25 Ugliest Jerseys in NBA History
Aside from great play and star players, what often marks a good team is its jersey. Here is a squad that has it all. A talented roster, a top coach and on top of all that, everyone looks good in the assigned uniform.
Yet, while some uniforms are among the best, like the Boston Celtics green and the gold and purple of the Los Angeles Lakers, there are some that us fans would rather forget ever existed. One jersey that I always cringe at is the Lakers' alternate jersey (pictured), as I consider it to be unoriginal and just plain bad.
That being said, let's count down the 25 ugliest jerseys in NBA history.
No. 25: San Diego Rockets
Believe it or not, the Houston Rockets didn't always play in the Lone Star State, nor did they always have pretty jerseys. This team first played in San Diego and had some atrocious uniforms in their time there.
While the San Diego Rockets jersey itself isn't ugly in the most literal sense of the word, it isn't at all beautiful. The color mix is very dull, even for the 1970s.
More importantly, what about green, white and gold makes people think of rockets? To me, it looks as though team ownership bought a bunch of crates of those car air fresheners shaped like pine trees and used them to put together a uniform. Thus, while not the worst by a long shot, the San Diego Rockets jerseys are bad enough to kick off out countdown.
No. 24: Denver Nuggets Current Jersey
At the left, you see the current road jersey of the Denver Nuggets. The pattern is similar for the home one, and the alternate jersey is unique on its own. Yet, while not absolutely disgusting by any means, I'm not going to count this jersey among the elite. The style is just dull and the alternate jersey looks like something out of 1974.
Yet, to the jersey's credit, it is an improvement over the atrocity that was the team's jersey for a decade, from 1993-1994 up until 2003. Still, call me old-fashioned, but I miss the famous "Tetris" jerseys from the early '90s. That uniform not only looked cool, but was also an homage to the city of Denver.
Unfortunately, team management had other ideas and now the Nuggets are stuck with this dull option.
No. 23: Raptors Camouflage
Thanks to a leak regarding new uniforms in the video game NBA 2K12, basketball fans have the chance to be blinded by this monstrosity. The Toronto Raptors have apparently chosen to depart from their beautiful red jerseys and replace them with, of all possible patterns, a camouflage patterned one.
Um...WHAT?!?!?!?!?! Here is a team that has practically made a name for itself with flashy, over-the-top jerseys and I can understand the want to make a change, but this is just flat out wrong.
Camouflage only belongs on two types of people: those in the military and those who go hunting on a regular basis. On the basketball court, it's just a joke. An absolutely horrible joke.
No. 22: San Antonio Spurs
OK, I'll admit it. Maybe there's something badass about the San Antonio Spurs' jersey. The black and silver colors suit Texas well and there could something intimidating about the letter "U" that has a spur coming out of it.
Yet, while the team has a huge fan base and is talented, their jersey does nothing for me. The color scheme hasn't changed since the team's ABA days and that U-spur looks like something out of a bad cartoon show. This team needs an upgrade, and badly.
No. 21: All Charlotte Bobcats Jerseys
Considering how bobcats are wilderness predators, it's kind of shocking how not intimidating the jerseys of the Charlotte Bobcats are. The uniform has barely changed since the team's debut in 2004 and to add insult to visual injury, their alternate jersey has a NASCAR theme to it. And just when I thought I had enough reasons to hate NASCAR.
To sum it all up, the Bobcats' jerseys are stuck in the '90s, and not in a good way. They kind of remind me of the old Indiana Pacers uniforms from the Reggie Miller era and as a New York Knicks fan, I am conditioned to hate anything associated with that team.
No. 20: New York Knicks 1950s Jersey
I know I'm going to incur the wrath of some fellow Knicks fans in including this one, especially since it's the jersey of choice of filmmaker Spike Lee, a longtime season ticket holder. Yet, even though it came out in the 1950s when this design could have been acceptable, I myself cannot give it that courtesy.
This jersey looks as though a pair of blue and orange striped pajamas were sewn onto the outer part of a suitable uniform top and the fact that it still gets worn by the players on occasion is just disturbing.
