[Editor’s Note: Paul is on his annual August break from site (although he’s still writing his weekly Bulletin column and may pop up here on the blog occasionally). Deputy editor Phil Hecken is in charge from now through the end of the month.]
Good morning, Uni Watchers. It’s Friday — we made it!
Yesterday afternoon, to not much fanfare, the Brooklyn Nets (re)introduced their absolutely classic “Stars and Stripes” uniform — easily their greatest, and one of the greatest uniforms in NBA (and ABA) history. Even ESPN had it ranked in their Top 10 of the greatest
uniforms jerseys of all time.
If you’re a weekend reader, you’ll know that I recently called it the best patriotic uniform the NBA has ever had. I personally loved it. So much so, as a seven year old, I “made” my own version of it:
But I digress.
Onto the uniform the Nets reintroduced yesterday. Unfortunately, the team didn’t give a lot of looks at it — and surprisingly no hype video.
Those are our best looks at both the jersey and pants. They also included some closeups of the details:
The jersey boasts the red NETS wordmark across the chest and the signature blue stripe with three white stars is flanked by two red stripes down the left side panel. The pattern continues through the shorts, which feature two white stars.
There is a fairly long history with this uniform. It debuted during the 1972-1973 season (which means the 2022-23 season marks its 50th Anniversary)…
…and after its debut, the (then) New York Nets, still in the American Basketball Association, began to get really good. Stars such as Julius “Dr. J” Erving and John Williamson famously rocked the Stars and Stripes. The team won ABA titles in 1974 and 1976.
The Nets wore this uniform through the 1976 season, after which the ABA merged with the NBA. Unfortunately, after they won the ABA title, things got messy for the Nets, and they moved (returned, actually) to New Jersey. They’d continue to wear this uniform while playing in the Garden State, eventually adding “New Jersey” to the road uniform in 1979.
After a brief
moment of insanity period where they got new uniforms, the team returned to wearing basically the 1972 uniforms from 1983 through 1990, before finally retiring it for good (although they have occasionally broken it out as a throwback).
According to Andrew Karson, Senior Vice President of Brand Marketing, Strategy and Solutions at BSE Global, (the parent company of the Brooklyn Nets and Barclays Center), “The revival of the Stars and Stripes uniform is exciting for both the longtime supporters of the Nets and an entirely new generation of fans. This uniform was immensely popular and has become synonymous with one of the greatest periods in Nets history, and we’re looking forward to seeing its return to the hardwood in front of our fans in Brooklyn this season.”
While I’m not really into the NBA anymore, the Nets are still my favorite team, and this is by far and away my favorite NBA uniform, so I’m thrilled it’ll be returning as a throwback. I spent my formative years living literally in the shadow of the Nassau Coliseum (where both the ABA Nets and New York Islanders played), and was privileged to watch a young Dr. J and his cohorts play some outstanding basketball.
Some of the NBA throwbacks (“Classic” uniforms) that have been introduced for the upcoming season have been fan favorites — others, not so much. But it’s hard to argue with this one. Easily one of the greatest basketball uniforms of all time (and a design the Nets never should have veered from).
You can check out the entire Nets uniform history here.