Ranking the Best and Worst Uniforms in Atlanta Hawks History

Jared Johnson@@jaredtjohnson21Featured ColumnistOctober 6, 2014

Ranking the Best and Worst Uniforms in Atlanta Hawks History

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    Brian Drake/Getty Images

    Since the inception of the team's name in 1968, the Atlanta Hawks have had wide-ranging experiences with uniformsthere have been good, there have been bad, and there have been ugly.

    We're going to analyze each of the Hawks' threads since 1968 and create a definitive list of the four best and four worst uniforms in team history.

    Now, determining the visual appeal of a uniform is obviously a very subjective task. But to provide at least a modicum of rhyme and reason, there will be three ranking criteria by which the uniform will be judged, each on a scale of 1-10: color scheme, design and memorability.

    Color scheme and design are self-explanatory, and memorability will refer to the team's success wearing the uniform, the number of years spent wearing the uniform and special moments wearing the uniform. For example, if a uniform was worn for only one season and the team missed the playoffs in said season, that uniform will score lower in memorability than one that was worn for 10 years and saw numerous playoff seasons.

    Ready? Great. Let's see how the Hawks uniforms stack up.

    Note: All pictures of full uniforms and uniform year details are compiled from sportslogos.net. All other statistics used are from Sports-Reference.com unless otherwise indicated.

No. 4 Worst: 1968-1970 Home Uniform

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    NBA Photos/Getty Images

    Color Scheme: 7/10

    Design: 2/10

    Memorability: 5/10

    Total: 14/30 (Full uniform is here)

    This jersey isn't hideous, but it is boring. 

    When the only real design elements on a uniform are the team name and number script, there is a problem. The typeface is also a bit wonky with weird-looking serifs on the edges of each of the letters.

    On the positive side, the white, navy and red color scheme is solid. The colors complement each other well and somewhat salvage an otherwise terrible jersey.

    The Hawks only had this uniform for two seasons, but they were successful seasons. The team was 48-34 and qualified for the Western Division Finals (the series before the NBA Finals at the time) both years. "Sweet Lou" Hudson led the team in scoring both years with 25.4 and 21.9 points per game in the two seasons, respectively.

    (Dis)honorable mentions: 1999-2002 Home Uniform, 2002-2007 Road Uniform

No. 4 Best: 1982-1992 Road Uniform

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    Rick Stewart/Getty Images

    Color Scheme: 6/10

    Design: 9/10

    Memorability: 7/10

    Total: 22/30 (Full uniform is here)

    These uniforms are classic.

    The design is nearly impeccable, with a use of diagonal lines that somehow isn't tacky and a beautiful Hawk graphic on the shorts.

    The color scheme is a relative weakness, however. The white, red and yellow go well together, but there's just a tad too much white space on the lower portion of the jersey. If that part of the jersey were a different color, it would be better, but since it's white, it just resembles a blank piece of paper.

    Atlanta played 10 successful seasons in these threads, winning nearly 55 percent of its games from 1982-83 to 1991-92. The team also qualified for the playoffs in seven of those years.

    Honorable mentions: 2011-Present Alternate Uniform, 1970-1972 Alternate Uniform

No. 3 Worst: 2002-2007 Home Uniform

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    JOHN BAZEMORE/Associated Press

    Color Scheme: 6/10

    Design: 3/10

    Memorability: 3/10

    Total: 12/30 (Full uniform is here)

    Blah.

    Like the 1968-1970 home uniform, this one is just uninspired design work. It looks like it took about five minutes to come up with—there's just nothing interesting to see. And what was the designer thinking putting the "ATL" wordmark on the butt

    These duds (double meaning absolutely intended) also clothed Hawks players on the court for some of the darkest times in franchise history. From 2002-03 to 2006-07, the Hawks came out victorious in only 32 percent of their games.

    I mean, don't the team's 2004 draftees just look so pumped to be wearing their new uniforms?

    The white, red and yellow color scheme and the Hawks logo is a bright spot for an otherwise terrible uniform.

