting event, the NBA All Star-Game. To me, the game has always been an exhibition of talent, skills and showmanship, not only expressed with athletic ability but a savvy fashion and business sense as well.

Rewind to January 26th 1992, when as a ninth-grader I was watching Super Bowl XXVI between the Redskins and Bills. Nike’s ad company of choice, Wieden and Kennedy, created a genius campaign to promote the new Air Jordan VII with a little help from a familiar cartoon character, Bugs Bunny. This collaboration would eventually morph into the highest grossing basketball film of all time, Space Jam, which would also give us one of the most beloved and mysterious Air Jordans of the series, the Air Jordan XI. By the way, this year Nike and JB are bringing back many Hare Jordan themed shoes, including a Marvin the Martian themed VII.

As was their signature move, W & K would only give a glimpse of the actual shoe, which would only make my curiosity grow until I could see it on February 9th, during the 42nd NBA All Star Game, which just so happened to be memorable for a much more important, culturally-relevant, reason.

Besides the Hare Jordan Bordeaux, there was also another extremely, innovative shoe to be worn in that 1992 game that had caught not only my eye, but the eyes of every sneakerhead worth their deadstock boxes — the original Nike Air Flight Huarache. Many NBA players would lace them up that season, and years later, but it was five 18 year old kids in Ann Arbor that would corner the market on Hype with the swagger that they were bringing to the court, rocking their long shorts, black socks and Huaraches.

Nonetheless, the Fab Five would have wait until April 6th to burst onto the national stage wearing their beloved kicks against Duke in the Championship game of the NCAA tournament. Most sports fans will remember that year’s tournament for perhaps the greatest collegiate basketball game of all time, the improbable, overtime Duke win against Kentucky in the East Regional final there will always be that niche group of us that will remember it for the shoes.

The one glowing beacon of the sneakerhead world has and always will be the NBA ASG. The 1992 version will always be a sweet memory because of the Air Jordan VII, Nike Air Flight Huarache as well as the Air Force Six, Ewing Concept, and Nike Air Bound 2, worn by Chris Mullin. I did not like that version nor the version that Jimmy Jackson wore at Ohio State, but it reminded me of the Air Bound 1, which is one of my faves of all time. The Georgia Tech, triple threat of Kenny Anderson, Brian Oliver and Dennis Scott, better known as Lethal Weapon 3 made those shoes famous along with the Air Flight 89 and 90. As you can see, once we take a trip down the rabbit hole, there is no guessing as to where we will end up, like when you attempt to leave the Barclay’s Center by train!

. . .

Western Conference All-Stars


Starters: As this is being written, Steve Kerr has still yet to name a replacement for Anthony Davis, who will be sitting out due to a shoulder injury.


#30 Stephen Curry: Under Armour UA Curry One “Dark Matter”
Curry has not only become the premier sharp-shooting guard in the league, he has become Under Armour’s most valuable commodity in the league, especially since having lost out in the Kevin Durant sweepstakes this past Fall. As for the From an aesthetic point of view, the Curry One it is slated to be the most audacious of the signature shoes in the ASG this year. From a functional standpoint, those in the know, really stand behind it.

#11 Klay Thompson: Anta “Fire” or “Priceless”
Up until this point of the season, this half of the Splash Brothers has exclusively worn home and away versions of the Nike Hyperdunk 2014. However on the eve of All Star weekend, Thompson held a press conference announcing a partnership with the Chinese company Anta. He has also been seen wearing the unknown model during Warriors practices.

#13 James Harden: Nike Hyperchase “All-Star”
Harden is another member of the ultra-elite, low-top club. During both the FIBA World Games and current NBA season, he has shown an affinity for the Nike Zoom Run the One. He has worn them in a number of impressive colorways however I am still waiting for him to roll his ankle due to the lack of support. For the ASG, he will debut the Hyperchase, which seems to be another step in the evolution that started with the Zoom Crusader.

#33 Marc Gasol: Nike Hyperdunk 2014
Gasol, like Thompson, has not varied his shoes very much this season, opting for both home and road versions of the Hyperdunk 2014. He has, however, on occasion, been known to find interesting ways to utilize his shoes other than simply on his feet. He also chose to wear them for Spain during the FIBA World Games. Expect the same in a muted Grey/Black version for Sunday night’s contest.

#32 Blake Griffin: Jordan Super.Fly 3 Pearl
Another incredibly, simple yet elegant sig shoe out of the Jordan group. Unfortunately, we won’t get to see them on”“court. Here are a few that he has worn this season.




#21 Tim Duncan: Adidas Adipure CrazyQuick
Great player, one of the best ever. That will never be debated. What will be was his decision to leave Nike. On Sunday, he is going to wear some big man shoe from Adidas that no one will buy. I, along with every other sneaker loving person in the world, stopped caring about Duncan’s shoe game when he ceased wearing anything with the suffix -posite in the name.

