Grading Every Houston Rockets Jersey Ever Made
The positives of having a good-looking jersey can't be overstated. If you have a recognizable, well-designed jersey, the franchise will see apparel revenues and interest in the team increase.
Getting stuck with an eyesore for a jersey can lead to nationwide ridicule and the team being little more than Sportscenter joke fodder.
The Houston Rockets have had jerseys on both ends of the spectrum. The simple red and white jerseys worn by the championship teams of the mid-90s are iconic and make for good throwback jerseys of guys like Hakeem Olajuwon and Clyde Drexler.
The jerseys they wore immediately after that time would be better off forgotten.
Let's take a trip down memory lane and grade every Rockets jersey selection since their inception.
1971-1972 Home Jersey
These jerseys were the precursor to the classic red and white jerseys worn during their best seasons. The actual script on the jersey isn't too bad, but yellow as the color of the letters and numbers was not a great choice.
The logo and look of the jersey is solid, but I'm taking off points for the use of yellow.
1971-1972 Road Jersey
Again, I'm not a fan of the use of yellow, but on this red jersey it doesn't look as bad.
The red on yellow combination is enough to grade this jersey better than the last.
1972-1976 Home Jersey
Apparently I wasn't the only person who thought the yellow needed to be minimized on the jersey. After just one season using their original jersey, the Rockets moved to this one in 1972.
The layout and color scheme is very similar to the Rockets uniforms as most remember them in the mid-90s.
1972-1976 Road Jersey
The yellow lettering was kept for this road jersey, so I'm not as big a fan of this jersey as I was of the home combination.
Still, the jersey is a clean, simple concept close to what the Rockets settled on later.
1976-1995 Home Jersey
Now we're really talking. It was during this time that the NBA was really starting to take off and establishing a brand for your team was a big thing for franchises.
This jersey is the one that most fans associated with the Houston Rockets. The red and white color scheme is a classic look and this was also the first time that the Rockets logo, seen on the sides of the shorts, appeared on the actual jersey.
1976-1995 Road Jersey
For my money, these are the best jerseys in Rockets history.
The white on red color scheme was my favorite and I loved the Rockets script on the shorts. Maybe it has to do with the amount of success they had in these jerseys, but I've always been a huge fan of this combination.
1995-2003 Home Jersey
Things took a turn for the worse after the 1995 season. I'm not sure why the Rockets felt they needed to change jerseys coming off back to back championship seasons, but they did.
Pinstripes should strictly be used on baseball uniforms and the faded stripes in the center of the jersey top made it look like the colors were fading.
1995-2003 Road Jersey
The only reason I didn't rate the home jerseys lower than a D- is because these were even worse. The pinstripes, again, were a crime and the navy blue color on the jerseys only served to bring out the stripes even more.
To me, these look like childrens pajamas with the color, striping and the cartoonish logo on the front.
2003-Current Home Jersey
The current Rockets jerseys a perfect combination of honoring the past while also looking to the future.
The red and white color scheme remind fans of those Rockets teams of old, but the updated logo and script gives the uniform a current feel.
2003-Current Away Jerseys
When the Rockets front office was making uniform decisions, they didn't over-think the decision. It would have been easy to make the road jersey different from the home jersey, but they simply made it largely the same jersey with just the reciprocal color scheme.
2010-Current Alternate Jersey
In 2010, the Rockets began wearing an alternate jersey from time to time.
You know I'm not a fan of yellow in the Rockets jersey, so I could have done without the "ketchup and mustard" color scheme.
That being said, the yellow was brought back as a nod to the original Rockets uniforms, so I'm alright with it.