Style Corner: Charlotte Bobcats Get New Unis
No more awkward necklines and checker patterns.
Style Corner: where style, the hardwood, and opinion intersect.
For the third major time in seven short seasons, the Charlotte Bobcats have decided to move in a different direction in their aesthetic appearance, namely on the court, with new uniforms. Here’s a press release from the Bobcats concerning their changes:
The Charlotte Bobcats today unveiled new uniforms and a new color treatment for the team’s logos. The primary and secondary logo marks remain the same, with a new color scheme that includes a darker shade of blue and more cool gray than before, while also introducing light blue and reducing the amount of orange.
“This is the culmination of a nearly two-year process and we are delighted to share our new look with our fans,” said Bobcats Sports & Entertainment President & COO Fred Whitfield. “These colors are deeply rooted in this region and we believe our fans will be as enthused by them as we are.”
The white home jersey features the word “Cats” on the front in navy with light blue trim, with the player’s number off-center underneath it in light blue with navy trim. The v-neck design features orange trim around the neck and shoulders. The side panel is navy with light blue and cool gray pinstripes, with a tri-color border of orange, white and light blue. The back of the jersey features the “Forward Facing Cat” secondary logo at the top, with the player’s name in navy and his number in the same light blue with navy trim as the front. The shorts feature the team’s “Crown C” secondary logo on the side of each leg with a pair of triangular side panels using the same colors as the top.
The front of the blue road jersey features the word “Charlotte” and the player’s number both in white with light blue trim. The v-neck design features orange trim around the neck and shoulders. The side panel is light blue with cool gray and navy pinstripes, with a tri-color border of orange, navy and white. The back of the jersey again features the “Forward Facing Cat” secondary logo at the top, with the player’s name and number in the same white with light blue trim as the front. Like the home uniform, the shorts feature the team’s “Crown C” secondary logo on the side of each leg with a pair of triangular side panels using the same colors as the top.
Made by adidas, the NBA’s official uniform provider, the new jersey is part of the NBA Revolution 30 series, which was introduced two seasons ago. The uniforms are 30 percent lighter and incorporate the company’s CLIMACOOL fabric which dries twice as fast as previous NBA uniforms.
The changes to the color scheme and logo were designed by Bobcats Sports & Entertainment’s in-house marketing and creative services departments.
As far as the changes are concerned, the Bobcats have finally made good on their look. It’s obviously driven by owner Michael Jordan’s desire to give the team his personal imprint, and it’s shown specifically in the blue colors—the introduction of light blue calling back to his North Carolina days and the greater use of navy blue, which has also become a trim color of the North Carolina Tar Heels; additionally, there is a callback to the Charlotte Hornets days, with light blue reminding of the teal green/blue that the original team used, along with the stripes on the Bobcats’ current uniforms that link to the old Hornets, now settled in New Orleans.
In my opinion, the colors acknowledge Jordan’s presence in the organization without beating people over the head with the fact that half of his players are wearing his Jordan Brand sneakers that have tried to sneak grey and light blue into the equation—and the new color scheme is cohesive, classy, and hints at the past while bringing the Bobcats into respectability, visually.
It is the first time that the Bobcats struck a true balance of the past and the present, without looking inadequate or pedestrian in the process. Before, the loud electric orange was a mainstay of the Bobcats’ look, which was unique but also unattractive and hard on the eyes; Charlotte then moved on navy blue being a predominate hue of the team’s look, but with pinstripes (and sometimes checkered boxes); now, midnight navy is the current look, which allowed the Bobcats to remove black as a trim color and unify the blue hues with the orange and white (and the newly included cool grey) and giving the team a more palatable visual identity, while also opening up various kinds of color combinations that lend to numerous selections for footwear and apparel.
With respect to the actual cut and visual stylings of the uniforms, the Bobcats have also made themselves into the top part of the League. Eschewing more traditional V-neck line collars and traditional side panels, the Bobcats have taken on the curved wishbone collars that are synonymous with the Los Angeles Lakers, Miami Heat and Dallas Mavericks from 1999 and 2000, and have also installed combination panels into the sides of the uniforms, making the sets more complex and interesting. Orange is a tertiary color and light blue has become a secondary color for the Bobcats.
With as many times as Jordan has been criticized for his own choices in style, from his torn and ripped ‘mom jeans’ to his Hitler-style mustache, and lately, his various non-canon colorways of his retro Jordan shoes, he is finally responsible for a look that can be viewed favorably by the masses. Unfortunately for the Bobcats, they still have to play the games to win, but at least they can look good while they attempt to improve.
Sandy Dover is a feature writer and published author, multi-platform consultant, and a SLAM web columnist & print contributor whose work has been prominently featured and published by US News, Robert Atwan’s “America Now”, Yahoo!, ESPN, and STACK. You can find Sandy frequently here at SLAMonline and contact him via his website at about.me/SandyDover.