Welcome to Nike’s NBA.
The brand has now taken over the league’s uniforms and apparel for the upcoming 2017-18 season, something which was anticipated since Nike and the NBA announced the partnership back in 2015.
Over the summer, Nike unveiled teams’ home and away uniforms, or as the brand likes to officially call it, the ‘Association Edition’ and ‘Icon Edition’, respectively.
The final piece of the puzzle came just days ago when Nike introduced the ‘Statement Edition’, which is basically the alternate uniforms all 30 teams will wear at times this season.
— Nike Basketball (@nikebasketball) September 16, 2017
Between all three editions, the Statement definitely took the most risk fashion-wise, but before diving into specific looks, lets talk about what Nike is doing with the uniforms that goes beyond just the aesthetics.
The brand introduced NikeConnect, which allows you to experience your jersey like never before.
Each adult-sized jersey will have a NFC (near field communication) chip located on the jock tag that you scan with your smartphone to unlock exclusive player and team content, like highlights, athletes’ music playlists and more.
After purchasing a jersey, all you need to do is download the NikeConnect app on iOS or Android, tap the Nike NFC chip with your smartphone, sign in with your NikePlus account and boom, a treasure trove of content at your fingertips.
You can also take advantage of offers and rewards through NikeConnect, so there’s more incentive than usual to rock your favourite player’s jersey.
We knew Nike would have something up their sleeve when they took over the league’s apparel and this is the kind of innovation that fans can really get excited about. If Nike are doing this in just their first season with the league, there’s every reason to be optimistic that more is on the way.
As far as the style of the Statement uniforms, Nike deserves credit for trying bold looks and not sticking with the status quo.
Some of my personal favourites include Portland’s red-heavy look with nothing but black trimming and lettering. The two-toned uniform stands out and isn’t overdone.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Oklahoma City’s dark blue uniforms. It’s no secret that the Thunder have lacked a distinctive style since the franchise relocated, but their Statement look finally hits the mark and they should consider breaking it out often.
— NBA (@NBA) September 16, 2017
I’m a sucker for grey so Brooklyn’s charcoal unis sit nicely with me. The ‘BKLYN’ lettering across the front is tastefully done and the whole looks just screams modern to me, which is right in line with the borough’s identity.
A couple of the uniforms I’m not the biggest fan of are Golden State’s and Milwaukee’s. I get what both are going for, but the oversized logos on each just make it look like the scaling was off when they were designed.
I’m also lukewarm on Minnesota’s bright green highlighter look. I actually like the placement of their stripes and the overall design, just not the eyesore of a colour. But hey, they definitely stand out.
Some teams who don’t normally have black in their colour palette chose to go dark with their Statement uniforms, like Boston. The Celtics don’t have much to work with outside of their traditional green and white, and their alternates in the past have ranged from ‘whatever’ to ‘why are they wearing these again?’ I’m mostly indifferent on their black Statement editions, but the more I see them, the more I talk myself into them.
Not all uniforms are going to be liked by everyone, that’s just an impossible ask for Nike. But it’s nice to see the brand taking some chances as far as looks, while also innovating. It’s fair to say the NBA is in good hands for the coming years.
The Statement editions will be available November 20 on nike.com/nba. For UAE customers, an authentic LeBron James jersey will go for Dh799, while a swingman Kevin Durant jersey will cost Dh369.