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Cavs Unveil New Uni Set for 2022-23 Season

The Cavaliers, who unveiled new logos back in early June, followed that up today by revealing three new uniforms that make use of the new logo marks.

The designs were produced by contemporary artist Daniel Arsham, who’s been serving as the team’s creative director. (As you may recall, I profiled him for InsideHook last year.) Let’s take a look at each uni.

White (Association)

This uniform features the “V” logo that’s supposedly based on the O’Brien Trophy. The look is clean — maybe too clean. The “C” on the shorts, which is way too big to start with, looks even bigger against that plain white background. Personally, I’d rather see some side trim. Overall, though, I’d rather have this approach than something overloaded with extraneous design gewgaws.

Wine (Icon)

Again, a very minimalist approach, except for the oversized shorts logo. Terrible? No. But would it kill them to arch the chest lettering or something? This treatment feels very, very plain.

Black (Statement)

I really hate this one. The wordmark on the shorts is even more obtrusive than the “C” on the other two designs, and I’ve always hated using the “C” as a chest logo. (Yes, I realize that’s what they were wearing when they won their only championship, but that doesn’t automatically make it a good design.) Also, the front number positioning looks random and ridiculous. Woof!

———

There will also be a City alternate, to be released at a later date.

One additional detail: Back when the logos were unveiled, the Cavs said, “On the jerseys, the gold will have silicone over it, making it pop even more.” Oddly, there’s no mention of this in today’s unveiling announcement (way to follow up on your own hype, guys!), but the raised inlining on most of the gold graphics is apparently the silicone treatment:

Overall: Not a disaster, but also nothing special. Meh.

Categories
NBA
Comments (60)

    Oh wow those are terrible.

    So I guess we have entered a phase of super simple uniform design? First (probably not the first) the Jazz, now the Cavaliers? Oh and I refuse to call them the Cavs, thats just stupid imo.

    Lee

    “I refuse to call them the Cavs”

    Good for you? That’s literally what their fans call them and have for decades.

    Guess they gotta make a format that works for all of the future advertisements. Or maybe this is the result of so many ownership groups being tied to soccer as well.

    yeah. you tell them lets just forget that they have had cavs on the front off and on for decades

    As indicated, just my opinion that’s it’s stupid, no matter how long or how often they’ve done it.

    My same opinion applies to Bucs, Vikes, Phins, Pats, etc… Just not my thing.

    Lee

    Agree. I don’t like nicknames of nicknames either. Buccaneers and Vikings and Cavaliers are great words, why dumb them down? They were chosen for that reason. Same goes for the awful D-Backs and Nats. Again, two excellent words!

    And consider it one thing when fans call them the Cavs. It’s another when the teams themselves put Cavs on the jersey.
    And good example of the D-Backs. Just awful.

    Lee

    My “thing” is synonyms: Like Berserkers for Vikings, and Thunderbolts for Chargers. I’m weird.

    Man some piping around the neck or shoulders would have been nice, but all three sets just being plain color is just… *Eh*

    I guess plain is the trend for NBA uniforms? Because the Jazz new uniforms that got pretty much trashed right away had less design to them that these, and the Cav’s are salt-on-boiled-potatoes plain.

    I’m not sure if they’re better or worse than the outgoing set though.

    It seems like a lot of the thought was put into the details of the numbers, lettering and logos. Unfortunately, when you look at the uniform from a far, it just comes off as incredibly simple. Seems like the big picture got lost and they focused on the details too much.

    Some gold trim on each uniform would go a long way. Maybe at the arm holes, collar, and bottom of the shorts.

    The Cavs had a great uni set during the first LeBron era (2003-2010). Not sure why they keep changing their look.

    Turned out a little to simplistic for the hype. The revised colors and word mark make for a nice mashup of the previous eras, but I would’ve preferred more of a callback to those 2016 championship (2010-2017) uniforms. Instead of the oversized C, could have put a collar/shoulder trim for more of a classic look. I’m sure they will grow on me with time and some winning seasons.

    Oh god, don’t tell me that “practice jerseys” is going to be the new NBA uni trend. Both the Jazz and Cavs have massively downgraded.

    Exactly my thoughts. I think it is the influence of the gaming industry: keep the uniforms as clean, simple and boring as possible in order to facilitate digital player movements.