#35 Kevin Durant: Nike KD 7 “All-Star”
One of Nike’s signature athletes has worn a virtual plethora of colorways of the KD 7 this season, however my favorite of all has not been seen on-court, the PB & J. It is an updated version of the former KD 6 PB & J. Another great ideation of the shoes has been the Black History Month edition. The ASG version draws it’s inspiration from John Robeling’s Brooklyn Bridge, complete with it’s structural flywire evoking the suspension cables. Here, Sneaker Bar Detroit has a great technical write-up as well as on-foot images of the stunning shoe.

#0 Damian Lillard: Adidas D Lillard 1 “NYC”
Originally not selected to the roster, Lillard has been selected to play in the game due to injuries and rightfully so. His Adidas D Lillard 1 also displays the muted colors of this years’ motif however he has worn various versions on-court that buck that trend. Not loving the shoe yet the Velcro strap is always a design element that I love, going back to the Tinker Hatfield designed Bo Jackson Air Trainers of my youth, shown here as another ode to BK on none other than Spike Lee’s Mookie of Do The Right Thing!

#3 Chris Paul: Jordan CP3.VIII Pearl
Another of the Nike/Jordan Brand stable of athletes, CP3 will be wearing an AS version of his shoes commemorating 30 years of Air Jordans in the Pearl Anniversary edition. He too, has worn a bevy of different types of the shoe this season. And if you mistakenly run into Cliff Paul, you might find him wearing one of these versions.

#0 Russell Westbrook: Air Jordan XX9 Pearl
Jordan Brand, 30 year Pearl Anniversary, Gorgeously, simple shoe for the ASG! Many cool colorways this season, as seen in this wheel of PE editions. The bigger news, according to the Wall Street Journal, is that come June, Westbrook will have his own sig shoe from JB.


Injury Replacements


#12 LaMarcus Aldridge: Jordan Super.Fly 3 Pearl
Aldridge was strictly an Air Max Hyperposite guy until he made the switch over to JB this season. He has been spotted wearing the Super Fly.3 and with Griffin out, I can infer that JB will want someone displaying them. He has also been seen wearing Air Jordan XIII’s, Concord XI’s, as well as AJ XI BRED’s.

#15 DeMarcus Cousins: Air Jordan XX9 Pearl
He surprises me by being a big guy who likes smaller guy shoes. I would have thought that he would be a better fit for the Air Max Hyperposite like the UniBrow or Bosh. A more than justified selection, he will be replacing Beef’s spot in the lineup. He is a bit of a sneaker wild-card. He has been spotted wearing Zoom Soldier 7’s, and many other different types of shoes this season, most recently the Air Jordan X Lady Liberty.

#41 Dirk Nowitzki: Nike Hyperdunk 2014
Dirk has become what my wife refers to as a “Give-Up”. He no longer worries about the latest gear or what some blogger is going to write about his shoes on the Internets. He wears what’s comfortable. In my house that would be my beloved “bear-pants” and a pair of crocs. Because for some time, he has been reverting to wearing the Hyperdunk 2012! At least in this pic, he was wearing the 2014 BHM edition. All is not lost, but something tells me that Monta Ellis made him wear them!


Injured, Not playing

#23 Anthony Davis: Nike Air Max Hyperposite 2014
Big man shoe. Davis has worn the road version seen above as well as the Home version seen here. Here is the white version that he wore for the FIBA games. Unfortunately, we won’t be seeing any of them on him because he is out due to a shoulder injury.

#24 Kobe Bryant: Nike Kobe 10 “All-Star”
The last time that the NBA ASG was in NYC, Kobe decided to make a name for himself — and it stuck. He too, is shelved for the game but hopefully someone will wear a pair of his beautiful signature shoes. They are designed with the 1964 World Fair Unisphere in mind. My favorite colorway is the Virginia-Tech like Silk Road version.

. . .

Eastern Conference All-Stars




#2 John Wall: Adidas J Wall 1 “NYC”
According to Adidas:

Designed in tandem with the 2015 NBA All-Star uniforms, the adidas NYC All-Star footwear collection is inspired by the attitude and culture of New York City basketball, music and fashion. Each shoe will feature a clean, premium aesthetic in an iconic white, black and gold color scheme. The white uppers are highlighted by subtle snakeskin textures, black accents and hits of metallic gold.
The J Wall 1 features a double layered white mesh upper for increased comfort and breathability. White leather snakeskin texture is featured around the laces, top of the tongue and ankle. Black accents include the full-length adiprene+ midsole, metallic toe cap, FITFRAME and three-stripes. The J Wall 1 NYC All-Star is finished with metallic gold J Wall logos on the tongue and lateral side.

Ok? Here are a few more colors that he has worn. Ever since he singlehandedly destroyed my Office Tournament Bracket with an abysmal John Starks-esque shooting display against West Virginia, I don’t care what he wears!

#7 Kyle Lowry: Adidas Crazy Light Boost
For a spell, Lowry was searing only Jordans. Then he switched over to Peak. It seems that he has found a home with the three stripes. I imagine that he will wear the Crazy Light Boost pictured above that was actually worn by Andrew Wiggins in the World vs. USA game on Friday night.

