When talking about an NBA team, you may think of a few things. The city, the players, and ultimately, the jersey. Yes, the jersey of a team is what separates one team from another, and many fans become attached to a certain uniform. These jerseys are the personality of the respective organizations. Each night as the athletes take the court the one thing that binds them all together is the jersey on their backs. It's more then just some random material the players wear, it's a piece of the city, the fans, and the organization that the players represent with pride and honor.
A certain NBA jersey can bring back many memories of the players, the era, and the success (or little success) the team had when they wore them. Some NBA teams have strived to create the most cutting edge jerseys they can, and some teams have stuck to their roots and don't plan on changing anytime soon. I picked these jerseys on what type of caliber players wore them, the success the team had while wearing them, fan feedback on them, and especially the appearance of the uniforms.
There are some teams excluded from this list because some organizations have relocated and have not been established for very long. Remember, these are OPINIONS. Hopefully this sparks a debate wherever you are reading this. I bet it will.
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29 Atlanta Hawks - 1995-1999
These classic Hawk jerseys were pulled way too early considering how cool they really were. The Hawk is placed very nicely at the bottom of the jersey and the yellow "Hawks" sticks out in a good way against the darker back round. These looked good on any Hawk that wore them and really shined when Dikembe wagged his finger at his opponent (who was probably in an uglier jersey).
28 Boston Celtics - 1946-Current
The Celtics have essentially had the same jerseys for their entire NBA existence, and they should keep it that way. Boston is one of the most classic, storied NBA teams and their jerseys are a cornerstone of what everybody knows them by. The simple green and white are just right, and I hope they don't try changing these jerseys...ever. They've tested the waters with some alternates, but nothing beats the classics.
27 Brooklyn (New Jersey) Nets - 1972-1981
These jerseys are great and really capture what makes the Nets, the Nets. The red and blue stripes down the side, which has the white stars in it are classic. The lettering is simple and very easy to read, which some jerseys lack. It might just be that Julius Erving wore these while he threw down dunk after dunk but who knows. The Nets went to the black and white look when they moved to Brooklyn, but the franchise's history has always been the red, white and blue.
26 Charlotte Hornets - 2014-Current
We'll only be counting the current franchise when discussing the Charlotte Hornets. The Hornets (Bobcats) have had some pretty bad jerseys over their years in the NBA, but their current jerseys are just right. The cool blue colors are appealing and the jersey has a very modern feel to it. It almost makes you forget how bad of an organization Charlotte has been since entering the league. The name change brought back a lot of fuzzy memories for Charlotte, including the cool jersey colors.
25 Chicago Bulls - 1985-Current
Like the Celtics, these simple Bulls jerseys have so much history packed into every stitch that it would be hard for the Bulls to ever switch these up. The block style lettering is iconic, and the triangle on the sides of the pants with the bull inside of them are incredibly cool. Also the greatest player of all-time rocked these so...you just can't change these. There'd be a huge outcry in Chicago if they ever thought of doing that.
24 Cleveland Cavaliers - 1994-1999
Going away from the usual scheme of the Cavs, these were surprisingly really cool. The blue, white, and black colors are nice and really changes it up for the Cavaliers. Something that distinguishes these from other franchises is the blue streak across the jersey. The streak goes perfectly with either the white home or black away jerseys. The Cavaliers should look into bringing these back, because they were pulled way too quickly.
23 Dallas Mavericks - "Dallas Skyline" Alternate
The "Dallas Skyline" alternate uniforms the Mavericks wear, are the best in their arsenal they have of jerseys. Very modern and clean, these jerseys are extremely smooth. The different tones of blue work well especially when the light blue is streaked across the front where the "Dallas" is placed. It wouldn't be the "Dallas Skyline" jerseys without a Dallas Skyline, which were placed neatly above the blue streak putting the icing on the cake for these stylish uniforms.
22 Denver Nuggets - 1982-1993
This Nugget jersey has been considered one of the most iconic NBA uniforms of all-time for a couple reasons. The rainbow that stretches across the front of the jersey that includes the mountains and the apartment buildings is what makes this jersey great. The vibrant colors were picked perfectly and these jerseys hit every angle just right. The dark version with a green trim wasn't a fit, but these sure were.
