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Native-Themed OKC Thunder Alternate Uni Leaks

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Back in early August, I received an email from a reader who prefers to remain anonymous, as follows:

I was given a tip this week about what the Oklahoma City Thunder are planning for this year’s City Edition uniforms. They are going with a Native American-inspired look. The uniforms will be teal. I believe they will fade to blue at the bottom. I was also told that they will have “OKC” on the chest, I believe in blue and orange.

I was given this info by [redacted].

I asked if he knew when these uniforms would be unveiled, to which he replied:

Not sure on announcement timing. I would guess somewhat soon. They are planning to do some events in November tied to Native American Month. The [person who provided the info] also mentioned that there are small Native-inspired details on the uniforms.

Ordinarily, I would have put out some feelers to see if I could substantiate this information. But as I think most of you know by now, my life was pretty crazy in early August, so I put this on the back burner until the end of last week, when I circled back to my source. He in turn went back to his source, who told him, “I have a feeling the jersey will get out pretty soon, maybe even next week. [The team] sent invitational letters to all 39 tribes in Oklahoma for a private preview event.”

Sure enough, yesterday afternoon the Red Earth Art Center — that’s a Native American museum in Oklahoma City — posted two photos on its Twitter and Facebook pages of a uniform that fit my source’s description. A few hours later, The Oklahoman confirmed the photos’ legitimacy.

The turquoise base color matches what Nike has used for its N7 college basketball uniforms, which the company trots out each November for Native American Heritage Month. The N7 uniforms help promote Nike’s N7 Fund, which encourages Native participation in sports while celebrating Native culture. It’s not clear if the new Thunder uni will be part of the N7 program, but the overall thrust and message are likely to be similar in any case.

It’s impossible to assess the design until we see the entire uniform (although I think we can safely say it’ll be better than last year’s City uni). In general, though, I applaud the Thunder’s attempt to engage with Oklahoma’s Native American population — good for them.

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Feeling blue: Brutal-looking game last night in Detroit, mainly because the Lions foolishly opted to open the season by going mono-blue. Woof!

More interestingly, the Jets accented their mono-white look with white facemasks, instead of their usual green. I like it!

Speaking of the Jets, don’t forget that I’m currently accepting submissions for a Jets-redesign contest. Full details here.

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Collector’s Corner
By Brinke Guthrie

Long before Madden, NBA 2K19, or any of the other sports video games, there was … Intellivision. That’s short for “Intelligent Television,” from Mattel Electronics. So you shove this Major League Baseball cartridge into a game player that’s connected to your color TV (had to be color) and you’d get a very primitive baseball game. But not just any baseball game. The box says, “You control all the action! It’s all there, from the crack of the bat to the simulated roar of the crowd!” Nice illustrations on the cover — I’d swear that’s Bill Russell of the Dodgers turning the double play, and Rollie Fingers on the mound.

Now for the rest of this week’s picks:

• San Diego put all then-current MLB team logos on the 1978 All-Star Game ticket.

• Wow, this seller has several of the great 1970s NFL helmet medallions available, all still sealed in their packaging.

• Here’s that very same type of medallion — a Steelers version — but this time it’s part of a men’s belt.

• Excellent 1970s NFL helmet lineup on this pair of Tasco binoculars!

• This men’s vintage Green Bay Packers zip-front sweater is from the Sears Put-On Shop.

• If you’re an old-school St. Louis Blues fan, you’ve got to love this 1970s Garry Unger wristwatch.

• New York Football Giants fans! Ever seen this type of bold stripe design on a Cliff Engle NFL Pro Line sweater before?

• Here’s a nice-looking 1980s 76ers jacket from Starter. Unlike their NFL line with the league patch on the sleeve, I always liked how they stuck the NBA patch down on the pocket.

• Is it just me, or were the 1990s Chalk Line jacket designs (like this one for the Vikes) a little … over the top? Then again, maybe that was the point.

• This 1970s ceramic football bank features the Buffalo Bills’ helmet logo.