#23 Lebron James: Nike LeBron 12 “All-Star”
Inspired by the famous Flatiron building, I have to say that I am a bit disappointed by this choice of setup. What I have seen so far this season has been off the charts awesome — the ASG version doesn’t do it for me. Especially after seeing the Wheat edition on Friday!

#7 Carmelo Anthony: Jordan Melo M11 Pearl
I have never really liked the Melo line, but this one is enticing to me. The calm color blocking and overall lines make for an attractive shoe. Being that he is one of JB’s signature athletes, there has been no shortage of colors for Carmelo this season.

#16 Pau Gasol: Nike Hyperdunk 2014
Like his brother, Pau has worn the Hyperdunk all season albeit it Bulls colorways. Here is the home version as well as those that he’s worn on the road.




#1 Chris Bosh: Nike Air Max Hyperposite 2014
Bosh sticks with what works. Too bad his buddy didn’t! Just like Anthony Davis, he’s been wearing home and road version of the Air Max Hyperposite this season. Nike usually releases pics of this shoe on Skills Saturday, so be ready for updates.

#21 Jimmy Butler: Air Jordan XX9 Pearl or Air Jordan XX Laser Pearl
First timer Butler is a recent addition to JB and has recently been seen wearing the gorgeous AJ XX Laser, the AJ XX9 BHM as well as the Super. Fly 3 BHM. Chances are, he won’t be lacing up any of Lebron’s kicks anytime soon. Nailed it!

#15 Al Horford: Nike Hyperdunk 2014
Yet another non sig-wearing soldier in the Nike army. Horford prefers the Hyperdunk, much like the Gasol brothers and has been primarily wearing simple Hawks themed home and road versions all season.

#4 Paul Millsap: Nike Hyperchase “All-Star”
Millsap has been wearing the Run the One. Recently he has been spotted wearing the BHM version of the shoe as well.

#0 Jeff Teague: Adidas Crazy Light Boost
I imagine that both Lowry and Teague will be wearing this guard-based shoe for Adidas. In the past, Teague had been partial to the Crazy Light 1 Low. But has also liked the D-Rose signature kicks. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if he would lace up a pair of the D Rose 5 Superstar ASG version, since the namesake won’t be involved. I love how they incorporated the old shell-toe component into this one! Jason Bernard should like that!

#2 Kyrie Irving: Nike Kyrie 1 “All-Star”
Designed to mimic the NYC Subway lines, this is by far, my favorite of the Nike signature ASG shoes. The colors that he has worn on court this season would almost require a column of their own.


Injury Replacements

#26 Kyle Korver: Nike Hyperchase “All-Star”
First time All-Star Korver will have trouble finding teammates more gifted than Jon Cryer this weekend. He has been wearing the Run the One all season. Anything is better than the awful Converse he had been wearing. Like Harden, I see him breaking out the Hyperchase for the big game, if he can find his car.


Injured, Not playing


#3 Dwyane Wade: Li-Ning Way of Wade 3 All Star
Unfortunately, Li Ning had designed one of the ASG kicks that had any kind of exciting color palette. Wade has worn various versions of the shoe all season. That’s all I’ve got to say about that.

. . .

Off-Court Kicks:

Not to steal anyone’s thunder, but Sneakernews has an excellent roundup of some of the additional kicks that will be displayed and for sale by Nike, JB, Adidas, Reebok and even Ewing by Phoenix. You can find these in and around NYC at the various Pop-Up shops and Promotional Venues that will be seeing some heavy foot traffic this weekend, like the Jordan Brand Pearl Pavilion and the Zoom City Arena complete with an LED court. A few pairs that I especially like are the Air Jordan X “Bulls Over Broadway”, this year’s version of the Hyper Rev, as well as an old favorite of mine, the Nike Foamposite All Star; unfortunately at $275, I will be staying away, this time. If you do decide to venture down to the game and you are looking for some good eats, walk another block past the Barclays to Vanderbilt Avenue and check out Woodwork, a great, soccer-themed Bar/Restaurant run by an old HS friend of mine, Ross Greenberg. If it’s good enough for Jay, Bey and JT, you’ll love it too!

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He’s Baaaaaack

Vilk NBA ASG 5 & 1

It’s been a while (some would say not long enough) since we had a 5 & 1 from the original and still the best, Jim Vilk, but he’s back today to give you yet another list. He’s spanned the gamut of 5 & 1s, from the Soccer stuff to Men’s Figure Skating to college hoops to the World Series to well, you name it — and today he’s back to give us his rundown on the best five, and worst one, of the NBA All Star Game (of course tonight’s game probably won’t make either list, since we’ve already seen those unis). The past has has some good ones, no doubt, and some stinkers.

Let’s see what Jimmer thinks. Here’s Jim:

. . .

