Thursday, November 19th, 2009 at 5:31 pm  |  34 responses

New Unis: Hornets Get a ‘NOLA’ Addition

The teal-and-purple get festive for Mardi Gras

by Sandy Dover

I was tipped off by the Ed. about how the New Orleans Hornets sent out press releases and photos Julian Wright & Darren Collisonmarking the occasion of their receiving new uniforms, and of course, for a guy who’s been studying NBA jerseys and on-court apparel since the age of 10, I couldn’t have been more delighted to sneak an actual peek. What I saw, though, was equal parts design innovation and creativity and less-than-delightful aesthetics. Let me explain.

I got the email and press pack in from Ryne Nelson, and saw the replica Swingman version, but I wanted to see the authentic. Like magic, I got Paul Lukas’ UniWatch blog email (which he calls going “the belt-and-suspenders route”)–by the way, Lukas is probably the best in covering the minute changes in uniforms…I’d like to think that I’m near the top in deciphering changes by the naked eye. I checked out Lukas’ latest bit and then surprisingly saw actual player photos of the new stuff, modeled by Julian Wright and Darren Collison, at Yahoo!. Like that, I was able to see everything that I needed.

Ever since the Hornets moved from North Carolina to Louisiana, I was not on-board with the move and change. I liked that they were in Charlotte, but even moreso, I was disappointed that the uniforms would have to change, and I always enjoyed those third purple uniforms they started wearing back in ’94-95. They went on and matriculated to New Orleans and then there was those mustard yellow jerseys, which I appreciated somewhat, but I just like purple. Prince, Jack Nicholson’s Joker and it being a preferred majestic hue by God are all reasons for that appreciation, so seeing that NOLA was going to rep “NOLA” in purple was seemingly nice, but then I saw some other stuff going on that I just didn’t care for.

I liked the gold, but was disappointed by the lack of white. I didn’t see any pinstripes, and I believe that’s what makes a Hornet, but that was not a big hang-up to me. It was when I saw the rear of the jersey and saw the old New Orleans Jazz green that gave me feelings that are best described as a “lack of appreciation” for its inclusion. I get it–it’s a holiday uniform with Mardi Gras in mind. The culture of the city and the franchise’s connection to the Jazz was noted and the look is to be representative of a party. All understandable and understood. With that said, I was not impressed on the whole. The side panels were busy, the green chafed against me, and the very-downplayed presence of white and teal was just disappointing. It’s not a bad uniform, but it wasn’t what I’d do in designing their uniform, considering the colors specifically.

On the contrary, I did take further looks at the new apparel and I did like the details. I did see the intricate designs in the side paneling, with what appears to be lots of fleur-de-les, so that was cool. I still appreciate that unique numbering that the Hornets have been using since updating the new uniforms and logo, and as Lukas pointed out, the side panel trim is, in fact, mini-beads, a cool reference to Mardi Gras again.

With all that said, INOLA Swingman would’ve designed the third uniforms differently. I would have included aqua pinstripes on the jersey, but not on the shorts, just like the old Charlotte Hornets uniforms. I also would have used gold on the front panel of the jersey and shorts and kept green on the rear panel of both top and bottom as well; the side panel would be purple with the laser designs highlighted in white, while the bead trim of the sides stay the same. The collar and armholes would be trimmed in teal and purple, the “NOLA” and numbers would be filled in with green and highlighted by gold and purple, and a stylized font for the last names would be nice for all incarnations of the Hornets’ uniforms, too.

I could be overthinking it all, but much of what transpires from the bowels of various NBA teams’ board rooms are presentations of “special” duds that don’t translate especially well.

In the case of the Hornets, their Mardi Gras uniforms aren’t lost in translation, but I just wouldn’t go with them as a totally finished product…we’ll all just have to find out how they appear when they’re use for game action and worn in living color in February 2010. By then, hopefully Chris Paul will not have gone completely crazy with the madness currently setting up shop in the hive’s nest.

Dovi out.

Sandy Dover is a novelist/writer, artist, fitness enthusiast, as well as an unrepentant Prince fan (for real). You can find Sandy frequently here at SLAMonline, as well as at Associated Content and Twitter.

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    kinda fruity. like the pattern though. all in all i’d buy it

  • http://slamonline.com/ Ryne Nelson

    Sandy, I agree these need some more white. Just a ton of color going on… could give the Hornets an advantage, as I’m sure that yellow might blind a ref or two!

  • http://www.facebook.com/kevinwilson16 Kevin Wilson

    I think these will sell well … and I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing.

  • http://slamonline.com Bryan Crawford

    I saw these the other day. HIDEOUS.

