NBA Christmas Day Uniforms: Ranking the Best and Worst X-Mas Jerseys

Jesse DorseyFeatured ColumnistDecember 25, 2012

NBA Christmas Day Uniforms: Ranking the Best and Worst X-Mas Jerseys

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    The NBA has turned Christmas Day into its equivalent of Thanksgiving for the NFL. Not only does it put some huge games on the docket, but it also trots out some of the newest merchandise each season.

    Shoe companies roll out a brand new-looking shoe for a large number of the big-name players, and jerseys get a full-on makeover.

    This year, the NBA's Christmas Day jerseys have been on display for about three weeks or so in its Christmas carol commercial, so we had an early peek at them.

    Seeing them on the court gives us a bit of a different perspective, and now that we've seen a few of them in action, it's pretty easy to conclude that they're pretty terrible.

    Each of the jerseys are a solid color throughout, with only the border of the letters and numbers in a different color to make the numbers one notch above invisible.

    They're not all atrocious, however. A few of them don't look too bad, so let's get an idea of just which ones are irredeemable and which ones are passable.

Absolute Worst: Kobe Bryant

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    On a day when the NBA had settled on everybody playing looking like they're wearing pajamas, Kobe Bryant decided he would have to come out and attempt to top them all.

    He did it.

    This is the beauty that Bryant showed up in at the Staples Center this morning, looking especially dapper in his long coat and light-colored suit, along with the purple scarf.

    Of course, topping it all off is what I'm assuming is a mink—or possibly just a few squirrels sewn together. In any case, it is simultaneously hilarious and ugly.

    Leave the fur for nights on the town, Kobe. It's less likely that PETA gets word of the critter around your neck.

10. New York Knicks

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    The joke was made about a dozen or so times already, so I might as well keep it going here. Sure, the Lakers have been playing bad, but is the NBA really having them play Syracuse?

    I'm not sure that I dislike these uniforms as much as the rest of the world, but even still they remain the worst of the bunch.

    As you get closer to them, the blue piping on the lettering makes them look a lot cooler, but they're still just too orange.

    The only thing I'm sure of is that if fake Walt Frazier finds them ugly, then they're ugly.

    Consensus seems to be panic over the Knicks in monochromatic. Displeasin' over this nacho cheesin'! #AllOrangeEverything

    — (Not) Walt Frazier (@NotWaltFrazier) December 25, 2012

9. Oklahoma City Thunder

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    My eyes have no idea what they're supposed to focus on when looking at these uniforms. Instead, I end up focusing on whatever gets my eyes farthest away from having to look at these.

    Basically, they're the inverse Knicks jerseys, and seeing as how the Knicks jerseys look terrible, switching the colors around really doesn't do much.

    Not only will they be the hardest numbers and names to read on Christmas Day, but Oklahoma City's jerseys will continue to be bland and uninspired—like they have been ever since the team shipped off from Seattle.

8. Denver Nuggets

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    If there was a jersey that looked more like a practice uniform than the alternate jerseys that the San Antonio Spurs use, it's these Denver Nuggets beauties.

    The best thing that they have going for them, and something that makes them slightly redeemable over the rest, is the fact that the yellow boarder around the letters and numbers is so thick and bright that they have no visibility issues.

    What I do take issue with is the fact that—while they had a chance to use any of the brilliant colors of their regular uniforms as the base coat—the Nuggets ended up using a navy blue that appears black to the eye from a distance.

    They couldn't have made this uniform more boring.

7. Boston Celtics

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    I'm not sure why, but any time the Boston Celtics try something different with their uniforms, I get unnecessarily angry.

    There's just something about them messing with the pure green and white that is upsetting to the crotchety old man that lives in the depths of my soul.

    The Christmas Day look was no different.

    I know they were forced to change it up for the Christmas Day cult of solid colors, but there's still not much that can make me like these.

    Not the worst, but definitely not the best.

6. Los Angeles Lakers

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    Yes, I'm aware of the inexplicable love for the white-on-white jerseys, a fad I'm hoping ends sooner rather than later.

    But I can't find it in myself to really see any good with these uniforms.

    For some reason, looking at these makes me think that they're nothing more than a group of guys playing in white tank tops and white boxer shorts.

    Up close they look fine. They're clean and not as repulsive as I like to let on. 

    However, when you get some distance and start looking at them through a camera lens, they're illegible. I've got no idea what to make of the numbers and names until the camera zooms in.

5. Chicago Bulls

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    I've got to commend the Chicago Bulls for actually working some Christmas color into their jerseys.

    It's not that I care if we are constantly reminded that these are Christmas Day games (as if Justin Bieber's voice quivering "The Little Drummer Boy" 20 times a quarter wasn't reminder enough), it's just that the Bulls were the only team to go with some red and green in their uniforms.

    The jerseys are just like the others: hard to read, too plain and looking too much like an undershirt.

    But, hey, at least they tried.

4. Los Angeles Clippers

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    The Los Angeles Clippers jerseys have been put together in such a way that I'm anticipating these to actually have visible numbers and letters.

    As far as the look goes with the red base and blue border, they're not the ugliest of the bunch, and the blue actually allows for a differentiation between the numbers and jerseys.

    What makes these one of the best of the bunch, however, is the fact that the shade of red inside the letters looks to be just a bit darker than the shade of red outside of the numbers.

    They really are quite sharp looking. Maybe these solid color uniforms are starting to grow on me, or perhaps I've just eaten too many Christmas cookies.

3. Miami Heat

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    The Heat's red and white naturally lends itself to looking good—and that's really no different with their Christmas Day uniforms.

    Miami has experimented with solid-colored jerseys before, running out with all-white and all-black uniforms, and it seems to me that these have been the team's best so far.

    Of course, a lot of the people out there like the all-white looks, but I just can't get down with a jersey that looks so much like a wife-beater.

    The red base is always going to look good, and when contrasted with the white boarder around the letters, it all looks clean and visible.

2. Brooklyn Nets

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    I will perpetually be a sucker for the Brooklyn Nets' black-and-white beauties. It's not that they're ultra creative, or that they're drop-dead gorgeous, but there's something about them that's pleasing to the eye.

    Brooklyn's jerseys are just so clean.

    Of course the colors work well together, it's simple to make black and white look good. However, the font the Nets use is simply so smooth and attractive that I can't find it in myself to call these jerseys ugly.

    The thing that sets these above most of the rest is that they're legible. The white contrasts so well with the black in the font that you can actually read the jerseys from a distance.

    That's a big plus today.

1. Houston Rockets

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    If you're going to have a jersey on which the numbers and letters are damn near invisible, you might as well go all out and settle with the thought that they'll look really cool up close.

    Once this game gets going, it's going to look like the Rockets are just donning grey tank tops, but the detail—once you get up close to them—is really cool.

    Of the bunch, they've got to be the most redeemable.

    There are subtle differences in the shades of grey around the shoulders, and the lettering just uses a red-drop shadow, rather than a complete red border. It makes for a nice, sharper look than the rest of the jerseys.

    That being said, I still don't think I want any of these dropped under my tree next Christmas morning.