    At least it appears that the reaction on Twitter to both of these redesigns has been overwhelmingly negative. Maybe it’ll spook other teams considering doing the same.

    Figured the Black Statement would be offsetting.
    I mean what exactly do you do when the Black C is a part of the biggest moment of your franchise’s history? That part doesn’t go away or change simply because it didn’t look good. What I’ve realized in more recent years is that championship success trumps aesthetics and if in the end a team won a championship in a specific look, they’ll go back to that sooner than a uni that “looked good”. Its pretty consistent in all team sports.
    But all in all, this look is way too minimal, and the mashup of logos don’t really do much for me.

    I mean what exactly do you do when the Black C is a part of the biggest moment of your franchise’s history? That part doesn’t go away or change simply because it didn’t look good. What I’ve realized in more recent years is that championship success trumps aesthetics and if in the end a team won a championship in a specific look, they’ll go back to that sooner than a uni that “looked good”.

    Yes, that is the current trend. I just happen to think it’s a stupid trend. I think there are plenty of ways to honor your past, be nostalgic, etc., without continuing to wear something that looks bad.

    So I get the idea that the Cavs feel the need to keep a black jersey around because of the uniform they wore when they won a championship. And also perhaps that it should incorporate that style C in some way. But surely the Cavs can have a differently designed (read good design) black alternate uniform that pays tribute (or whatever) to their championship season look. Use that style C in conjunction with the wordmark? There are plenty of options that maintain the black look without keeping all of the awful aspects of it.

    Not always.. I mean we all know the Mamba unis were a staple for the Lakers in the bubble, and after that, they haven’t worn them since.

    These are clean. There is nothing great here, but nothing awful either. Very meh.

    I’m certain we Cavs fans are not the only fanbase to ask this question: Michael Jordan tortured us for 15 seasons and now we have a picture of him on our uniforms; WHY?

    (to the tune of the Westminster chimes, in an exasperated John C. McGinley voice)

    Bland, bland, bland, bland!
    Bland, bland, bland, bland!
    You’re blaaand! You’re blaaand! You’re blaaaaaand!

    (Can you guess I’m not a fan of this minimalist approach?)

    When teams announce they’re getting new uniforms, especially in the NBA, I always expect loud and unnecessary elements. This is almost too plain. But I guess I’d rather have that than obnoxious. I’d say I wish it had some stripes but you can’t trust new designers to use stripes correctly anymore. So good job I guess.

    Other than the black set, I think these are a real improvement over their previous look. Not perfect, but it mostly works for me.

    Honest question: what was wrong with the prior set? They were fine. I get this move if they’re just trying to sell unis but it comes off as lazy and uninspired. The Cavs have an exciting young nucleus, this set screams “Summer League”.

    I really hope this “minimalist” thing doesn’t become a new trend. We’ve only seen 2 of these so far. 3 would make it “a thing”.

    Pretty sure the NBA has gone all in on rolling out new uniforms on a pretty continual basis. Since most casual fans no longer know what a particular team’s uniforms actually look like, I suppose they feel they can’t overload anyone?

    Lee

    I think all three uniforms would’ve been much, much more palatable if they even had plain collar/shoulder striping. Especially with colors as bland as the specific shade of maroon and gold that they’ve gone with, just a bit more contrast would’ve gone a long way.

    They sorta scrapped the whole “inline” thing after the first uni. Putting some color between the numbers/wordmark on the wine and black unis woulda been a solid move.

    This team seems like it changes designs every 4 years and they still somehow look like trash.

    If these has the old checker design on the sleeves or down the sides they’d be awesome, instead, they’re what a lot of people have been saying, summer league or practice jerseys

    This was my suggestion. It’s unique to the Cavs and would have been a nice callback to the past.
    These are so consciously minimalist that they have become practice Jersey. Between this and the Jazz, we have swung too far to the other extreme.

    The oversized logos / wordmarks on the shorts make even less sense if we view all of these uniforms as just merchandise reveals, which is what they are now, especially in the NBA. Realistically people are buying the jersey, not the shorts. So why go with such overwhelming branding when it is not something that the average person will wear on the street and act as a billboard for your team. Given that, the shorts shouldn’t need any overwhelming team logos or branding, but simply be complimentary to the design of the jersey/consumer product. Those shorts are anything but complimentary to the design of the jersey.
    These almost feel like basic practice uniform templates that every team would wear.