Seen an item on eBay that would be good for Collector’s Corner? Send any submissions here.

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The Ticker
By Alex Hider

Baseball NewsMLB teams will observe today’s anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks by wearing commemorative cap patches. In addition, the Mets will wear first responder caps during BP. … The Brewers played the Cubs in Chicago last night. Prior to the game, one of the Brewers outfielders took off his jersey to reveal an Aaron Rodgers Packers jersey underneath. Bears fans in the stands were not amused (from Mike Chamernik). … A Redditor came up with a set of pretty radical alternate jerseys for every MLB team (from Josh Claywell). … The Staten Island Yankees say they’ve seen a huge jump in merch sales thanks to their Pizza Rats rebrand — even though they only wore the uniforms for four games (from John). 

NFL News: ESPN used an old Lions logo in the scorebug last night. They also used an old helmet in an online graphic (from Kenneth Dittenber and Aidan). … The Michigan Department of Transportation is selling the old highway signs marking the exits to the Pontiac Silverdome (from Burrill Strong). … The Browns’ end zone wordmark is now white. It was orange last season. … Speaking of the Browns, they posted a photo of their Color Rash jerseys on Snapchat yesterday. We already know they’re wearing them twice this season, including on Sept. 20 — could they be wearing them in New Orleans on Sunday? Or are they just teasing them since they’ll wear them a week from Thursday? (From Ben.) … Rob Butt, the father of Broncos TE Jake Butt, has a pretty funny customized jersey (from Phil). … Last night’s Rams/Raiders game provided something we won’t be seeing for much longer: NFL football being played across a baseball infield. … Another field-related note from that game: The sidelines weren’t filled in with white the way they usually are. Here’s another view (from Billy King).

College Football NewsFlorida State will wear white over gold this weekend at Syracuse (from Phil). … SB Nation has updated its college football Empires Map, for week 2.

Hockey News: The Jets have a nice new wordmark that they’ll be wearing on their helmets — at the very least. Could the new logo be part of their forthcoming alternate jersey? We’ll find out this Friday, when the jersey is scheduled to be unveiled (from Phil). … The painstaking work of painting the Blackhawks’ center ice logo has begun in Chicago. … The Hamilton Steelhawks, a senior team in Allan Cup Hockey, revised its logo (from Ross Taylor).

NBA NewsA Mavs blog is calling on the team to redesign its uniforms (from Phil). … Last season, when the T-Wolves signed former Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau and traded with Chicago for Jimmy Butler, some fans joked they should be renamed the Timberbulls. But now, with the signing of Luol Deng, 25% of the Wolves’ roster is made up of players from the 2010-2015 Bulls (from Alex S.).

Soccer NewsTSV 1860 München, a third division team in Germany, has new uniforms for Oktoberfest (from Josh Hinton). … Also from Josh: Here’s a review of all the kits that will be worn in the Champions’ League this year. … France has played two matches since winning the World Cup earlier this summer, but Nike has not added a new star to the tiny crest squeezed into the back numbers (from Florian McGill). … England wore “Kick Out Racism” shirts during training yesterday (from Moe Khan). … Milano FC, a new soccer club set to begin play in Italy’s fourth division this year, unveiled their new uniforms yesterday (from Moe Khan).

Grab BagMore corporate ad creep: NASA is reportedly looking into selling ad space on its rockets. Embarrassing (from Andy Garms). … Couple of NASCAR notes from Christopher Hickey: JJ Yeley paid tribute to the late Burt Reynolds with a Smokey and the Bandits paint scheme at the Brickyard 400 yesterday. He also found this shot of Rick Wilson driving an Indianapolis Colts-sponsored Ford during the 1997 Brickyard. … Clint Richardson has a detailed breakdown of Auburn’s new band uniforms. … The CTA in Chicago is releasing a commemorative transit card for the upcoming Chicago Marathon (from Griffin Smith). … Coin collectors and historians will appreciate this fascinating story about the wooden coins minted in North Bend, Oregon during the Depression. They’re still legal tender in the town today!

