NBA All-Star Game Uniforms 2021: Pictures and Breakdown of This Year's Jerseys

Philip LindseyContributor IMarch 7, 2021

NBA All-Star Game Uniforms 2021: Pictures and Breakdown of This Year's Jerseys

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    NBA.com

    Sunday night, the 2021 NBA All-Star Game will take place at the State Farm Arena in Atlanta. This year, the annual exhibition game and the skills competitions will take place on the same night for the first time.

    NBA All-Star Weekend is always an exciting time that brings back so many memories for most basketball fans. For most of us, watching our favorite player united to play in the ultimate pickup game never gets old.

    Many viewers remember where they were when Magic Johnson returned to the event to win MVP in 1992, the East's comeback led by Allen Iverson in 2001 or Michael Jordan's last appearance in 2003. Even more, fans remember what the players were wearing on those faithful nights.

    Although there was something about the period from 1997 to 2002 when the players wore their regular uniforms, the All-Star Game jerseys have become a part of history. Everyone has their favorites like the classic big star logo from 1991-1994, the teal versions from the 1996 game in San Antonio or the memorable purple Phoenix editions from 1995. Those are all deep cuts, but some of the modern jerseys like last year's Chicago transit line-themed uniform also stand out.

    Let's see how 2021 jerseys stack up in comparison to some of those classic looks.

Possible Leak of This Year's Jerseys

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    The NBA hasn't unveiled this year's All-Star Game jerseys yet, but a picture of what they could look like leaked online last week. Although the blue and yellow uniforms haven't been confirmed, they do match the current merchandise the league is selling through its official store.

    Straight away, the All-Star font in the center bears some resemblance to the old Indiana Pacers logo, which makes sense because the game was originally set in Indianapolis. The blue and yellow color scheme is also a callback to the Midwest team.

    This is an interesting design because it forgoes the conventional star-spangled, red, white and blue theme of old. Instead, it harkens back to the 1995 or 1996 jerseys, which played off of the cities the games occurred in. It's unclear if these are the official jerseys or just original uniforms that the NBA planned to use before the game moved to Atlanta because of the upcoming 2021 NCAA Division I men's basketball tournament.

    However, we do know that the Jordan Brand will be behind the All-Star Game apparel for the fourth year in a row. Each jersey will feature patches celebrating the Thurgood Marshall College Fund and UNCF as some of the proceeds from this year's festivities will go to historically Black colleges and universities.

HBCU Influence

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    NBA.com

    School spirit of HBCUs and their students is a big part of this year's NBA All-Star Game. In fact, HBCU alumni from various schools helped to create the design for the court the stars will play on.

    If the leaked image of this year's jerseys is real, it's a shame that the same energy isn't visible in the uniform. As noted, the jersey will feature patches to commemorate Thurgood Marshall College Fund and UNCF, but this was a good opportunity to pay homage to popular historically Black colleges and universities.

    The NBA is partnering with some of these schools for a HBCU collection that recreates hoodies and sweatshirts. It's an inspired idea, and hopefully that influence will be seen in the players' warm-up jackets or something.

    With that said, it's tough to criticize the league on something like this because the 2021 All-Star Game came together so haphazardly. But that isn't necessarily their fault because everyone is still trying to recover from the effects of COVID-19 and return to some semblance of normalcy.

What Does the Lack of Jersey Announcement Mean?

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    It doesn't appear that this year's All-Star Game jerseys will be marketed to the general public. The NBA usually unveils the uniforms for the annual exhibition game well ahead of the event with replicas for sale on its official store.

    So, it's a little bizarre that the league hasn't made an announcement yet. This could mean that the NBA has been working to create a new design all this time or that it just don't plan to reproduce this year's design like has happened in the past.

    However, recent shirt designs seem to give some validity to the leaked images of above. The potentially simplistic jerseys won't go over well with some fans, but the NBA put itself in a tough spot once it revealed that it planned to move forward with the All-Star Game.

    Nevertheless, this could set the table for a nice surprise during Sunday night's proceedings. Maybe, the players will sport their regular jerseys again for the first time in nearly 20 years. For now, we will have to wait and see.

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