21 Detroit Pistons - 1981-1996
The simplicity of these uniforms is what reminds us of the "Bad Boy" Pistons era. Winning multiple championships wearing these, the history is deep within this uniform. The red, white, and blue were nice, and you could really appreciate these especially after the Pistons tried those hideous teal ones. It's unfathomable as to why the Pistons decided to ditch these beauties for the ugly teal ones. It seems teal was just a flavor of the month for the 90s.
20 Golden State Warriors - "The City" Alternates
Back when the Warriors were still named the San Francisco Warriors, the Warriors sported these awesomely designed jerseys. The circle with the Bay Bridge inside of it is great and the number on the back inside the cable car captures the essence of San Francisco. These jerseys are so nice that when the Warriors occasionally wear these now, they even change the design of their court to match the uniforms.
19 Houston Rockets - 1976-1995
Winning back to back NBA championships wearing these, it was surprising they were changed after the second finals series win. Hakeem "The Dream" led the Rockets to many successful seasons while wearing these beauties. Simplicity is the key to these red and yellow classics and I would love to see the Rockets wear these again. Maybe it will help them turn around their disappointing team.
18 Indiana Pacers - 1998-2005
More NBA teams really need to start wearing jerseys with pinstripes, because they really do look good. The bold lettering is presented cleanly and the stripes are superb behind them. Fans have loved these Pacers jerseys and it's a good thing the current team hasn't steered to far away from their original uniforms. Still, it would be awesome for Indiana to just go all the way and bring these back.
17 Los Angeles Clippers - "Back in Blue" Alternates
These baby blue jerseys the Clippers wear are very nice. While keeping the cursive looking font of the Clippers, the color is great and really adds a new element to the jersey. The uniforms are meant to honor their throwback jerseys from many years before and the Clips did a good job in recreating the feel of the old jerseys. With the uninspiring logo they now sport, it wouldn't be a bad idea for the Clippers to make these their permanent jerseys.
16 Los Angeles Lakers - 1978-1999
The Lakers were a complete dynasty in the 80s and 90s and they did it while wearing these. The jerseys are simple and are not very different from other Laker jerseys, but the 3-D numbers really pop and is what distinguishes these from the rest of the Laker franchise uniforms, which is why these are the greatest Lakers jerseys ever. The Lakers have never really had an ugly jersey, but these just stand above the rest.
15 Memphis (Vancouver) Grizzlies - 1995-2001
In my opinion, these jerseys are one of the coolest NBA uniforms of all time. Back when they were the Vancouver Grizzlies, this new expansion team might not have had the talent to compete in the league, but their jerseys were above almost every other jersey at that time. The neck and arm holes are designed very abstractly which draws your attention in a good way. The scratched up "Grizzlies" writing is awesome and the shorts with the menacing grizzly on them brought the entire classic uniforms together.
14 Miami Heat - 1998-1999
I can't believe these jerseys were only in service for one year. They are by far the best Heat jerseys to date. They are still occasionally worn by the current Heat, but they need to look into bringing these bad boys back for good. The numbers 3-D look is great, and the way it is outlined with different Heat colors is first-rate. They placed the flaming basketball on the shorts, so they included everything that makes you think Miami Heat.
13 Milwaukee Bucks - Alternate 1995-1999
Another jersey where a very artistic design is the most featured item on the uniform. You may not think that the Bucks is a cool name for an NBA team but the way they portrayed the menacing looking Buck is certainly redeeming. Also, something this jersey has which other teams do not, is the gradient lettering. The way the "Bucks" goes from white and fades into the purple is something we don't get to see often in the league.
12 Minnesota Timberwolves - 1996-2008
You might like these jerseys for a couple of different reasons. Maybe it's the fact that Kevin Garnett wore these as he dominated every game for the Wolves. Or maybe you like the font for the lettering and the numbers which is very unique. Whatever it is, these jerseys were awesome during the time they were worn. It'd be awesome if the Timerwolves brought these back, especially while KG is still playing for them.
11 New York Knicks - 2012-Current
With some of the greatest history in the NBA, these jerseys capture what being a Knick is all about. The simplicity of the jersey is outstanding, and it reminds the Knicks fans about the good old days. With the Knicks recent struggles in the past few years, maybe it is time for a little bit of a change for New York. Now the team has to follow suit and begin playing up to the jersey.