No. 19: Yellow New Orleans Hornets Jerseys
I've heard of flashy colors, but this is just ridiculous. This old alternate jersey for the Hornets is so unbelievably ugly that I once saw former Hornets forward Chris Andersen in it, I immediately thought that his nickname should be changed from "Birdman" to "Big Bird."
Seriously, that's the only individual I think would look good in this jersey. Just imagine that big feathered goof walking around Sesame Street in this jersey. Heck, people would probably think he spray-painted the letters and number onto his feathers.
No. 18: Los Angeles Lakers White Jersey
With this jersey, I just think it takes away from all the history and ambience associated with the Los Angeles Lakers. The majestic purple and gold are involved, but they are secondary players. It's as though someone took a wife-beater and decided to pretty it up with Lakers colors.
Given the history of the franchise, that is just unacceptable. Kobe and Co. should look awesome on the court, not like they're lounging around the house.
No. 17: Utah Jazz Current Jersey
Seeing as how the team originated in New Orleans and kept the name "Jazz" after the move to Salt Lake City, Utah, this jersey doesn't do the roots any justice. Sure, the "J" looks like a musical note, but the fact is that jazz is music that has a certain pizazz to it, a certain flavor. This jersey is completely without that.
These ones just put me to sleep. And speaking of bad Jazz jerseys...
No. 16: Jazz Purple Jersey
Just how the team's current jersey has no flavor, such was the case in the early days of the franchise. There's nothing about this jersey that is particularly jazzy and on top of it, the color scheme is something I'd expect Hugh Hefner to wear.
It's a shame that a big tough guy like Karl Malone had to be seen in this uniform. As good as he was, he probably didn't look that intimidating in it.
No. 15: New Jersey Nets Current Jersey
Nothing against the New Jersey Nets, as I wish the team luck on their impending move to Brooklyn, but the move needs to bring some new jerseys with it. The current uniform is just so dull and uninspiring that it's no wonder the team has underperformed.
They are still called the New Jersey Nets, so maybe they should take that part literally and trade in the current uniform for a new option and thus avoid being called the Dull Jersey Nets.
No. 14: Philadelphia 76ers Purple Jersey
I understand that this jersey may have been popular when it was worn, but it makes this list simply because it so horribly misses the point of why the team is called the 76ers. The team plays in Philadelphia, where the Declaration of Independence was signed in 1776. Instead of keeping with the "76" logo and the cultural heritage behind it, we have this mess of what looks like a shooting star and the word "Sixers."
Even worse, instead of sticking with the red, white and blue color scheme, we have this ridiculous indigo scheme. It is both unappealing to look at and a slap in the face to the Founding Fathers.
No. 13: Golden State Warriors Blue Jersey, 2002-2010
I still can't believe that these jerseys were the road uniform of choice up until this past season. Instead of giving some sort of tribute to the San Francisco Bay Area, we have a jersey that looks as though it came out of some bad cartoon show. Given how it was worn by highly-animated player Stephen Jackson for many years, I guess I shouldn't be surprised.
Simply put, when I look at this jersey, I don't think "Warriors" in the literal sense of the word, as in guys who put up a good fight on natural skill alone. Instead, I'm expecting flashy, almost cartoony play. Given the ridiculous amount of offense that existed under Don Nelson with Baron Davis at the helm, that assumption isn't far off.
No. 12: Cleveland Cavaliers Current Jersey
At the start of last season, Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert chose to go back to the team's original "wine-and-gold" color scheme. Nothing against Gilbert, but I'm guessing he had a little too much wine in his system when he made this decision. The colors are so dated and dull that I feel they can be partially blamed for the team's struggles last season on top of the loss of LeBron James.
Given how the Cavaliers played last year, one would probably also need some uniform-matching wine just to get through a game.
No. 11: Sacramento Kings Golden Jersey
I understand that Kings is a royal-sounding name and that many associate the color gold with royalty, but this jersey goes too far. The Kings were a great team in the early 2000s when Vlade Divac and Chris Webber were the top dogs, and their jerseys were sharp and...well...cool!
This golden jersey pictured at the left just makes a mockery of the franchise's one bright era, as Webber would probably never be caught dead in these colors. Heck, he'd probably just laugh if someone told him to wear it on the court and then play in a game that counted.
And speaking of gold jerseys...
