A quick look at our favorite NBA jerseys of all-time
The NBA and Jordan Brand announced this week that, beginning next season, Jumpman logos will grace the alternate uniforms of all 30 teams.
The move is the first time we’ll see the memorable Jordan logo on a uni other than that of the Charlotte Hornets, who are owned by MJ himself.
So far only Atlanta and Chicago have revealed their Statement Edition looks, seen below, but it made us here at the Finish Line social team think, “what are our favorite NBA unis of all time?”
Indiana Pacers ‘Flo-Jo’ (1990-97)
Cue Jeezy’s “Put On.” How do you put on for your city? I like to let my jerseys do the talking. My favorite types of jerseys tell a story or display the rich heritage of the city the team is in. As a member of #PacerNation since birth, my all time favorite jerseys are the “Flo-Jos”. When I think Flo-Jos, I think about the memories and Miller Time moments from that era.
Reggie Miller scored 25 points in the 4th quarter against the Knicks in the ’94 Playoffs to push the Pacers to a 3-2 series lead. The Memorial Day Miracle when Rik Smits lifted the Pacers over the Magic with 0.1 seconds left. Can’t forget about Reggie’s jaw dropping 8 points in 8.9 seconds against the Knicks in the ’95 ECF.
The infamous Flo-Jos were designed by Florence Griffith-Joyner back in ’89, but weren’t formally introduced to the public until 1/3/90. These jerseys would become ingrained in Pacers history and quite prophetic as they helped change the identity of the team as the Pacers’ broke out of their decade of struggles and subpar seasons. The simple, yet unique approach to the jersey made it easy to tell every time the Pacers were taking the court. These jerseys set the tone for years to come and their successor, the Pinstripe joints weren’t all that bad either.
— Kim Nguyen
Phoenix Suns (2003-2013)
I can’t say for certain that I have a favorite NBA jersey. In the NBA they have such a long life cycle that I tend to get bored with them before a rebrand hits. I definitely prefer the soccer model of switching uniforms up year to year. When I think back on all the iconic uniforms, the one that stuck out the most was the Phoenix Suns uniforms from 2003-2013.
Steve Nash was my favorite player as a kid and the 2004-05 Suns were the first team I ever fell in love with. Nash running point, flanked by Quentin Richardson and Joe Johnson on the wings. With Shawn Marion (shoutout to the Matrix) and Amar’e Stoudemire down low. I was in awe of their offensive execution.
Even though they were only together for a year I still vividly remember that unit running teams off the floor. Their uniforms were clean and simple but really made a statement. The orange alternates were my favorite but you couldn’t go wrong with the white and purple options as well.
— Alijah Landing
Charlotte Hornets (1988-97)
Growing up in Australia in the 1990s, NBA coverage on TV was pretty scarce, and merchandise was even tougher to come by. So don’t ask me how I came to fall in love with the Charlotte Hornets despite my Shaquille O’Neal being my first ever favorite player. Larry Johnson, Muggsy Bogues, Alonzo Mourning and a couple of playoff appearances marked the years of my fandom from afar.
The pinstripes and pleated shorts of the NBA expansion franchise were almost as interesting as the story behind them: designed by international menswear designer Alexander Julian, who was paid in North Carolina barbecue, the uniforms turned heads with their soft teal, green, purple and Carolina blue. They turned out to be the best-selling merchandise in the NBA that inaugural season.
The piece of gear I wanted most in the world was that iconic Starter windbreaker with the big Hornets logo on the back. It never materialized in my wardrobe (although now, 25 years later, I still look at eBay wistfully from time to time) but those unis will forever live on as my favorite.
— Adrian Crawford
Phoenix Suns (1992-2001)
My all time favorite NBA jersey would have to be the Suns uniform that was debuted in 1992, which happened to be the first year that Charles Barkley played in Phoenix and also the year he led the team to a franchise best of 62 wins.
On top of that, Barkley won the NBA’s MVP award the same year. You just can’t get more ’90s retro than the iconic image of a basketball blazing across the middle of the jersey. The bright white lettering against the purple background pull together the whole uniform for a classic throwback look. The uniform ran until the 2001 season when a newer design took its place.
— Elise Albeck
Honorable mentions: Denver Nuggets 1981-93; Orlando Magic 1994-98; 1975 Portland Trail Blazers; 1996 Toronto Raptors.