by Sandy Dover

So, the Charlotte Bobcats just celebrated their 5th anniversary of NBA hardwood play and somehow decided that an update was necessary—in fact, it was an overhaul, something somewhat unheard of for a team so young, but considering the unorthodox and generally unattractivCharlotte Bobcats uniformse look of the Bobcats uniforms of yore, it’s welcome to see some positive change.

Everyone has come to know the bright electric orange and smoky Bobcat blue that’s come to define the new Charlotte franchise on the court since 2004, but those uniforms were very… cheap-looking and unusually sub-par. The dazzle mesh may have made things worse, as the light that refracted off of the jerseys have made Raymond Felton and Sean May look like child instructors at kiddie safety school. Also, the weird color blocking on the side panels was just ugly, but the V-neck rear collar was the first of its kind and distinguished. The Bobcats made some amends with their exuberant look with their third jersey and they began to make the Bobcat blue unis the road primary option, seemingly.

Reaching back to “their” past with the old Charlotte Hornets franchise, the Bobbies have now introduced pinstripes (and silver pinstripes on their home threads at that—Orlando Magic, anyone?) and traditional city/nickname arching on the front of the jerseys. Playing the blue and playing down the orange, the franchise has a look they can be proud of—even though it’s basically the status quo to the Hornets and Magic. Of course, teams seemingly must have like-colored collar and armhole trim with the base color of their jerseys, so Charlotte has done likewise; it doesn’t hurt that they’ve continued to do as the Romans do in game wear technology, so the side panels are have a lighter mesh (albeit adidas ClimaCool). With the obligatory piping from the shoulders to the knees, the elimination of black as a uniform hue and the team’s new primary logo on the sides of the shorts (the Bobcat is now facing forward to what I presume is a cue for opposing teams to be “scared” and “intimidated”), the Bobbies are lookin’ pretty good—maybe they can make the NBA Playoffs.

In other news…

The Dallas McCains, errr, Mavericks also decided to get on Bouncy’s “Upgrade U” fashion plan and tweak their alternate away duds… with questionable results.

If everyone doesn’t remember, the Mavs had a third jersey briefly in the ’03-04 season, when they wore dark pewter gray/gunmetal silver jersey that used that o’-so-brilliant dazzle mesh that the NBA costume designers seem to love so much, which inherently made the players who sweat in them look as if they were wearing magnificently shiny trash bags. It was an epic fail and judging from the so-so reaction from the ABC broadcasters and viewers (I believe it was the Phoenix Suns that they were playing), Mark Cuban bagged those joints, effective immediately, and they have yet to be seen since then.

Enter the Puff Daddy threads that came a few years later. Using the bright green that the Mavericks proudly wore from 1980 to 1992, the Diddy designs were surprisingly refreshingly and funky. Switching up to rounder wordmarks and numerals, highlighting the bright blue that was normally held back as a trim color for the primary uniforms, and placing the jersey numbers right under the JerDallas Mavericks alternative uniformry West logo at the left shoulder, Sean John gave the Mavs a fitting retro fusion look.

For some reason, though, unbeknownst to me or anyone that I may know who’s aware of the changes, Cuban apparently wanted to keep his fans happy. According to a press release, said fans requested to see the royal blue of Maverick past, and in so doing, the owner made the executive decision to keep the overall design of the alternate road unis, but eliminated the green base color, the simpler numerals and decided to use the bright Maverick blue that came into the latest Dallas logo eight years ago.

While still passable to view, the original look is preferable. It’s not that it’s bad, but it’s just nice to see that good green—it’s refreshing, right? That’s why everyone likes to chew spearmint gum—you see that good ol’ spring green and you almost taste it, and if you’re really imaginative, you might even imagine being on a hilltop in Ireland, bathing with a bar of Irish Spring (…)—but you get my point.

Now, there’s a saturation of these blue hues and those space-age-looking numerals again, so there’s not too much difference between the primaries and the third jersey.

Honestly, I’d much rather see Cuban act like a moron on the sidelines if there was a choice between watching him having a Jim Mora meltdown and keeping the original Diddy designs.

Oh well…hooray necessary and somewhat-unnecessary jersey changes!