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These are the winners and losers after the release of the NBA and Nike’s City Edition jerseys for the 2022-23 season.
The City Edition jerseys first debuted during the 2017-18 season. The aim of the program was to give teams an opportunity to stretch the limits of the NBA branding guidelines and pay homage to their cities.
The league and Nike recently released the 2022-23 crop of uniforms. As always, there are some winners and some losers. Using high-tech, scientific methods (i.e., pure opinion), we have listed the best and worst from this season.
Worst 2022-23 NBA City Edition Jerseys
3. Minnesota Timberwolves
The Minnesota Timberwolves attempted to celebrate the vibrant arts scene in the Twin Cities with their City Edition jerseys. The white uniforms feature a series of multicolored bars across the front to celebrate the vibrant creative community. A perfectly fine explanation. The problem, however, is that pretty much no one could glean what inspired this from the jerseys. The Timberwolves’ jerseys look clean and aren’t overly convoluted in the design. It’s just that the description the team provides doesn’t align.
2. Golden State Warriors
For similar reasons to the Timberwolves, the second worst City Edition uniforms go to the Golden State Warriors. The jerseys are an ode to women. The team described the design as radiating “rays of sunshine, symbolizing the power of uplifting women and the side gradient represents the diversity of the Bay Area.” And the “rose is symbolic of the women who are champions of our community.” Again, this all makes perfect sense when stated, but to someone glancing at the jersey, it’s hard to imagine they’d arrive at the same conclusion.
1. Sacramento Kings
The honor of the worst City Edition jersey goes to the Sacramento Kings. Unlike the other two, where the intricate rationale for the design didn’t match the uniform, the Kings went with a fairly simple design to pay tribute to some of the distinct architectural features of the city. The problem with these jerseys, however, is the color scheme. Purple atop the mostly gray uniform just doesn’t work that well. But fortunately for the Kings, they can start from scratch and get working on next season’s City Edition unis.
Best 2022-23 City Edition Jerseys
3. Houston Rockets
Everyone loves a classic throwback jersey. That’s not quite what the Houston Rockets put together with this season’s City Edition design, but it’s close. Though the aesthetic is similar to versions of past Rockets jerseys, the team stated that this year’s City Edition brings together elements of uniforms during important moments in Rockets history. The team has a rich tradition of winning (in past seasons at least), and these uniforms are a way to highlight those eras.
2. New Orleans Pelicans
Next on the list is the New Orleans Pelicans. Unlike some of the worst uniforms on this list, the Pelicans design brings together an iconic color and lettering scheme that’s immediately associated with Mardi Gras. The jersey captures all of the central elements of this celebration to accentuate the rich traditions of New Orleans. But the jersey doesn’t try to do too much. It’s simple. And fans immediately understand what the Pelicans are trying to honor and commemorate.
1. Washington Wizards
And the winner of this year’s City Edition jerseys goes to the Washington Wizards. I may be biased as a DC resident, but the pink jerseys to highlight the cherry blossoms scattered across the city works so well. These trees were originally gifts from the Japanese government whose yearly Spring blooms have become a major tourist attraction.
Like the New Orleans Pelicans, fans immediately know why the team went with this design without some elaborate explanation from the team. The purpose of the City Edition jerseys is to highlight important or historic elements of the hometown. When teams release uniforms that do this cleanly and simply, they’ve won the City Edition sweepstakes. While there were some solid designs for the 2022-23 season, the Washington Wizards came out on top.