Team S. Dot Timeout: Thumbs Up To Thunder Unis
Also: Cavs go back to ’88 with the ’70s color-ups.
I was watching the Oklahoma City Thunder play the Los Angeles Lakers play a couple of weeks ago. I was happy on one hand, because Time Warner in my neck of the woods finally decided to bring NBA TV into HD programming…and I’ve never had any of the all-access NBA channels, so seeing out-of-area games was great. It’s funny, though, because I’ve made a mockery of Oklahoma City’s blandness since moving south of Seattle, Washington, specifically when it come to their logo, jerseys, and general identity altogether.
It just seemed so corporate and slapped together, when really sitting back and looking at their image. I have detested the cheapness of the logo (it looks like a semi-pro football team insignia). The overstated simplicity of the uniforms also bugged me when I would flash back to memories of the recently-departed Seattle SuperSonics, as they were so retro, but hip and modern as well. Plus, being a redhead, I look good and green, and so a nice deep green and gold was palatable to my look in general (haha). Upon looking at the first few minutes of the game, it hit me–I’ve changed my mind, and I do like the Thunder’s uniforms.
In truth, it wasn’t as instantaneous as it seems, but it also was. I think what really hit me was the multitude of colors. While my fellow member of the SLAMonline brethren poo-poo’d the Thunder’s duds prodigiously, something clicked for me. The rainbow-like color scheme with navy blue, deep sky blue, black, yellow-gold, orange and white are all very becoming for creativity. The ability to get just about any shoes to match the uniforms in a lot of different ways (Google “Nike KD2 Creamsicle”) is another huge plus. I disdain the logo, which is horribly cheap, off-centered and just a disgrace for a major professional team of any league, I can’t hate on the plethora of options for footwear based on the hues alone.
At one time, the simplicity of the uniform bothered me. It was too basic for me, too vanilla, and so so inauthentic. What I failed to realize early after judging the Thunder harshly was that it is quite good because of what it lacks–let me explain. Do you see any logos where the collar trim meets at the V-neck? Do you see a logo at the near the nape of the neck? How about any significant portions of dazzle mesh? How about the lack of side cuts on the lateral sides of the shorts? See any stupid and unnecessary oddly-shaped side panels? No. None of those. The name on the back of the jersey is high on the back (as is the number), the traditional cut of the shorts and jersey are still intact, there aren’t any silly secondary or tertiary logos that look like they belong on the outside of a Happy Meal box, the mesh is standard…the side panels are just nice, basic clean lines–it’s the antithesis of the NBA status quo concerning gamewear. The Thunder even use all the colors of the team in both the home and away jersey. It’s shockingly tame, yet refreshing.
I suppose when you have a wonderful and easily watchable player like Kevin Durant in uniform, it’s a little easier to warm up to what he’s wearing on the court, which is true. For instance, I despise the Phoenix Suns’ threads for a multitude of reasons, but when I was able to watch my boys Jimmy Jackson and Joe Johnson play, the uniforms took a back seat. I still enjoy seeing the Suns streak up and down the court, so usually the apparel always takes a back seat, but it strengthens my point about the importance of the on-court look.
Speaking of looks, though I’ve talked about the new uniforms before, the Cavs’ new “CavFanatic” gamewear is really, really nice. It’s sort of weird to see, because of you’re like me and you’re used to seeing classic looks maintained in their traditional colors, the Cavaliers mixing up color and style templates threw me off. Seeing Cleveland actually play in the threads sealed the deal for the look to me. I like what the franchise does in mixing up the look. And of course, LeBron comes out in a new pair of signature shoes each time (all maroon! with white and gold trim), so that keeps the intrigue high. At least if the Cavs’ owner and Danny Ferry have a rocky road in the future with the LeBron negotiations, they can hang their hat high on keepin’ that look fresh!
Sandy Dover is a novelist/writer, artist and 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.