NBA All Star Game 5 & 1
By Jim Vilk

Last week a reputable sports site posted its list of the Top Ten NBA All Star uniforms. For a league fast approaching its 70th anniversary, there were seven matchups from this young century and three from the 1990s. If that’s really your taste in uniforms, to each their own and all that. Now if those picks were made just because they’re the easy to find online, then a big boo to that list. That inspired me to make my own, in the good old 5 & 1 style. While doing my research I discovered there’s no such thing as a comprehensive All Star list, and a lot of the ones out there are filled with errors. Someday I hope to compile a definitive list, but this 5 & 1 is a start.

Normally I do two Honorable Mentions, Allow me a third today because I love these three number fonts. Here’s one to 1982 — The only game I know of where the name *and* conference were on the back…which was fine if you had a short name.

And to 1995 – This one pushed the envelope, but then the next year they went too far.

And one more to 2006 – Modern and oh, so snazzy.

5. 1978 — Like a star-spangled crossword puzzle!

4. 1972 — Wonder how the Celtics stars liked wearing Lakers-themed jerseys.

3. 2009 — Otis Birdsong would approve of those names under the numbers.

2. 1966 — While Yardbarker (thanks to them for a few of today’s photos) rightfully called the red/white matchups of the late 80s simple and elegant, the ’66 unis were even more.

1. 1981 — Not because I was there, but because the letters and numbers and stars all seem perfectly proportioned.

And the bad one: 2008 – Seriously, who thought one team with white on the front and one team with white on the back was a good idea??

Enjoy tonight’s game!

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Keep calm…

..and Hit the Broom

A couple weeks ago, Paul let me know he’d been asked by Brian Reich, who runs the podcast “Hit The Broom” (which focuses on curling), to be interviewed about the on-going “Curling Night in America” currently running on NBCSN on curling kits (uniforms). As Paul and I are both charter members of the Brooklyn Curling Club and I have authored a few articles on this for UW (usually with the assistance of Mike Styczen), Paul asked if I’d like to join him for the podcast. Honored, I said yes, of course.

We were both interviewed last week, and now the audio of that podcast is available. Brian has thus far had four previous episodes, each of which has been great (the fourth of which included an interview with Dean Gemmell, an outstanding curler in his own right, but who also provided some private instruction to Paul and myself at the Plainfield Curling Club in New Jersey a few years back). In 2012, Paul & I also had the pleasure of watching Dean and his team win the 2012 U.S. Nationals down in Philadelphia (their timing was one year off — had they won in 2013, they’d have gone to the Sochi Olympics). Other podcasts include other curlers and the color announcer for the NBCSN broadcasts. You can check out all those out here.

Anyway, if you’re interested, I’ve embedded the audio for the most recent podcast below — after the introduction (about 1 minute), there is about 10 minutes with Jessica Schultz, and then the interview with Paul & me starts at about the 11:00 mark. If you have a few minutes, and care about the aesthetics of curling, give it a listen! Love to hear your thoughts.

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Another Uni Mystery?

About a week ago, while searching for something else, I found myself checking out Yogi Berra’s Wikipedia page which includes the photo (obviously from 1969, as you can see from the patch) I tweeted below:

My curiousity piqued, I had never seen what I thought was a Mets uniform that did not include an orange outline. I thought maybe it was a mistake or just an anomaly. I tagged Paul and Keith Olbermann (who photographed the Mets earlier in his career) to see if they had any knowledge of this uni. Shortly thereafter, Mark Anderson, who runs the wonderful MLB Cathedrals account (and whom I’ve featured on Uni Watch), tweeted this back to me:

Whoa! There’s a whole bunch of Mets (Yogi and two coaches) wearing this uniform that appears to be missing the orange outline.

We know the photo is from 1969 — but when? Turns out the photos were taken on Camera Day. For that answer we have Alex Sinclair, who alerted us to a Flickr page containing many photos taken that day — showing not just coaches but players, all of whom appear to be missing the orange outline around the “Mets” and numbers:

If you click on the link in that tweet you’ll see all about 8 photos clearly showing players from that day. I took some screen grabs of those and tweeted the clearest:

You can also look here, here, here and here to see some of the better shots.

I’m pretty convinced these uniforms do not contain any orange outline (although Todd Radom, who saw them too, thinks this may just be due to lighting and a bad [probably instamatic] camera common in those days). But if they don’t have an outline, why?

In 1969, the Mets didn’t have “BP” jerseys, so it can’t be that. But why would they have uniforms without orange outlines (if indeed they do). There was never a recorded instance of this, and Paul is positive the uniforms (other than in these photos) always had them.

I shared all of this with Paul who attempted to contact the owner of the Flickr account, but he never replied. Obviously, a witness (even one from decades later) might be able to say if he remembered the uniforms without the outlines. Perhaps he will get in touch with Paul and we’ll have a better answer, but for now…the question remains:

Did the Mets ever wear a uniform (even if not for gameplay) in 1969 that didn’t have the orange outline around the script and numbers? Do you guys think those photos show solid royal or do you think there is an outline there that my (admittedly not as great as they used to be) eyes aren’t seeing? Have we possibly discovered another uni anomaly?

What say you?

