Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Christmas Day uniforms more than unsightly

The 2013 NBA Christmas Day uniforms are concerning for more than their ugliness. They’re representative of more importance being placed on difference than attractiveness and tradition.

The ten uniforms feature a trio of gimmicks: the jerseys are sleeved, there are logos instead of word marks and numbers on the jersey front, and the logos are metallic. This consistent approach should result in all ten teams looking unfortunately loud.

The sleeves and hockey-style jersey fronts are wacky but would probably be acceptable if they were the extent of the riskiness. Alas, the awful metallic look brings the uniforms right down.

The prominence of silver means team colours are being forsaken for a look that isn’t even particularly Christmassy. If you’re going to wear colours that aren’t your own, there should be a good reason and the substitution colours should be relevant. That’s not the case here.

There’s no reason why teams playing on Christmas should be wearing special uniforms. The All-Star game – a special occasion that calls for new uniforms each year – provides enough opportunity for the NBA to release funky unis to be worn in a high-profile setting.

That’s where the real concern lies. The Christmas gear is an example of the NBA not having enough respect for limiting the number of uniforms and placing too much importance on doing uniforms differently. The look and existence of the Christmas unis makes it clear that teams looking traditionally good – which means not wearing disposable uniforms – isn’t a high-enough priority. 

With attractiveness and tradition being undervalued, the resistance to advertisements on uniforms is compromised. The door to zany and unattractive innovations and teams wearing six unis during the regular season is opened, too.

It mightn’t seem like a big deal because these are just one-off uniforms. But the fact that one-off uniforms exist for such an occasion is part of the problem.   

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