No. 10: Washington Wizards Gold Jersey
Hey, Wizards. Siegfried & Roy called. They want their basketball jerseys back.
No. 9: Detroit Pistons Teal Jerseys
The Detroit Pistons looked so good in red, white and blue during their glory days of the '80s and '90s, so what was team management thinking in changing from that to this atrocious combination of teal orange and white? In a blue collar city like Detroit, these colors just didn't fly and were highly unpopular with the fans from 1996-2001, before the colors changed back to the originals.
On top of that, what's with the horse? Last I checked, a piston was one of the moving components of an automobile's engine and this logo was the furthest from it.
No. 8: Milwaukee Bucks Green Deer Jersey
Alright, so the color scheme isn't that bad on this jersey. However, do we really need the angry looking deer on the side? Seriously, the look on that animal's face is one of, "If there's one rowdy fan in the stands tonight, I'm going to charge right off of this jersey and chase him."
Sure, Wisconsin is a state known for deer-hunting, but isn't this homage to the culture a bit much? In fact, let's have a look at a couple of other bad jerseys from the Milwaukee Bucks.
No. 7: Milwaukee Bucks Purple Jersey
In all honesty, I would take the other Bucks jersey we just saw instead of this one. The first one at least has the angry deer, but this one has a whole lot of nothing. The color scheme is just so dated for the late 1990s and looks like something recycled from the ABA.
Yet, it is nowhere near as bad as this, the piece de resistance....
No. 6: Milwauke Bucks Secondary Road Uniform
In all honesty, I don't know where to begin with this one. With the Bucks' current hunter green look, I can at least get the outdoors vibe. In terms of this jersey, I just don't know.
Nothing about it screams hunting, the outdoors or male deer to me. It's as though team management wanted an alternate uniform, got a dartboard full of different colors, and picked whichever the dart landed on.
For one of the ugliest jerseys ever, I'm surprised it still even exists.
No. 5: Phoenix Suns 1990s Jersey
This jersey came out in the 1990s. That being said, why do I feel like I'm stuck in an '80s music video whenever I look at it?
Don't get me wrong. I've always been a fan of the Phoenix Suns' color scheme, but this is just ridiculous. Why have the team name and the logo on the jersey at the same time? It's just too much!
Still, I will give this jersey credit. Watching a big tough guy in Charles Barkley wear it for four seasons was funny as hell.
No. 4: New York Knicks Green Alternate
This jersey always burns me up. The New York Knicks are known for their majestic orange and blue colors. That being said, whose idea was it to dress them in the green colors of one of our biggest rivals, the Boston Celtics???
In the words of Chris Rock, that ain't right!
No. 3: Seattle SuperSonics Red Jersey
I may be going out on a limb in saying this, but this jersey was the beginning of the end for the Seattle SuperSonics. Here was a team that had a great old-school thing going on with the green and gold jerseys of the Shawn Kemp era, and they instead decided to switch it up and include this disgusting creation as the alternate jersey.
Seriously, folks. Who gets the idea that this shade of red goes with green and gold trim? It didn't look good then and one blogger called it the "saddest Sonics jersey." Thus, how did it even last? Did anyone even buy it?
No. 2: Vancouver/Memphis Grizzlies Inaugural Jersey
I'm sorry but when I look at this uniform, I don't think of a big scary grizzly bear. The colors don't intimidate at all and more importantly, the design and placement of everything is just a mess.
Perhaps the reason the team failed in Vancouver, save for lack of talent, is because fans didn't want to come to games and lay their eyes on such an ugly jersey.
No. 1: Houston Rockets
I remember that when this jersey was unveiled in 1995, my nine-year-old self burst out laughing. Here was a team fresh off an NBA championship and with already cool uniforms, and now this?
Seriously, this jersey looks like a pair of kids' pajamas gone wrong. The color scheme is immature and the striped pattern just doesn't work.
Worst of all, what's with the mean-looking rocket? Is that supposed to scare the opposition? Oh, and let's not forget the cute touch of it orbiting a planet that looks like a basketball.
The fact that guys like Charles Barkley and Hakeem Olajuwon wore these jerseys for multiple seasons is just disturbing. Couldn't have Barkley ended his career with a little more dignity and not in an ugly uniform?