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rafflet ticket by ben thoma.jpg

Raffle reminder: Paul is giving a uni-based presentation next Thursday at the NYC offices of a big-shot architecture firm, and he’s raffling off the chance to be his guest at the presentation and at dinner afterward. Details here.

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Uni Watch News Ticker:

Baseball News: File under “AWESOME”: “We rescued a kitten and his ears reminded me of an afro. His name was “Moonbeam” but we had to rename him Oscar” writes Allison Ginger. “The pic is going to hang in my Yankees room. Hope you like it.” … Yesterday Mississippi State wore one of the best looking unis I’ve seen in a while. Love the dark placket and the 3/4th length sleeves. … After a great debut uni yesterday, App State followed up with this. … Iowa broke out their beautiful gold throwbacks (via “s”). … Mizzou had anthracite tops and ‘throwback’ pants, with nice rups yesterday (via Cam Clouser). … Rice broke out the owls on bat tops yesterday (h/t adidas Baseball). … Maryland went with “traditional” pinstripes yesterday (via Maryland Baseball). … Fantastic piece from historian Michael Beschloss on Jackie Robinson and segregation in spring training. Great read. … Check out this wonderful photo of Lou Gehrig and Joe DiMaggio in spring training (via Michael Beschloss). … The ASU Sun Devils went with softball tops yesterday (via Joe Farris). … South Carolina has some purdy uniforms (via Gamecock Athletics), and then they went with this in the second half of their double dip (via Aaron Weiss). … I’m sure we’ve seen this before, but here are Bob Hope and Bing Crosby on Feb. 14, 1947 (from Bruce Menard). … The Tennessee Lady Vols went with bright orange softball tops yesterday night (via Jason Yellin). … Auburn went with pinstripes yesterday (via Clint Richardson). … Oregon State went with a cream set yesterday (via OSU Baseball). … Reader John Furstenthal says Stanford baseball is unusual not with its designs, but it’s many brands. Stanford basketball and football are Nike teams. “But baseball has: Rawlings uniforms; Mizuno shoes; Mizuno and Rawlings gloves (catcher in Rawlings glove and gear), pitcher in Mizuno glove; Helmets have “All Star” helmet label on side and Louisville Slugger sticker on back; Louisville Slugger bats and hats; Mizuno batting gloves; Hat S is much slimmer than helmet S.” … Here’s a photo of Kent State’s first intercollegiate baseball team in 1914. The squad was coached by the school’s custodian, Alex Whyte (thanks to Thomas Moore).

NFL & College Football News: Have we ever seen a Wishbone “G” for the Packers? I have a feeling it’s been on UW before. That comes from Johnny Okray who saw it in this E-Bay listing. Anyone? … I’m not 100% certain that this photo of Jameis Winston is not a photoshop (it may very well be real). But what’s interesting is not the impressive girth around his midsection, but the fact that he’s wearing Nike gear but adidas sneakers (nice spot by Chitty ²Bang ²). Update, judging from this photo, we can probably assume Jameis’ is staying in playing shape these days.

NBA News: If you didn’t already have enough sneaker stuff, here is every sneaker worn in the 2015 ASG practice. … “The slideshow of the 1968 NBA All Star Game, which I posted in the comments (yester)day, shows two NickNOBs on the Cincinnati Royals,” says Steve Dodell. “a zero for Oscar Robertson and Luke for Jerry Lucas.” … Yesterday Mitchell & Ness put out a photo of a jersey they’re selling, one of those so bad it’s good Denver Nuggets rainbow/tetrix unis from 1991-92. … Speaking of which, It’s not everyday that you catch a glimpse of the Allen Iverson Nuggets rainbow jersey (spotted by Eric Youngdahl). … Had one of these in yesterday’s ticker, but both New York and Brooklyn have the subway-tile themed courts. … Were these San Antonio Spurs warmups the best of all time? SUPERCAMPION thinks so. He also thinks this Charlotte Bobcats ‘racing’ uniform is the worst NBA uni of all time. Agree? … Here’s a look into the manufacturing process of the limited edition ‘New York for New York’ snapback collection by Mitchell & Ness (via Thomas Heppard). … Dammit — they did it again: Obviously the NBA “Foot Locker Three Point” Contest doesn’t “count” but it’s still very disappointing to see ads on the jerseys. Clearly floating a obvious trial balloon for the real thing. This should not be a thing. Here’s what the “ads” for the “Sprite Slam Dunk” contestants look like. (Lost in that is our first look at the new Nets unis too.) Here’s what last year’s patches looked like (thanks Paul). #NoUniAds.