    The wine unis are pretty nice. The white are generic but OK.

    The black is hideous. Statement? The statement must be “We have shitty looking black uniform now”. When a uniform is this bad it really surprises me that, obviously, a professional or professionals designed it. And they got paid for it.

    I like simple and elegant on NBA uniforms, but this is way too simple. Like others have said, there needs to be piping around the neck and arm holes.

    The Cavs already had two awesome uniforms…the 03-04 uniforms and the 14-15 uniforms. A return to either one would have been welcomed. The Cavs need to ditch the black. I don’t care they clinched a title wearing black. They should not have been wearing black when they clinched anyways.

    Because Nike screwed up the arm holes so that the piping gets cut off in the back, teams have gotten rid of that. Why can’t that be fixed so it’s back to normal like the pre-Nike era? Nike ruins everything.

    Last part is so insanely frustrating. The piping cut off has always bothered me (I guess it might be my OCD but also like, how could it possibly be that hard to just fix that? Whats the justification? Jerseys that are lighter by 0.1 milligram?) and the fact that their solution is to double down and create another problem feels rooted in hubris that we (nike) can always make new changes – even when they are not necessary – and then to cover up for those changes, we will create even more changes rather than just accepting that we were wrong. If more and more teams start cutting out piping I’ll be so angry.

    Agree 100%
    The non-complete shoulder/sleeve trim has bothered me for years, but the solution is not eliminate contrasting neck & sleeve trim altogether. Ugh! These & Jazz look like practice jerseys. I also feel like we need to blame Brooklyn for the newish trend of very plain (basic) uniform template. It would be like every college football team copying Penn St. Those are traditionalist classics, but I do not want to see every team roll out 2 color, no stripes, no logo.
    IMO these are a few contrasting details away from being very nice set

    These certainly feel like the team and Nike took the epitome of “safest route” to design these. It looks like something one of us might whip up with a jersey template downloaded from the internet. Sadly, it’s actually a decent base for some design, but not a great design overall. The white unis would looks better with gold outlines around the numbers and team name. The wine colored ones similarly would be better if you put some white outlines around everything. Both would probably be good with striping on the sides of the jerseys and shorts, combined with shrinking the shorts logo. The black uni, I’m afraid, can’t really be salvaged, but knowing how things work with jersey heads, watch it will be the most popular best selling option they offer (depending on what they do for their “City Edition”).

    Mannnn, it appears “simple” is the new NBA trend. Ooof. First the Jazz. Now the Cavs. Golden State’s rumored new “Statement Edition” is of similar fashion to these, as well.

    Simple is fine, but it seems they’ve lost the fine line of simple vs Summer League-esque

    The Celtics’ and Knicks’ basic sets are simple but classic. A little piping, arched team name, outline colors on the Knicks team name/number. This is… beyond simple. It’s “look at me minimalism” at its worst. Sooooo sleek. Subtraction by subtraction.

    There is a problem as they are overly bland and they are changing the primary look way too frequently.

    I will concentrate on the positive. Happy there is no black trim in the white or wine uniforms. I thought that for sure was going to happen.

    Bleh. These look like practice or summer league unis. I agree, they are in desperate need of some trim or stripes or something. Almost as big of a trainwreck as Utah’s new embarrassing set, except that the color scheme is at least consistent. 1999 called and it wants the black set back.

    My theory on rationale behind the new minimalist trend in NBA uniform design: stripes, piping, and side panels just serve to pull attention away from the important design elements. Like, you know, ad patches.

    Just because you avoided disaster doesn’t necessarily mean you succeeded.

    The black alts seem to scream “We forgot to put a number on the front.”

    5/10

    I liked their navy blue and wine colors, but figured that black won out since they won the title wearing the BFBS uniforms.

