Nike's eight-year partnership with the NBA starts next season. It was announced a few weeks ago that all 30 teams will do away with home and away designations for jerseys, as home teams will get to choose which uniform they want to wear, with the visiting team choosing a contrasting color to match.
Teams will have two additional jersey designs, with eight teams getting a "Classic Edition" jersey, which will be a nod to the team's most iconic looks. We've already seen some design leaks, including the Blazers, the Pacers and the Cavaliers. Here's a look at the throwback designs each team should consider bringing back this season.
All photos via Getty Images.
These road uniforms were worn by the Hawks from 1996-99. The late '90s were a strange time for jersey designs in North America. Raise your hand if you remember the MLB's "Back to the Future" jerseys. These Hawks jerseys remind me of those, and they have the most aggressive Hawks logo on any of their uniform designs I remember. Like most '90s jerseys, I hated them as a kid, but now I want them to come back for the sake of breaking up the rhythms of jersey designs.
There haven't been many tweaks over the years to Boston's iconic green and white jerseys. But if the Celtics are to dig into the archives, they should definitely bring back the road jerseys with the "BOSTON" script across the front.
The tie-dyed New Jersey Nets jerseys were worn for only one season in the '90s, and they are about as polarizing as NBA jersey designs come (although I bet old folks like Bill Walton got a kick out of the psychedelic design). Since moving to Brooklyn, the Nets have gone with a very rigid black-and-white colorway. This would give them an alternate jersey that adds a bit of energy to their uniforms.
Teal is a signature color for the Hornets, dating back to when it was Muggsy Bogues, Alonzo Mourning and Larry Johnson running the show. But another underrated colorway from the '90s was purple. Just anything but bringing back the Bobcats jerseys.
Similar to the Celtics, the Bulls have such an iconic jersey design that it's hard to find too many throwback options, and you don't want to mess with the red, black and white colorway. So, how about these jerseys that the Bulls wore from 1974-85, which differentiated themselves with the scripted lettering of "CHICAGO" on the front.?
The Cavs wore these jerseys in the late '90s, and aside from the fact that we all looked at that photo and remembered that Shawn Kemp was a Cavalier once upon a time, this would be another nice shake-up from the team's current design.
The Mavericks should bring back one of the most underrated jerseys from the '80s: their green road uniforms. Hard to blame the design on these for going under the radar back in the day since it was the era for two of the most classic jerseys: the Lakers and Celtics.
The Rainbow jerseys might win the popular vote, but for something more practical, the Nuggets should resurrect these '90s jerseys. It was also the era when Denver upset Seattle as the No. 8 seed in the first round, still an all-time franchise highlight. The Nuggets added Paul Millsap this summer and are ready to make a jump in the West standings; these jerseys would let people know they mean business.
If I had a choice, I would just bring back every single Pistons jersey design from the '90s. Bring back the teal. Bring back the maroon. Forget about the Bad Boy Pistons. Forget about the jerseys they have now. I want every colorway and that hideous Pistons logo to come back.
Golden State Warriors
The Warriors have to be feeling pretty good about themselves after running over the league last season and bringing the whole squad back with some potentially great additions (Omri Casspi, Nick Young) this summer. So, what better way to dominate the opposition again this season than to do so in some throwback "We Believe" Warriors jerseys.
The Rockets jerseys -- from the design, to the colorways, to even the cut of the sleeves -- have been going through an existential crisis for almost two decades now. It's time to go back to these clean, minimalistic designs, that -- maybe not a coincidence -- were worn the last time Houston won a championship (OK, having Hakeem Olajuwon helped too).
After the Paul George trade, the Pacers are going to be in the land of irrelevance for a little bit. At the very least they should look good while rebuilding. I highly suggest these '90s jerseys.
Los Angeles Clippers
Throwback can't be a favorite word for Clippers fans, considering how they spent decades being the embarrassment of the league and not winning very many games while doing that. While there aren't many past eras worth revisiting, these '90s road uniforms are a bit of a switch-up from the jerseys they have now and would work as a nice alternate.
Los Angeles Lakers
These royal blue retro jerseys -- worn by Shaquille O'Neal in the early 2000s as a retro and originally from the '60s -- should be a permanent third jersey for the Lakers. We can already see LaVar Ball cooking up a matching Big Baller Brand sneaker.
It would make absolutely no sense -- although I would also argue why do jerseys have to make any sense except to help teams bump up their basketball revenue and for fans and players to look good at games -- to bring back the Vancouver Grizzlies jerseys in Memphis, which is exactly why it should happen.
The Miami Heat were the Grit & Grind team in the '90s (well, the Knicks too) and these jerseys -- with the red colorway and black font -- would pay proper homage to those hard-working, grind-it-out teams, which might correlate to the identity Miami will have next season.
Shouts to the designer responsible for these jerseys. The details of the deer at the front of the uniform is absolute art. At the very least, we need to make a custom throwback for Giannis Antetokounmpo to model in at training camp.
We don't see too many color combinations like the green and blue from the Timberwolves' early days anymore. Just another reason why these jerseys should make a comeback.
New Orleans Pelicans
These have to be the most ridiculous throwback jerseys of all time. But just picture DeMarcus Cousins and Anthony Davis in them. OK. I'm in.
New York Knicks
One thing we know the Knicks can't mess up is their uniforms. They've got one of the best classic jersey designs in all of sports, and it would be awesome to see them add this early 1980s jersey to the mix. The "NEW YORK" script below the jersey number at the front is as unique as it gets.
Oklahoma City Thunder
This idea is likely not Clay Bennett-approved, but who -- besides Bennett -- would vote no to the return of Seattle Supersonics jerseys?
The pinstripe Magic jerseys should be their first, second, third and fourth jerseys. I still want an explanation as to why Orlando doesn't just wear these for every game for the rest of the franchise's existence. One of the best jerseys ever.
This is the most American colorway of an NBA jersey. Also, let's just go ahead and have Joel Embiid do the same photo shoot as Shawn Bradley.
The Suns are collecting some intriguing young talent on their roster and need some jerseys that are less dormant to pair with what could be an up-and-coming team in the next few years. These throwbacks from the '90s would be perfect for the occasion.
Portland Trail Blazers
The Blazers have one of the most underrated jerseys in all of sports, so there's really not much to tinker with. But if they had to, these jerseys with a different scripting on the front would be a nice change of pace to what they already have.
How are these checkered jerseys not in the Hall of Fame? And can we have checkered jerseys for every team in the NBA? Can we have checkered jerseys for every team in every league ever?
San Antonio Spurs
We can't get too creative with the Spurs when it comes to throwbacks, especially knowing that Gregg Popovich would probably reject anything that brings too much attention to this team. So, let's keep it simple and go with these George Gervin era throwbacks.
The Raptors have brought these dinosaur-heavy jerseys back into the rotation recently, and they should award their day-one fans from the expansion days and make it a permanent third jersey in their uniform rotation.
Worn during the Karl Malone-John Stockton era, these jerseys need to make a comeback if for no reason other than we need more jerseys with mountains on the front of them.
These Bullets jerseys, worn in the '90s, remain a clean and fresh look today. Just anything but these Wizards uniforms.