Hockey News: “I saw the mention of the Jaguars logo being used by a Russian youth hockey team, and I think I can offer a little insight,” writes Alex Cohen. “The team’s jersey says “Snow Bars.” The word Bars refers to the “Ak Bars” emblem of Tatarstan, a region of Russia (here’s the emblem). There is a KHL team called Ak Bars Kazan, which is located in Tatarstan (here’s their logo). As wikipedia says, the Ak Bars logo/emblem is supposed to be a snow leopard, so whoever ‘borrowed’ the Jaguars logo probably figured it looked like a snow leopard. I hope this provides some answer to the question of how the Jaguars logo ended up being used in such a different context.” … On Friday night, the Grand Rapids Griffins wore these purple jerseys, for some kind of cancer thingy (h/t Matt Batchelder). … Nemo was breaking in some of his Stadium Series gear yesterday. … Our buddy Doug Keklak rightfully asks, “What in the world are the Johnstown Tomahawks wearing?” … Apparently here’s the answer. Here’s a closer look. … The Orlando Solar Bears went with some ‘old time’ hockey sweaters last night. … The Nashville Predators wore special warm up jerseys last night (thanks to Trés Lawless).

College Hoops News: Yesterday, North Carolina wore a Dean Smith (DES) memorial patch for their game against Pittsburgh (props to Dave Garabedian for the tip). … Unfortunately, no pic, but Bob Smith, who watched the Loyola game, notes, “Did you notice the logo on the inside of the turned over waist bands? That’s the first time I’ve seen a uni manufacturer do that. I’ll give props to UA for picking up on the trend of kids rolling their waistband and putting a logo there. As sleezy as it looks, the other major manufacturers haven’t done that.” … Duquesne has an interesting warmup top. That “D” (via Daniel Malone). … Special uniforms for North Carolina State to celebrate black history month. … The Loyola ladies wore pink yesterday for their Play 4 Kay thingamabob (via Loyola Women’s Basketball. … Also doing the pinkout were the UL Monroe ladies (via Kevin R. Price). … Ohio State and Illinois played a color vs. color (pink vs gray) game yesterday. … Murray State and SE Missouri went color on color (thanks to Kyle Rogers). … Also playing color on color were UConn and SMU (thanks to Steve Stovall). Here’s another view (h/t Gregory Koch). … New Mexico wore new jerseys last night. Wait, that didn’t sound right.

Grab Bag: Here’s one just for Paul, from Douglas Ford: “My 7 yr old daughter got this for Valentine’s Day. She came running to me to yelling ‘look it even has a foot measuring tool!’ (look in the bottom right hand corner inside the turquoise circle). I replied ‘honey, that’s called a Brannock device and Paul Lukas has one tattooed on his leg’. Her eyes kind of glazed over but kids need to know history, dammit.” … Here’s a look at Navy’s lacrosse unis in their first year with UA. … Interesting piece from Mark Vaccaro from the NY Post entitled, Not all uniform numbers are created equal. … Oops, looks like Condi Rice missed a belt loop (from Chris Flinn). … There was a weather delay for Virginia lax vs Drexel, with snow blowing the lines on the field. According to submitter Brian Wulff, UVA Lax reported later that they switched to yellow balls for the 2nd half to provide greater contrast with the field.

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And that will do it for today. Big thanks to Matt for that very thorough (and personal) ASG sneaker review. Thanks also to Jimmer for the 5 & 1, and of course Paul for thinking of me for the curling kit podcast. You’re the best.

Everyone have a great week and I’ll catch you next weekend!

Follow me on Twitter @PhilHecken.


.. … ..

“I’m reluctant to confess that I think Phil and Jim did an outstanding job today. The bastards.”

–Conn Nugent

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Comments (47)

    For the 1981 NBA all star game, CBS Sports had a sideline banner that was quite different than the one they had from 1976-81. It was similar in color as the banner introduced that fall.
    ’81 NBA ASG:

    Interesting that there’s an interview with the curler Jessica Schultz, as she is originally from Alaska and that the Anchorage Curling Club has been closed for several months because the coolant system used to freeze the ice is broken

    Here’s one of those Mets wordmarks, zoomed in 1200%. Looks like there could be a sliver of orange, but it’s really hard to tell with the relatively low resolution of the original image. Some of the pixels on the edge of the letters definitely seem to have more red in them than they should if the lettering was pure blue over white.


    Note the original Yogi photo that spurred this rabbit-hole dive. The centennial patch appears very nearly black and black. So one would expect the orange outline to appear almost indistinguashable from the blue lettering on the same shirts in the same lighting. I wouldn’t consider “no orange outline” to be a plausible hypothesis unless we have photos taken on another day and/or with different camera equipment. Somebody find a photo in which the centennial patch appears bright red but the script appears to have no orange, and I’ll entertain the no-orange-outline hypothesis.

    I don’t disagree the centennial patch looks off — very much so in fact. And if we were looking only at the jersey, then I’d simply dismiss this as poor film or to some other inadequacy with the photographic equipment.

    However, in almost every single shot, the interlocking NY on the caps appears to be orange — distinguishably so. If the colors are off, wouldn’t this be affected in some way as well? If you look at some of the shots from the stands — while the grass is darker than you’d expect and looks similar to the dirt, the orange NY appears to be its normal shade, and there are other colors (such as the yellow slickers in the crowd) that show the camera can clearly pick up red/yellow tones.

