The new jerseys are a bit old school with a little current flavor added in.
For instance, the wine and gold used in the color scheme, along with the stylistic details are similar to the wine and gold jerseys of the ‘70s, but across the back of the inner-collar it says “All for one. One for all (Cleveland’s DNA statement),” and on one side of the shorts is the “C-Sword” logo, adding some new-school elements.
The last time the Cleveland Cavaliers altered their wardrobe was in 2003 upon the arrival of LeBron James, a necessary change as far as I’m concerned. The black, white, and baby blue get-ups aren’t among the best uniform schemes in sports history.
Although desperately needed, the 2003 switch wasn’t just for aesthetic purposes; it was symbolic. It represented a change from the team’s losing ways to an era of winning and contending for a championship—things James promised to bring to Cleveland.
For seven years, the Cavs donned the James-influenced wine and gold jerseys, winning 349 games—the winningest uniform set in Cavaliers history.
The orange, white, and blue set worn by Larry Nance, Brad Daugherty, and Mark Price from 1987-1994 saw only 332 wins.
Without question, James is the player who will be associated with the jerseys that Cleveland wore from 2003-2010. He did great things for the franchise during those years and while he may be a traitor, he did bring winning and contending for a title, like he had promised.
James’s time with the franchise is over and now that he bolted for Miami, the Cavs need a new look.
Something to help distance themselves from the LeBron-era, similarly to how the franchise wanted to distance themselves from years of losing prior to his arrival.
With the new uniforms comes an opportunity for a current Cavalier to become the face of the new uniform set.
A uniform set always has a connection with a single player or group of players. Like with James and the ’03-’10 uniform set, or Nance, Daugherty, and Price with the set from ’87-‘94.
I’ll always connect Zydrunas Ilgauskas to the black and baby blue tops and bottoms of the late ‘90s.
Going back further, there is Austin Carr with the 1974-1980 jerseys.
Will Cavs fans forever remember Mo Williams donning the new wine-and-gold?
On the other hand, will one of Cleveland’s young guns, such as JJ Hickson, immortalize themselves with the new uniforms?
I would expect one of Cleveland’s young stars to become the face of the franchise and the new jerseys.
Hickson could have a breakout year.
Last season, he started 73 games for Cleveland and increased his points per game by 4.5 from the previous season. His rebounds per game increased by 2.4.
Now in his third season, Hickson is familiar with the league and is primed to be an NBA superstar.
Under Byron Scott, I look for him to have an increased role in the offense.
Forward Kenyon Martin averaged 15.1 points per game in three-and-half seasons with Scott as the coach of New Jersey. In three of the four seasons Scott coached Martin, K-Mart averaged at least 15 points.
Before Scott’s firing 42 games into the 2003-2004 season, Martin was averaging 17.5 points. The rest of the season under Lawrence Frank, Martin averaged only 15.8 points.
In six seasons without Scott, Martin has averaged only 12.3 points per game and had only one season where he averaged 15 points or more, his first season with Denver in 2004-2005.
I think Hickson could benefit from Scott’s experience coaching Martin and Hornets forward David West.
Look for Hickson’s No. 21 to forever be associated with the current Cavaliers wine and gold uniforms.