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I’ll be visiting a design firm for a good chunk of today (reporting for an upcoming ESPN story). Play nice while I’m away, yes? Thanks. — Paul

Comments (53)

    Typo: “The Jets have a nice new wordmark that they’ll be wearing at their helmets” — ON their helmets

    I like those Thunder uniforms better than anything else they’ve worn, and that’s without even having seen the whole thing. They have a distinct identity, whereas the Thunder in general have the most anonymous uniform identity in the entire league. I’ve never understood why they don’t incorporate their bison mascot into at least one of their logos.

    The Thunder have one of the worst branding identities in sports in my opinion. Reminiscent of clip art and early 90s real estate brochures

    THIS. I couldn’t put into words exactly what I disliked so much about the Thunder’s uniforms.
    And the N7 uniform should be their everyday set. They’re perfect for this team and in that state.

    The Thunder has never truly found its way with its uniform set the whole time it has been in Oklahoma City. I hope its new City edition will be a start of a uni improvement for the club.

    A big problem with the Thunder uniforms (besides their primary logo) is the number of colours. There are too many.

    A good looking sports uniform often has a colour scheme featuring a single colour (with white as trim) or 2 colours. There are uniforms that look good with 3 colours too.

    The Thunder have the light blue, with navy blue, orange and yellow trim. Too much going on there with the 4 colours.

    Exactly. And even then, going with blue and orange/yellow they look like a rip off of the Knicks, just with generic branding. I have no idea who came up with their identity and design, and what executive approved it, but they are both clueless.
    Imagine being from OKC, and you are all pumped to get a pro team, to represent them wearing team gear, and you see this mess.
    There are plenty of great fan designs using Native American imagery, based on the state flag Native American design, or using a buffalo that are all infinitely better.

    But many fans like the Denver Nuggets rainbow uniforms (six colors), the Astros Tequila Sunrise (four), the Blackhawks (three in the uniform, an additional five in the crest). Your point as to simplicity in color scheme is well taken, but not necessarily an absolute.

    Funny you should ask this/say this, as a few on the twitter last evening thought the game was color rash as well. But, link.

    Understood, my logic was in 2016 during week 2, the Jets went mono-white, in a Thursday night Color Rush vs Buffalo, with white facemasks and solid white socks, the exact look they went with last night. I thought this was their “alternate” color rush uniform meant not clash for those with color blindness issues. Alas, I defer to you guys, the experts.

    Technically their CR uniforms are the bright green set they wore in the inaugural CR game against Buffalo in November of 2015, but they went with their regular mono white set in 2016 to avoid the aforementioned color blindness issue. They also switched out their helmet decals and facemasks for a brighter green.

    Good story as part of the dad of Jake Butt link above

    His father, Rob, goes with either “Head Butt” or “Papa Butt.” Other family members wear jerseys such as “I Like Big Butt,” “Nice Butt” and “Kick Butt.”

    One of Jake’s aunts, Theresa, added an apostrophe to her name to make her jersey read “There’s a Butt.”

    Here’s a photo of the Butt family when Jake was at the University of Michigan, each with a different customized jersey:


    Whoa, first time I thought about the impending end of the football-on-a-baseball diamond era. Weirdly sad about it having grown up watching ’80s AFC games. Welp, it’s also a terrible playing surface, I’m sure.

    Anyway, looks like a good chance the last one will be the Raiders’ home game against Cleveland on Sept. 30. Their next true home game isn’t until Oct. 28. (They have a “home” game in London in the interim.) So that may end up being the last one if the A’s can get as far as the World Series, or perhaps even if they come close the stadium crew won’t have time to turf over it.

    Yep – was big in the 1980s. For example in 1983 and by my count, there would have been 7 NFL teams that played on a grass field shared with a Major League Baseball team. Early season highlights in 1983 would have featured a lot of dirt on fields.