    I WANT there to be an orange outline, I really do. And THE’s blowup may indeed show a faint outline. That’s why I was hoping Paul might be able to get a response from the gentleman who took the photos — I’d trust his (even 40-plus years later) memory of whether the script and numbers had an outline over any of these photos.

    These just seem so different than anything else I’d ever seen, I am wondering if there is actually more to this story.

    Re the hats, different physical materials and very different planes with regard to light source and camera. The cap is evidence for nothing here. We know the patch on the sleeve actually contains a spot of bright red. Yet that spot of bright red appears as an almost colorless spot of dark gray very similar in appearance to the blue “Mets” script. Doesn’t prove th presence of an orange outline, but it does tell us that the photo shows significant distortion of true color that would be consistent with an orange outline not showing up in this light with these cameras.

    Which I argue as someone who wants there to be a non-outlined variant in Mets history. How cool would it be if there was a plain-blue jersey in Mets history? Very cool, that’s how. I mean, I’m still kind of hoping we’ll find a helmet with a brown horse after all.

    See below Scotty. My “was there really no outline?” theory/thought has pretty much been debunked. And I’m ok with that (although having a non-outlined variant I guess could have been cool).

    With regard to the Broncs, I think you’re beating a dead horse there.

    I’d have to agree with Todd Radom re: Mets outlines…and the true color of those pics is definitely off a bit overall. The grass is practically orange in a few of those pics.

    I tend to believe that the Mets uniform issue can be attributed to a low resolution camera, I’ll submit this pic which may or may not show the same thing. link

    This might put the argument to rest. Found this picture of Pignatano with the poster claiming it was taken Camera Day 1969. Clearly some orange can be seen on the lower portion of the “M”. link

    Thanks, Steve! I definitely can make out some orange at the “v” part of the M in that shot. Dark, and I needed to put on my spectacles AND blow it up slightly, but definitely there.


    Didn’t want there to be some odd uni sans-orange, and I guess this is pretty much the proof I was hoping to see.

    Great find.

    It’s like Christmas/Hanukkah/4th of July for those who are into sneakers (which I decidely am not).

    If you’re not a sneakerhead, you can still give this section a look-see, but make sure if you’re not to scroll right past this to the next few sections – there’s some really good stuff after Matt’s annual indulgence.

    Great intro, Phil. Why don’t you just come out and say “I THINK THIS IS STUPID”?

    Nicely done, Powers.

    Settle down there Jason. I just want to make sure people didn’t miss anything else, since I thought there was some good stuff besides Matt’s piece — at almost 3,000 words (and I wanted to let Matt go to town on this), it was longer than most ledes and didn’t want folks to miss the stuff that followed.

    He did a great job and while I’m not into this stuff, others definitely are, which is why I do this with Matt every. single. year. If I didn’t think it was a big deal to some, I wouldn’t ask him to do it on an annual basis.

    “Here’s this thing. I’m not into it. You really don’t have to read it, and if you don’t, I totally understand.”

    “The slideshow of the 1968 NBA All Star Game…shows two NickNOBs on the Cincinnati Royals,” says Steve Dodell. “a zero for Oscar Robertson and Luke for Jerry Lucas.”

    That’s not “zero”. It’s an “O”. Robertson’s nickname was “The Big O”.

    Ironically, when he was traded to the Bucks, he played with “The Big A”, Lew Alcindor, n.k.a. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Not sure why his nickname from his Milwaukee days didn’t stick after the name change.

    True, but his surname still began with “A”. And it wasn’t long until “Abdul-Jabbar” was on the back, so it’s possible that names were shortened on the old style jerseys for lack of space. Think “Tomjonovich”.

    Kareem, with the Bucks:
    As Jabbar
    As Abdul-Jabbar


    It is a number zero, which is meant to represent a letter “O” as in the “Big O”…kind of like Al Oliver and Rey Ordonez wearing the number zero. Clearly however you see it, it is a NickNOB.

    That Packers helmet is a fan job done from that photo of Bart Starr that is also in the ebay ad. In that B&W photo Starr is wearing a MacGregor helmet – something that he never wore in a game (he wore Riddell). I found an ad with that little head shot of Starr plus shots of Mike Ditka, Johnny Unitas, Sonny Jurgensen and Tommy McDonald; while Unitas’ Colts logos are correct the Eagle wings on Jurgensen and McDonald’s helmets are a bit off. I suspect that MacGregor knew the Packers were going to have a logo that year and just guessed what it would look like.

    Here’s the ebay listing for the ad slick:


    Is it possible the orange outline on those old Mets jerseys is so thin (and, maybe, so dark) that, due to a combination of lighting conditions, film quality and developing techniques of the time, it doesn’t show up in the photographs?

    In other words, could this be an optical illusion?

    I’m surprised this was even entertained as a uniform without the orange border. I have seen ten’s of thousands of Met pictures from the 60s and never saw a uniform without the border. The photo was taken by an amateur and the colors are clearly off throughout the photo. The numbers were felt and the border was tackle twill, which may also reflect light differently.