  • http://www.slamonline.com/online/category/blogs/san-dova-speak-easy/ San Dova

    Yeah, it’s just…it’s sad. It’s not a total wreck, but it’s close. And looking at most of my suggestions for change, those don’t help either. They should probably start from scratch. Man, I wish the NBA would hire me as a fashion consultant, seriously. The fabric of the league is literally fashioned from the actual fabric of the league. It’s why nobody took the XFL seriously.

  • http://www.twitter.com/JoshElam JE

    They look more like college uniforms.

  • thalilbigkahuna

    The green is nasty. And not in a good way.

  • RomanCage

    I would have liked it if they would have included a lil bit of teal or aqua into it.. (Pinstripes or number outlines)…

    other than that…those unis make me sick..

  • Jer Boi

    They need new players not jerseys either way they pretty frikin ugly

  • http://slamonline.com niQ


  • Taluaris

    its looks like the WNBA’s Los Angeles Sparks

  • vic21

    The worst thing I’ve seen since the Air Jordan 1 “Leroy Smith” edition.

  • Rusty


  • ALB

    Great read San! The only thing I do like about the uniforms is the side paneling, minus the “beading”. Though they should have stopped there with the intricate detailing for sure. Everything else can go! They are, as you said, “busy”. Keep up the great work! God bless…

  • J

    @ JE: +1 but not bad looking at all

  • Mack

    those are nasty lookin if you ask me

  • http://www.durrrr.com shu

    So it’s like the mom went to University of Michigan and the dad went to Michigan State, he was using the back enterance but the side door was being used by an Aztec midget? I guess the mom kept the kid and this monsterosity is the result. JWright needs higher socks, I think Wade and Kobe might be able to spare a few pairs of tights from ’06.

  • chintao

    If I’m in the pit, I’m screaming, “Buy! Buy! Buy!”

  • Erik

    I actually like them. New orleans has a very beautiful and unique culture associated with them. They have a rich hisotry, and how they celebrate Mardi Gras is one of those things that make them special. I think the uniforms are supposed to be a lil bit wild, different, uniquely colored and fun. And i think the design does just that. The only thing funny to me is how unrecognizable the players modeling them are, who are those guys really?

  • ab_40

    wow… ugly. too much colors. I can’t even imagine the shoe colorways that are gonna come with these jerseys. And can new orleans convince another team of julian wright his ‘upside’ and trade him for a real basketball player not one who plays one on tv

  • Ritchie

    I agree with Erik. I think he jerseys look real good.

  • Ritchie

    I agree with Erik. I think the jerseys look real good.

  • Roberto

    It looks like some college kid went to Mardi Gras, had to much to drink, and then came up with this idea half passed out on the floor on Bourbon St. Yeah, that bad.

  • sam chadwick

    I like this jersey but i also agree needs the pinstripes that would look lush

  • price

    it looks like julian is wearing an apron

  • ciroqobama

    these jerseys are busted

  • http://www.triplejunearthed.com/dacre Dacre

    if you changed the green back, to the multi pinstripes circa 96 and toned down the ‘business down the side’ you could have a legitimate outfit for going to sleep each night.

  • Sour Milk

    Oh yes. I like. best alternates in the NBA this season so far. something different. def captured the Nawlins mood.

    top unis in the L:
    1. Celtics (classic stuff, almost unchanged speaks volumes).
    2. Bulls (home and aways are great, simple, love the diamond on the shorts).
    3. Heat
    4. Sixers (great move with the new design)
    5. Blazers (love the red ones)
    6. Clippers
    7. Lakers (would be top 3 if they went back to the simpler design from kobe’s rookie year with the “shadow” behind the numbers)
    8. Nuggets (just a tiny bit too light blue)
    9. Hornets(best pinstripes in the L, love the lettering)
    10. Mavs (clean and modern)

    Best alternates…?

  • dmonz

    Too Much!!Were did the color scheme come from? It’s like an All Star jersey or the Jamaican national team .. something you would only wear Once a year!

  • http://www.sixers.com 360vue

    really not feeling the starkly contrasting front/back. Purples alright not a big fan, never liked the kings jerseys especially. Dont mind the green at all, kinda like that blue/green hue, CHA used to have it as their alternate when Zo Mourning used to rock it there, with some dope pinstripes it’d work well. Like the side panel though, that yellow seems to have a glare to it… but the pattern is safe, good to see a some variety in jerseys, they are all pretty plain apart from the odd pinstripe or checks (like Cats have got now), which isnt exactly adventurous.

  • http://www.lkz.ch Darksaber

    what, no beads????

  • Soundproof

    I welcome any new jersey! Funky or not. Where are the beads?

  • chintao

    If you want beads, you have to show your tits. That’s protocol.

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