10 Oklahoma City Thunder - 2008-Current
It wouldn't feel right to go back to the Seattle SuperSonics when including this franchise. The OKC Thunder has only been in the league for a few years, but boy they have already distinguished themselves as one of the best franchises in the league. Their jerseys are simple, but in a good way and it never hurts that they win a lot of games in them. The number fonts are new and sleek and is what separates these jerseys from other NBA squads.
9 Orlando Magic: 1989-1998
I miss seeing Shaq and Penny play in these beauties. The pinstripes work perfectly, and the font with the stars replacing some letters really makes it feel like the "Magic". The colors are great and not too vibrant like some jerseys trying to push way too much. These are a lot of fans' favorite jerseys of the Magic organization and maybe even the entire NBA. Maybe their lack of success in recent years is the basketball gods trying to tell them something... Go back to these.
8 Philadelphia 76ers - 2000-2007
Opinions will probably be mixed on this one, as many like the more traditional red, white and blue look of the 76ers.
The smooth Sixers logo on the front is very sleek and is Philadelphia's champion jersey. Most likely it's related to the fact that Allen Iverson took the Sixers all the way to the Finals in these jerseys. This jersey is even included in one of the most iconic pictures in NBA history with Allen Iverson stepping over Tyronn Lue.
7 Phoenix Suns - 1992-2000
These uniforms are just awesome. The blazing basketball that stretches across the jersey that ends up splitting the "Suns" and the number is very uncommon in NBA jerseys. Other then that, there is not much going on with them which is totally fine. Purple and orange is what Suns basketball is all about and these unis don't stray away from that whatsoever. They also bring back some fuzzy memories of Charles Barkley electrifying the Phoenix crowd.
6 Portland Trail Blazers - 1977-1991
The current Trail Blazers uniforms are modeled after these, as they should be, but something just isn't the same compared to the originals. The red and black stripes and the font for the "blazers" is very iconic in the NBA world. Incredibly designed, these are amazing jerseys that are the greatest in Portland Trail Blazer history. Memories of Clyde Drexler rocking these instantly comes to mind.
5 Sacramento Kings - 1985-1990
To be honest, I am not the biggest fans of any Kings uniforms, but these jerseys are the best in their franchise. The baby blue color doesn't really go with normal Kings colors but it worked well for these uniforms. The "Kings" scripted lettering is amazingly smooth and the red outline makes everything on the jersey pop out vibrantly. To this day, they still have a cool, vintage look to them.
4 San Antonio Spurs - 2014-Current
Like the Celtics, the Spurs have had the same jerseys with little or no changes since they were established. The spur used for the "U" is what makes this jersey a San Antonio jersey we have all come to respect. The Spurs have never been a flashy team, so if you don't like how simple these jerseys are, the Spurs probably don't care. The jersey stays true to who they are, which is what a jersey should do for a team.
3 Toronto Raptors - 1995-1999
Wow. Possibly my favorite jerseys ever, these definitely take the cake for the best Raptors jerseys of all-time. Where should I start? The "Raptors" font is awesome and fits a prehistoric age like a glove. The different color pinstripes are great and also has a unique flair to them. On the back, the last name is enclosed and the spikes above the name are just another reason these jerseys are above the rest. These unis also include three different Raptors logos, which adds something everywhere you look on these uniforms.
2 Utah Jazz - 1996-2004
The Jazz have had some boring jerseys throughout their history, but these are just something else. The two color logo with the word JAZZ shooting by the Mountain is great. It feels as if their name is engraved on the mountain side. Yea, I said mountains, these jerseys have a full landscape of the beautiful Utah mountaintops behind the lettering, which is why these jerseys are the best in Utah Jazz history. Maybe even NBA history.
1 Washington Wizards: Alternate 2006-2009
I don't care what you say about these jerseys, they are the best in Wizards history. Gold jerseys...why wouldn't they be great? The Wizards keep the essence of their organization by placing the stars on the front, back, and down the side of the jersey. The only thing I don't love about these jerseys is the simplistic logo on the front. If your going with a gold jersey, you might as well go all out.
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