No. 3 Best: 1970-1972 Road Uniform

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    NBA Photo Library/Getty Images

    Color Scheme: 9/10

    Design: 10/10

    Memorability: 4/10

    Total: 23/30 (Full uniform is here)

    This uniform is just so '70s. But that's a good thing.

    Having three stripes, with one of the stripes curving toward the opposite shoulder of the jersey, is a pretty gutsy move. But somehow, it works out wonderfully.  

    The color scheme is also easy on the eyes even though the team hasn't dabbled in it since 1972. Blue and green don't usually go well together, but the shades are just right that there isn't any clashing going on.

    The late basketball legend "Pistol Pete" Maravich looked great in the uniform, but unfortunately, the team was only 72-92 in the two seasons it wore the threads.

No. 2 Worst: 1968-1970 Road Uniform

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    Associated Press

    Color Scheme: 4/10

    Design: 3/10

    Memorability: 5/10

    Total: 12/30 (Full uniform is here)

    Baby blue is normally a cool color, but it doesn't mix well with the other hues on this uniform.

    Overall, it's just a busy color scheme. There's no need for two different shades of blue, red and white. And like the home uniform from the same time period, the design is lacking much interest or originality.

    As this picture of All-Star power forward Bill Bridges indicates, these uniforms were made of an extremely shiny fabric. Weird.

No. 2 Best: 1995-1999 Road Uniform

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    Rocky Widner/Getty Images

    Color Scheme: 9/10

    Design: 10/10

    Memorability: 7/10

    Total: 26/30 (Full uniform is here)

    Bleacher Report's Luke Petkac put it best when he described these uniforms in the following way: "This is a classic 'so bad, it's good' jersey."

    Like the 1970-1972 road uniforms before them, these threads showed that good things can happen when you take risks in design. Having a bird of prey spanning the width of a jersey isn't something you learn in Uniform Design 101, but it paid off for the Hawks from 1995 to 1999.

    Between the hawk's intimidating glare and Dikembe Mutombo's intimidating blocks, the late '90s Hawks were a force to be reckoned with. The team won 62 percent of its games between 1995-96 and 1998-99 and made the playoffs each season in the four-year span.

No. 1 Worst: 2004-2007 Alternate Uniform

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    Barry Gossage/Getty Images

    Color Scheme: 3/10

    Design: 4/10

    Memorability: 1/10

    Total: 8/30 (Full uniform is here)

    I really don't know what the designer was thinking here. Maybe he or she was hungry for McDonald's?

    Whatever happened, the product was embarrassing.

    The mustard yellow primary color is way too loud, the design is bland, and what do you know, there's that wordmark on the butt again

    The memorability factor with this jersey is also very low. The team only wore it for three seasons, including a 13-win campaign in 2004-05, and since it was an alternate uniform, the team wore it infrequently.

    Let's hope we never have to see the Hawks play in anything this bad again.

No. 1 Best: 1982-1992 Road Uniform

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    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Color Scheme: 9/10

    Design: 9/10

    Memorability: 9/10

    Total: 27/30 (Full uniform is here)

    This uniform's legacy will forever be tied to the legacy of the "Human Highlight Film" himself, Dominique Wilkins.

    Wilkins was a rookie when the Hawks debuted the uniform, and he was the only player to stay with the team all 10 years it wore the uniform. Not to mention, he was a seven-time All-Star wearing these threads.

    Now, onto the uniform's look.

    Red as a primary color is a major upgrade from the white of the home uniform. Having a sea of red at the bottom of the jersey doesn't look nearly as blank as the white did. The design is still fantastic.

    And yes, I realize the home uniform from the same era only earned a 7/10 for memorability, but hear me out.

    Wilkins wore this uniform in both of his Slam Dunk Contest wins in 1985 and 1990. Using this outfit, he also duked it out with Larry Bird in the NBA's greatest-ever playoff duel, according to NBA.com.

    This jersey definitely carries some lasting memories for longtime Hawks fans.

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