Hooray for New 2010 Unis? Part 2
Sixers, Nathan’s hot dog company go back to the future (DeLorean not included).
Classy, classy, classy.
The Philadelphia 76ers have made yet another change to the uniforms and have done so with dramatic and timelessly positive results. Gone are the black and gold of yesteryear that was constructed to be more “hip-hop” in feel, as asinine as the color black can be used for when used as a euphemism for “urban” (read as “African American”). No more silliness with swirling “SIXERS” wordmarks and gold balls blazing across the chest and abdomen. No more extravagantly wide shoulders or more unnecessary dazzle mesh and non-matching name scripts with detailed tackle twill patchwork elsewhere—the red, white, and blue has returned!
Modeled by Elton Brand and Thaddeus Young, the new look is best described like one of Air Jordan’s few failures with the company’s new take on old classic—it’s basically a new retro (or in Jordan’s case, a “Nu’Retro”). With red being the base color for the away uniform and white being for the home, the simple block fonts and numerals of the late-1970s and ‘80s are back (sans trim color), surprisingly. Using a closed-hole flat mesh for the body of the jersey and shorts, the collar, armholes and legholes are trimmed in dazzle material that literally makes the uniform pop when light is anywhere in the vicinity. The old “76ers” logo of the pre-Allen Iverson-MVP-years has also returned, posting up on the lower left bottom of the shorts.
Overall, the new look gives Philadelphia the distinguished look of their historical peers, such as the Boston Celtics, Los Angeles Lakers, and even the San Antonio Spurs; particularly with Boston and L.A., Philly shares historical significance that is parallel to the storied franchises and by updating their look with an old classic feel, the Sixers can now reclaim some confidence (hopefully) in retaining a winning aura. From the designs alone, it’s doubtful that the 76ers will venture off to any more extremes like the black and gold, or even those comical uniforms that Philly wore back in 1991 (back in those good ol’ Sir Charles-Jeff Hornacek-Tim Perry days).
(Personally, I always wished that Philadelphia would just keep with the uniforms that Jerry Stackhouse and Allen Iverson wore as rookies—those are the all-best uniforms in the Seventy-Sixers’ history.)
In any case, the upgrade was not only necessary historically, but aesthetically it’ll make watching Philly play on TV a little more appealing…I won’t be mad at them if they get a blue or black alternate later on, though—just keep the red, white and bright blue.
In more news…
The Houston Rockets have gone in the like direction of the Washington Wizards, Sacramento Kings, Dallas Mavericks, Milwaukee Bucks and Portland Trail Blazers—they’ve decided to add a “new retro” model alternate jersey to their wardrobe.
Designed to primarily emulate the look of the late-1960s Rockets with mustard yellow uniform side panels, collar trim and numerals, the Rockets are taking it back “in an effort to tie the team’s current look to its storied past,” according to a Rockets press release.
Part of the problem with that reasoning is that the most successful years of the Rockets franchise possessed a look much more simpler in design, and decidedly less Nathan’s Hot Dogs and more Heinz in hue—it was the mid-1990s Rockets that had the winning look of their “storied past”, and with the exception of the off-kilter “HOUSTON” script on the jersey’s chest, the past isn’t really repped all that accurately… unless they’re wanting to rep Rick Adelman and “Patrick” Riley when they were players in the League. It doesn’t really help that the same letter script that’s used for the primary jerseys (which have a purposefully more Eastern aesthetic, drawing in design cues from the Chinese national basketball team) are being transferred to the third uniforms…it loses the character of the retro design, eschewing the older-looking block form fonts of those old Pat Riley and Hakeem Olajuwon years.
The uniforms aren’t really ugly, but to be truthful, but I’m not sure many people enjoy seeing heavy doses for color palates that resemble condiments in living color. If it were me designing the uniforms (and I have a art background in logo design as well), I probably would’ve went with something much more easy on the eyes—maybe instead of bringing back a true mustard color, maybe the Rockets could’ve utilized a more metallic yellow ochre to bring some sheen (via that good ol’ dazzle mesh) to play up the idea of the past unis, without compromising the entire look. The numbers and rear wordmarks could be a new form of the old block lettering and the newer custom marks. It could’ve also helped if Houston didn’t give the new duds the cliché V-neck collar and neck nape logo that most of the teams in the NBA already have—just give the new threads a scoopneck, traditional open-hole mesh with some shiny side panels!
It could be worse, though…the Kings scrapped those extremely questionable new retros, the ones with the metallic gold and light violet, which is proper atonement for the sin of their being created in the first place.