    There were lots of teams that shared fields, but I think many were turf fields where the infield dirt was simply removed. Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Minnesota, Seattle, and Houston all had turf. I think Miami, San Diego, Oakland, Cleveland, and San Francisco were the dirt infield games. Denver briefly had it when Coors Field was under construction in the early days of the Rockies and then when the Rams played in Angels Stadium and briefly at old Busch Stadium. Any others? Pretty sure the Ravens early years in Memorial Stadium they were the only occupants.

    Elaborating on the 1983 example, the 7 NFL teams that season with the grass fields shared with MLB teams:

    Baltimore Colts (last season before moving to Indy)
    New York Jets (last season at Shea)
    San Diego Chargers
    Cleveland Browns
    San Francisco 49ers
    Los Angeles Rams
    Atlanta Falcons

    If you go back even earlier, the Lions played in Tiger Stadium, the Bears played at Wrigley, the Giants played at Yankee Stadium. I think the Steelers played at Forbes but not sure on that one.

    Re: 1983 – forgot to consider that Triple A Denver Bears would have been playing at Mile High Stadium too.

    IIRC, Houston Oilers (and later Gamblers) home games which took place during baseball season had the dirt cutouts exposed, not covered or removed.
    Did the Astrodome have a retractable pitcher’s mound?

    The Patriots played at Fenway Park in the 1960s and I believe the Packers would play a game or two at Milwaukee County Stadium in the 80s?

    I remember a game when Seattle and Green Bay has a game at the old County Stadium in Milwaukee. I believe Don Majkowski ( sorry if spelled wrong) was the Packers QB. Early 90’s I think.

    I believe it will depend on if Oakland wants them back, and the current lawsuit regarding the bonded upgrades Oakland made to the Coliseum when the Raiders decided to come back. Their current lease expires this year, but they could extend for an additional year.

    UNLV’s San Boyd Stadium has been discussed as a possible preseason venue for 2019, which would make sense in order to gauge August weather, concessions logistics, etc. (Once both the Raiders and UNLV move into the new LV Stadium, the San Boyd site has also been talked about as being converted into the Raiders’ future practice facility.)

    As stated, Raiders have a year-to-year lease option on the Oakland Coliseum until their final move to LV.

    Had a meeting with an UNLV facilities person, and he said Sam Boyd doesn’t meet the NFL rules for sideline/end zone space. The stands are way to close to the end zone, where as a player could get injured going out of bounds. They would have to spend some money retrofitting the stadium to fit the NFL rules. Not sure this makes sense for one season, but they may have no other options.

    Though the sidelines are tight at Sam Boyd Stadium, they were ridiculously tight when the wider CFL field was fit in there.

    The one year wonder Las Vegas Posse were able to fit the regulation 110 yard field and the proper width, though they had to go with 15 yard ends zones rather than regular 20 yards.

    Helped that there was the open end to the stadium to assist them to get the length of the Canadian football field in.

    Check out how tight the sidelines are near the start of this clip from a 1994 game between the Posse and Saskatchewan Roughriders. Shot of the end zone near the end of the clip.


    Packers were at County Stadium from 1953-94, playing one preseason and three regular season games there. So, at least one and often 2 or 3 with the infield.

    “A Mavs blog is calling on the team to redesign its uniforms“
    This link went to an article about Nash and Kidd.

    I had Intellivision and baseball was awesome!

    However it was more like Industrial League Softball, games were 45-41

    I was OK with the flag patches on 9/11 ( especially since the flag meant no New Era maker’s mark), but the idea of a 9/11 patch in general, and one with a batterman slapped in the middle of it in particular is just gross.

    Paul, just got my uni watch alt cap, great job with this. I hope you make more in this style/fit in the future! I’d definitely buy a BFBS with the winged logo or a GFGS version. For anyone wondering I would call it more of a relaxed fit / broken in crown hat than simply a flex fit. I pretty much only go with ’47 franchise that fits my head and this is very similar.

    Loved the NASCAR Smokey and the Bandit paint scheme. I don’t suppose anybody’s brave enough to drive a Clyde Torkle Chicken Pit Special before the season ends.

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