Ranking the Best Jerseys in Indiana Pacers History

Poch de la RosaContributor IIIJuly 31, 2013

Reggie Miller sports the pinstriped away uniform the Indiana Pacers wore from the late 1990s to mid-2000s.
Reggie Miller sports the pinstriped away uniform the Indiana Pacers wore from the late 1990s to mid-2000s.Brian Bahr/Getty Images

Of all the jerseys Indiana Pacers past and present have sported, which would emerge as the best?

Throughout their history, the Pacers have worn the colors blue and gold with much pride, representing slogans such as "Indiana's Game, Indiana's Team" and "Blue Collar, Gold Swagger." 

Simple and apt criteria for determining which uniform design stands out involve three things. The most basic of these would be the design itself. Simple yet elegant would win the day in terms of aesthetics. 

Second, is the overall concept unique to the Indiana Pacers? Will somebody from outside the state of Indiana easily associate the jersey with the Pacers?

Finally, one must also consider the issues and trends during the time of a particular uniform design. For instance, would a jersey that is downright fabulous be a hit if the Pacers who wore them were just plain mediocre or even awful? 

This would be very doubtful.

Will the current design stand out from the rest of the pack?

Or will the "Flo-Jos" make an even bigger statement in the end?

Reggie Miller would only be too happy to find out. 


Honorable Mention: The 1980s Look 

These jerseys would simply make any long-time Pacers fan reminisce about Vern Fleming, Wayman Tisdale and Chuck Person, who all thrived in the 1980s. 

Or even a young Reggie Miller.  

This design is simple down to the tiniest detail. The feature that really catches the eye is the large gold strip across the front with "Pacers" emblazoned on it. 

In terms of its swagger alone, it would probably be the second best among the featured uniforms, since one glimpse would tell any non-Pacers fan that it is uniquely Indiana.

What really drags this jersey down the rankings is the fact that the Pacers of the 1980s see-sawed between being terrible and mediocre. 


3. The Modern-Day Pacers: Blue Collar, Gold Swagger 

This jersey made its debut in 2005 and has been worn to the present day. 

When it was first unveiled, Conrad Brunner of the team's official website said, "This new, fresher, sleeker look symbolizes the next generation of Indiana teams."

With the change, the Pacers became the first NBA team to sport a jersey which consists of a different fabric on the front and back. Not only that, but Brunner described what the addition of the color gray did:

The addition of gray as a tertiary color gives the uniform and logo a classic and timeless look representing quality and refinement. 

This version also has a sleek and simple look but easily beats out the design sported by Vern Fleming above because it's understandably too old school.

The state of Indiana is also well-represented here with the traditional blue and gold colors making a statement. 

As great as the Pacers have been doing in recent seasons, the teams which wore this jersey design didn't have much success initially, as they missed the playoffs for four straight seasons from 2007-10.

And besides, Jamaal Tinsley, Marquis Daniels, Stephen Jackson and Shawne Williams were all associated with this uniform. 

Now on its eighth year, this look may have just about worn its welcome. 


2. Pacers Pinstripes, Anyone?

The Pacers missed the postseason in 1996-97, so the uniform change may have been a lucky charm for the franchise.  

Indiana first wore these pinstriped uniforms during the 1997-98 season which set off two consecutive Eastern Conference Finals appearances and one in the NBA Finals in 2000. 

Several more playoff appearances in the early 2000s followed, but the downer here is the 2004 brawl at the Palace of Auburn Hills against the Detroit Pistons, which tarnished the Pacers' reputation. 

As successful as the Pacers were, their pinstripes were also associated with that unfortunate incident.

In spite of that, this installment of Indiana's jerseys scores high marks in terms of aesthetics, with the pinstripes giving the Pacers a much more distinguishable look when combined with blue and gold.

The design is such a hit that the present-day Pacers still wear this uniform in some of their home games.  


1. The "Flo-Jos" Emerge Victorious 

In 1989, then-Pacers president Donnie Walsh knew what he was doing when he hired Florence Griffith-Joyner to design the team's new uniform. 

Even before these new threads made waves in the NBA (which they eventually did in 1990), Walsh made a statement about Flo-Jo that proved to be very prophetic:

She has visual effect that I don't think I've ever seen anybody have before. Quite simply, the lady has style.

The "Flo-Jos," as they were soon to be known, embodied the visual effect and style she had: two prominent stripes on the left side of the upper and lower garment that widened out to form a triangle.  

Whether it be the home white or road blue version of the jersey, Flo-Jo set the Pacers apart from the rest of the league as only she could. As soon as you saw the team take the court, you knew right away that you were facing Indiana. 

And besides, the "Flo-Jos" set the stage for the Pacers' rise in the NBA from a bumbling laughingstock to respectability. 

Four straight first-round appearances from 1990-93 set the stage for Eastern Conference Finals stints in 1994 and 1995.

Mark Jackson, Reggie Miller, Rik Smits, Haywoode Workman, Byron Scott and the Davis Boys. 

Twenty-five fourth quarter points.

The "Memorial Day Miracle."

Eight points in nine seconds. 

Quite simply, the "Flo-Jos" are the best in Indiana Pacers history. 


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