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The Real Teal Deal: Pistons Reviving Late-’90s Favorite

The Pistons’ “flaming horsehead” teal uniform, which the team originally wore on the road from 1996 through 2001, was included in a large batch of leaked 2022-23 designs back in February, leading to widespread expectations that the uniform would be revived as a throwback this fall.

The Pistons made it official tonight (an odd time for a uniform release), announcing that the teal uni will indeed be back in the team’s wardrobe this fall. The NBA schedule hasn’t yet been released — that usually happens sometime in August — so it’s not yet clear when or how often the throwback will be worn.

Like a lot of 1990s NBA uniforms, the teal design looked pretty awful at the time but can now be appreciated as kitsch. It helps that the Pistons’ current uniforms are nothing special, so it’s not like this throwback will be taking exposure away from something classic. In short: Why not?

One detail I’ve always loved about this design: the red/yellow/black trim. Those colors work really well together, and they mesh surprisingly well with the teal. No kitsch appreciation required!

Comments (19)

    In case people haven’t seen: the same Twitterer with the leak linked above has updated it. Some terrible ones there if they turn out to be true (which so far, seems they have):

    I was born in 91, so this is the NBA (and pro sports) uniform era that I first remember. Maybe not great uniforms, but it was nice to not watch red, white, and blue teams play each other all the time.

    I was also born in ’91 and I had a little kid’s version of this uniform (yes, with the shorts!) that was reversible home and away. I had no idea who Grant Hill was but this was the only basketball jersey I ever owned.

    I always thought the “horsepower” horse imagery was a good idea. Recall that they kept it when they reverted back to red, white, and blue as colors.

    Ugh, the 90s NBA. I despise everything about these uniforms. Too many colors, the number font, the ridiculous logo. This screams G league. The middle picture of Mr. Ivey is the appropriate response.

    I’d love if they brought back this color scheme and logo, and then updated the uniforms. Love the brand, but the execution is what killed it I think. I hate their red, white, and blue scheme, there’s far too many of those in sports.

    I just saw Grant Hill wearing a jacket with this uni-theme on an old Home Improvement rerun!

    Oh God, no. The “Charlie X Chess Piece” uniforms. God awful – just like the episode.

    IMO Teal is just an awful color and an awful color choice for a sports uniform. It could work as a little used trim color. In this case it just looks very, very bad.

    Say what you will about the designs and color choices, but at least 90s NBA teams looked different from one another.

    Personally, I’m an elder millennial, so I have a nostalgic fondness for some of these 90s uniforms, even if the execution on some of them isn’t perfect. (The Pistons unis would look better if the logo were about 10% smaller.)

    Another design that, had it never existed before, would be absolutely savaged by “the Internet” were it introduced today, but is beloved because of nostalgia. Another example of the ERIG (everything retro is good) principle. (For the record, I like teal personally)

    Yes, it’s nostalgia. Yeah, it’s kitschy. But this was THE jersey to own (with Grant Hill on the back of course)when I was in middle school, and it’s just cool to see it back.

    Despise this, along with the other 90s redesigns (Sonics and Cavs are top of mind, but I’m sure there were others). There was a reason they switched back.

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