    Here is another example where, in some shots, it may look like no border is there until you zoom in:


    Even though that photo of is of a ’62 roadie, the point is well taken. I’ve seen enough evidence today to agree the orange border IS there, just very faint, and because of the poor camera, appears to be missing altogether.

    I may not have seen “ten’s of thousands of Met pictures” (probably thousands though) and I agree, I’d never seen one (much less several, as appeared to my eyes to be the case) without it.

    Glad this isn’t a “mystery” at all, and just lighting issues.

    Maybe they’ll make a “fauxback” of this jersey without the orange. The plot would then definitely thicken.

    Not all of them are different colors. I have a couple white and a couple black.

    I’ve bought several pairs on deep discount and then (if I already had the color), removed them using rit dye remover and then re-dyed them a new color.

    Any point to the “hmmmm…”?

    Well, you gave me a hard time for wanting different colored caps to match outfits. I would think the same applies in footwear, no? I guess I should ask before I make assumptions.

    It’s a fair point, but my cons aren’t team caps. Team caps (to me) should be in team colors. If I’m at a location (like, say a game) where a team cap is appropriate, then I’ll wear it (whether or not it matches the rest of my outfit). About the only time I wear athletic caps anymore is if I’m curling or playing tennis (or if I played golf anymore). I get you wanting to match your hat to your outfit, but I don’t get why it has to be a team cap. And if your cap has to match your outfit, can’t you find one that isn’t in another teams colors?

    If you’re curious about the multi-colored cons…yeah, I do try to make them coordinate with what I’m wearing.

    At a game I always make sure to wear team colors. But if Im not at work or lounging at home Im usually wearing a hat so I prefer having them match. I do see that its a double edged sword though. I feel like Im still showing public support for my preferred team because the logo is still the same. Its apples and oranges for sure but theyre both still fruits.

    Not trying to be a dick or anything. I probably just take things too personal.

    Not being a dick at all.

    It’s a fair point. I enjoy the back and forth. And don’t take anything on these boards personally (anymore). What’s the first thing they say? “Never read the comment section”?

    UW’s comment section is probably the only exception to that rule (seriously, you guys are great), but I never worry about anything said in the comments anymore.

    Unless one is an obvious troll (and you’re not, obviously), it’s all good.

    I’d be okay with the 2-inch patch ads if they were the same color as the uniform. Call it “native advertising”. Uni-ads are coming, unfortunately.

    So it’s not just English teams who change soccer kits for no reason and wear BFBS.

    I’ve just been to watch New York City in Manchester and they wore all black with sky-blue Adidas trim, even though their opponents wore yellow shirts and navy-blue shorts and socks. In fact there was more of a clash with the shorts and socks than if NYC had worn their expected sky-blue shirts, white shorts and socks.

    Is there a reason the WNBA players did not wear their jerseys last night? Doesn’t the NBA own them? I thought it looked goofy, give the girls some respect

    That’s not a “zero” on the back of Oscar Robertson’s 1968 All-Star jersey. It’s the letter “O” because his nickname is “The Big O”.

    The 5&1 should have included the 1980 A.S.G. Washington Bullets styled uniforms;


    Thanks for bringing up 1980 (which was in the running until I saw those 1978 unis). Hey, SI Kids, fix your All Star gallery. When you google “1981 NBA All Star Game,” the first picture that comes up is your incorrectly labeled one of the 1980 game. You don’t have to take my word for it…today’s first comment links you to the broadcast of the ’81 game so you can see those wonderful uniforms for yourself.

    And Matt Powers, good job. Now I know why I like Duncan and Nowitzki so much. ;)

    Why did like half the text on my page NOT show up? It looks like a site such as, where visitors don’t get some spoilers. The Ticker is especially BAD…

    Re: the Jags logo being used on a Sochi youth team. Very nice explanation on the Ak Bars logo, but now that Sochi has its own KHL team (called the Leopards), I would think that it’s more an homage to the local boys, not the “rivals” in Kazan..


    As far as national identities for curling some countries could incorporate their shield on their national coat of arms or some other national imagery in a crest. Other than the unfortunately too warm curling sweaters of old, nothing says curling to me more than a large crest on the back of a jacket.

    For Canada, in the Briers (Men’s Canadian championships) the jackets commonly have had the shield part of the provincial coats of arms crested on the back (while the shirts have the much less impressive two letters to represent the province or region).

    Could do the same thing nationally for the jackets for some nations with a crest on back, and for the light shirt you could sublimate the crest image into the back of the shirts.

    For an example here’s the back of some player’s jackets from Newfoundland:

    Even the men’s team from Northern Ontario (which isn’t a separate province) had a crest made up at one time:



    I agree with the 2008 NBA All-Star jersey being the worst, but just as far as the coloring goes. It would have been somewhat less confusing if it was red/gold and blue/silver instead of white/gold and blue/silver (which looks white), but the 2006 jersey is almost as bad in terms of coloring.

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    The reason the KD7 PB&J hasn’t been on court is for two reasons.

    1) Not many players are wearing KD7’s this year, including the man himself.

    2) It was a GS (Grade School) only release.

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