Ranking the Best New NBA Jerseys for the 2012-13 Season

Stephen BabbFeatured ColumnistOctober 2, 2012

Ranking the Best New NBA Jerseys for the 2012-13 Season

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    All right, enough with all this chatter about what team will win it all this season or who made the best summer moves.

    I think it's high time we talked about something that matters for once—namely, the uniforms.

    Yes, every NBA player (along with your average, run-of-the-mill "playa") would like to think he "makes this look good," but the Denver Nuggets have proven, beyond the shadow of any doubt, there are things in this world that no one can make look good.

    Maybe you can appreciate these uniforms' scale and audacity in a theoretical sense, in the same way you marveled at the Hindenburg going up in flames (when you were marveling at things back in 1937). But that's where the appreciation stops and the nausea quickly takes over.

    Fortunately, the Nuggets were the only team that found their uniforms in the bargain kitsch bin at Urban Outfitters.

    The rest of this season's new styles include hits and misses alike, and here's how they stack up. 

6. Denver Nuggets

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    Warning: Dim the brightness on your computer monitor before attempting to view above photo.

    Thank goodness the Denver Nuggets' new uniforms are only alternates.

    I vote they be used only for non-televised games; otherwise, only wear them in a dark room when no one is looking. But even in such a room, these things would emanate a brightness many times hotter than the sun, a radioactive storm that singes the eyes long after you've tried so desperately to look away.

    First of all, nothing should be yellow. Ever.

    Unless you're a banana and just don't have a say over the matter, yellow should be banned. I'd rather look at uniforms stitched together from the remnants of dirty burlap sacks, and I can't stand dirty burlap sacks.

    The retro skyline is a nice idea, at least if you're into really tacky ideas. From far away, it just looks like someone let their two-year-old start smearing melted crayons all over the front of the jersey.

    Just look at JaVale McGee's face in this photo (via The Denver Post). The man looks like he wants to be traded, and who can blame him?

    Whatever's going on down the sides of these shorts should also be banned, immediately after we've done away with the color yellow. I'd like to describe said shorts pattern in more detail, but that presupposes the words exist.

    The good news is it probably cost nothing to design these—surely the idea came from a fourth-grade class contest or something. The bad news is it could cost millions to install enough of those emergency eye wash stations for Pepsi Center patrons to stop the burning.

5. San Antonio Spurs

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    Finally a uniform that perfectly matches head coach Gregg Popovich's notoriously endearing personality: drab and gray.

    No, they won't be cheering anyone up, and they probably took all of five minutes to design, but the San Antonio Spurs' alternate uniforms are at least a departure from the more traditional silver-and-black arrangement that's seemingly been used since the dawn of time.

    But while the new look scores some points with its sheer simplicity, it may have gone too far.

    These are scaled back to virtually nothing, a half-step away from a toga or loin cloth. They look more like practice jerseys than something that could be credibly worn in a game.

    Fortunately we'll only see them on occasion this season.

4. Portland Trail Blazers

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    We may not see the Portland Trail Blazers' new alternate uniform actually used all that often, but it's certainly a step in the right direction.

    The diagonal striping looks a bit sleeker, and the font now looks more simplified than the italicized "Blazers" to which we've become accustomed. It hardly qualifies as a radical redesign, but it feels a bit more modern and "2012."

    On the downside, there's a lot going on with these uniforms.

    With designs trending more minimalist, you'd like to see the Blazers scale back and maybe remove those massive, sweeping stripes altogether. The bordering around the collars and arms complicates life even more, especially with the font surrounded by similar borders.

    If too much of a good thing is still too much, then this uniform is way too much.

3. Charlotte Bobcats

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    After the season the Charlotte Bobcats just went through, I'm surprised they didn't go ahead and change their name, move to a new city and maybe even try their hands at a different sport altogether.

    But some new uniforms are a start in what will be the beginning of quite the makeover.

    These aren't just any changes, either. They're good ones. The home jerseys now just read "Cats" on the front, which is pretty cool until you start imagining this roster as a collection of Broadway enthusiasts. Hey, whatever floats their boats.

    The even better news is that these uniforms are moving away from the color orange, an important departure given that no one actually likes the color orange (except for those color contrarians who stick up for things like yellow and neon-green, claiming to like the citrus-flavored Skittles while they're at it).

    The away uniforms also feature a slightly darker blue, for whatever that's worth.

    There's also something to be said for the collars. I'm not quite sure what that something is, but they straddle the fence between the typical rounded variant and v-neck options, and the results aren't half bad.

2. New York Knicks

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    When they're not hard at work in the gym, Amar'e Stoudemire and Tyson Chandler apparently like to dress up in their game uniforms and stand on top of buildings.

    At least their most recent venture outside allowed us to glimpse at the New York Knicks' new uniforms, a modest attempt to keep pace with all that hype surrounding the Nets' move to Brooklyn. So how does the ever-so-slight transformation rank?

    Pretty well actually, and largely because the changes were indeed slight.

    The Knicks have too much tradition to do anything too crazy here. More than anything else, you'll notice that the stripes along the side have been removed and a prominent waistband that we could probably do without.

    Overall, NYC's new duds offer a crisp, classic look that fits with the team's brand. Not bad at all.

1. Brooklyn Nets

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    These uniforms won't capture everyone's imagination, but the Brooklyn Nets really hit a home run by keeping things simple.

    The font is classy, and the no-frills design could keep this uniform looking modern for a couple of decades at least. There are no fads here, no flashy logos—just a pure black-and-white color scheme that stands out by virtue of its nonchalant genius.

    With all the attention this franchise is getting, something understated and business-like is the perfect response. 

    This jersey isn't loud, but it does scream that the Nets mean business. 

    So far, so good for Jay-Z and Co.