Monday, 23 June 2014

A look at the average Hornets uniforms

The new Charlotte Hornets uniforms are a bit like the Phoenix Suns’ unis in that they are close to being great, but are ultimately mediocre due to a few problems.

The Hornets' new home uniform

The numbers are too big. It wouldn’t be such an issue if the font wasn’t so unattractively funky and the colours weren’t so flashy, which combine for a sci-fi look. The jersey front in particular is overwhelmed by the numbers. White numbers on the road and alternate unis would’ve quietened them down.

The clean right side is a good look and the striping on the left is ok. To say the asymmetry “makes the uniform unique” is a stretch though.

The waistband logo is acceptable but unnecessary. There are three different non-primary logos on the three uniforms combined, which is excessive. The word mark on the shorts is unsightly and takes away from the simplicity of the right side.

The collars are the strength of the uniforms, with the stripe making them particularly sharp. They’re bold, but not excessively so. The overlap style is similar to that on the original Hornets uniforms, which is a link to the past that doesn’t seem forced.

Designating the teal uniform as the alternate is a concern. The Hornets noted they can wear it “a total of 16-20 times per season, whether at home or on the road”, which suggests excessive use of the alternate is imminent. Being able to wear the popular teal at home more often is a logical argument in support of this move, but ultimately seems like a stretch. It’s not as though a teal uniform is any less legitimate if only worn on the road, or that there won’t be plenty of teal on display at home games without teal uniforms.

These new uniforms came out the way the new logos and word marks, which were released late last year, suggested they would – too charmless, but adequate overall. They are, it’s worth noting, superior to what the Bobcats wore in 2013-14.

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Pitfalls of new dawn uniforms

The Philadelphia 76ers plan to change their uniforms prior to the 2015-16 season, according to Interstate 76ers. If that’s true, the changes could be beneficial. But they also could be detrimental, regardless of how the unis look.

The Sixers’ current set is upgradeable. The biggest issue is the trim, which is clunky and doesn’t suit the rest of the uniforms’ simplicity. Even though Philadelphia underwent a major uni change in 2009, a few more tweaks next year could work.

But the real concern is that the Sixers mightn’t be looking to simply make their uniforms a bit better, but instead could be trying to shift their identity. As in, highlight the beginning of a new, successful era by introducing new uniforms. This idea is mentioned in the Interstate 76ers article. Philadelphia might simply want to change their uniforms regardless of on-court success. But the Sixers wanting to distance themselves from losing seasons and promote a new beginning with the aid of new uniforms seems at least possible.

Using unis in that way is approaching them as something easily disposable, which is wrong, and relegates them to the status of slogan-adorned fridge magnets. It also seems silly to think a new uniform would significantly change many people’s perception of a team. Fans would still be excited if the team didn’t have new uniforms but looked poised for success. And there’d still be pessimism if a team with a new wardrobe was inadequately composed – although jersey sales would probably increase. The Los Angeles Lakers and Chicago Bulls don’t need new uniforms to distance themselves from the respective injuries of Kobe Bryant and Derrick Rose – they need those players to be healthy. It’s the on-court product that changes negative identities, not uniforms.

A uniform change packaged as part of the beginning of success would also seem gimmicky. A team with faith in its acquisitions and fans and a respect for uniforms wouldn’t use unis in such a way. The harder the new uniforms are pushed as part of a new beginning, the less convincing it is that more winning is imminent. Philadelphia fans’ confidence in their team could be weakened by its decision-makers resorting to such tactics.

That’s a lot of consternation about something that mightn’t happen. The Sixers could avoid any fresh start hoopla if they do introduce new gear, or they mightn’t make any changes at all. Given the potential for missteps, there’d be nothing wrong with the latter.