    It has been mentioned many times, but the current Nike template is problematic.
    2 big issues that impact or more likely impede, quality detail & trim designs.
    The weird end of the trim on the back shoulder. It looks awkward so now teams are eliminating contrasting neck and sleeve trim.
    Any one else annoyed by the Nike template for the shorts? I can not deal with their current leg panel free movement style (they look like oversized running shorts, you’re not fooling anyone). The “notch” not being centered on the side of the leg still looks strange to me. I think many teams are eliminating side stripes because they can’t be properly centered and bottom of the leg trim because of the gap on the front of each leg (like the shoulder issue) looks strange

    I think you’re right.
    It’s a case of Nike showing their strength for no reason.
    1. The truncated shoulder stripes don’t make anything lighter or more aerodynamic, at least not a degree significant enough to warrant shoddy design. And the replica jerseys don’t have the truncated stripes, which is what most people who buy jerseys would get. Like Yankees fans who get the jerseys with the NOB, why make such a dumb but obvious difference?
    2. The notch on the sleeves is so far forward that it is comical. And it eliminates some classic designs – the Lakers’ thick stripe, the Bulls’ diamond – again, doesn’t make things better in terms of performance, and worse in terms of aesthetics.

    The big C one is awful (but at least they don’t have sleeves), and I’ve always thought the V/basket thing from the mid-’80s and ’90s is lame. So the CLEVELAND one wins by default; there’s nothing particularly good or bad about it.

    OTOH, I do like the simplicity of these. No weird striping or fading or other recent gimmicks.

    In all, I give it a B-.

    I’m a lifelong Cavaliers fan, and the only real beef I have with these is that the word “Cavaliers” isn’t on one of the uniforms. But I’ve become used to that, and so to speak, it’s the dent in the Rolls Royce.

    Perhaps I’m more minimalist in nature than others here — I hated the overly busy mid-2000s set LeBron debuted in, while the white and wine 2014-17 jerseys were my favorite Cavaliers uniforms. However, I think this set is phenomenal. First, it is a massive improvement upon what they’d been wearing, which was inarguably one of the NBA’s worst uniforms. It isn’t difficult to do better than those. But these are a step up even above that. These are both classic and classy, and unlike the Jazz, don’t go “simple” without bringing sorely needed modern touches. Some here are complaining that they look like practice jerseys, which is ludicrous; plenty of NBA teams have jerseys or shorts with no side paneling. As the team steps into a new era with a bunch of emerging young stars, it’s good that the uniform looks to the future, as well, rather than regurgitating the past.

    I really liked the White, Wine and Gold uniforms from the 2nd LBJ era, very simple also, but for me, had an old school, classic feel like the Celtics or Nets (i.e. the initial black and whites), but they rarely wore them, always opting for the navy and dark gray/black alternates.

    I also like the change to the metallic gold, but that’s about all I like on this set.

    The Cavaliers must have more total uniforms since inception than any other team. Nothing to be proud of, they are not a “legacy” team.

    Yeah, really. You could have told me that these were throwbacks to the 2007 season and I wouldn’t have known otherwise.

    Surprising, like with awful jazz unis, to think that scads of designers and marketing folks and focus groups and Ouija board experts fuss over the designs and still get it so sideways. Seems they should take the new thing” and compare it to the classics, and nudge that way even a little. Predictable, a bit, but more likely popular.

    I must say, as much as I dislike this new Cleveland set with its extreme form-follows-function aesthetics it will appeal to a younger generation. Minimalism rules with the younger ones. We call it lazy design, summer league uniforms or practice gear, they shrug their shoulders: if you old folks hate it we will love it even more. Hey, old man! Wear your heavy HWC throwback if you like, but we dig this ultralight mono set with no frills. And plenty of space for extra ads, because that is where we are heading: less room for fussy design details means more retail space. Personal player ads OK’ed by the NBA is the next step. Swooshes in the numbers a la soccer is another step. Turning NBA uniforms into soccer nightmares.

    That would at least make some sense if true, but I’m not sure it is. From what little I know of the kids today, they associate extreme minimalism with Millennials – the oldest of which are now in their 40s. Gen Z and younger have gravitated to 90s/early 2000s-style designs with bolder colors and patterns. Granted, the trend might be different in streetwear.

    It genuinely feels like designers across all sports are having a quiet contest to see who can get a team to sign off on the blandest uniform set. With the exception of the black jerseys, which at least have some character despite being ugly as sin, these look like NBA Live 05 Create-a-Team jerseys.

    I hate the ongoing trend with ignoring all of the piping. They don’t necessarily need crazy side paneling or anything, but we’re going to end up with a scenario where every uniform is the same blend nothing with different colors and logos.

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