The 2016-17 NBA season has been filled with plenty of drama and excitement. With the All-Star break quickly approaching, teams are getting ready for the final stretch of the regular season while vying for the best seed possible in their respective conferences. This season has seen a number of new stars and intriguing story lines develop and one can only imagine what is in store for the second half. One of the story lines that has surfaced pertains to the team jerseys seen around the league. Last April the NBA announced that on-jersey advertisements would debut at the beginning of the 2017-18 season in accordance to their new apparel deal with Nike.
So far the Celtics, Kings, Nets and Sixers have given us a glimpse of what to expect next season with the new jerseys. The advertisements have received a mixed reaction as many feel that classic jerseys such as the Celtics are being tarnished with a second logo on them. It's a change that we'll just have to get used to and it shouldn't detract from the great game that we see today. While the advertisements are minor adjustments, teams are still introducing new and improved jerseys every year. One of the newer trends in the league are the t-shirt jerseys; Golden State was the first team to dawn them and debuted theirs during the 2012-13 season. This list will detail all of the great looks that teams have used over the past 17 years. Jerseys that debuted in the 90s and carried over into the 2000s were omitted. Stick around till the very end for an added bonus but without further ado, here is every NBA team's best jersey since the year 2000.
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31 Atlanta Hawks - Home Jersey, 2007-2012
The home jerseys during this stint for the Atlanta Hawks provided a crisp and clean looking jersey that stayed true with the design aesthetics used in years prior. Atlanta was going through a brand overhaul during this period, introducing a new logo and team font in the process. The red stripes on the sides and around the collar provide a subtle touch of flair without going overboard and the red looks great as the outlining for the letters and numbers displayed across the jersey as well. Atlanta's current jerseys are a bit more vibrant with their colors and while it's good to change things up every now and then, there really wasn't anything wrong with these. Atlanta secured a spot in the playoffs every year that these jerseys were in use.
30 Boston Celtics - Green & Gold Alternate
There are a few jerseys in the NBA that have a simple but classic design that should go untouched and the Boston Celtics have one of them. Boston has used the same design for their home and away jerseys since 1970 but they have introduced a few alternate jerseys in the mean time with the green and gold jersey being one of them. First worn during the 2005-06 season, Boston began a tradition of wearing green jerseys with gold trim during the third week of March in which the NBA celebrates St. Patrick's day. It's nice to see Boston go a bit outside of the box on this one. It makes you kind of wish the Celtics would wear these on a more regular basis.
29 Brooklyn Nets - Current Home Jersey
After moving the team in 2012, the Nets got a complete makeover with rap mogul Jay-Z designing the look the team currently uses. The white and black jerseys have become synonymous with the city of Brooklyn. Brook Lopez continues to play decent basketball for the team despite the limited success they've had throughout his time with the organization. Brooklyn's current look is drastically different from the last jerseys the team wore in New Jersey since 1997. Those jerseys are a representation of consecutive trips to the NBA Finals with players such as Jason Kidd and Kenyon Martin but owner Mikhail Prokhorov hopes to get the team back to its winning ways. This could be a while since Brooklyn currently holds the worst record in the league.
28 Charlotte Hornets - Current Home and Away Jersey
After New Orleans announced that the team would be re-branding itself to the New Orleans Pelicans, the then Charlotte Bobcats jumped all over the opportunity to reclaim the name of the Hornets. The 2014-15 season would see the team, in which stars such as Larry Johnson and Alonzo Mourning played for, back in the league but with a fresh new look.
The pin stripes have been scaled back a bit and are now simply on the left side of the jersey but the retro color scheme is still there in all its white, teal and purple glory. It's a more modern look for a team that's looking to make some buzz around the league (pun totally intended). While the playoff success hasn't come yet, at least they have a killer look.
27 Chicago Bulls - 2016 Christmas Jersey
This decision wasn't easy simply due to the lack of jerseys the Bulls have used in past years. Once again Chicago is one of those organizations that keeps things plain and simple when it comes to jersey designs. Their logo has seen little to no change since the team's inclusion into the league as it is one of the most iconic in all of sports. The 2016 Christmas jerseys were very reminiscent of the old away jerseys used during the 70s and 80s for the team with the classic black cursive "CHICAGO" angled upwards on the red jersey. The number on the front is also in the same spot as the classic jersey. Let's see if the team can turn things around in the second half of the season.
26 Cleveland Cavaliers - Away Jersey, 2003-2010
When LeBron James first stepped foot on an NBA court, he did it in style. The away jersey during this stretch featured the classic wine and gold colors that have become synonymous with the team. I prefer the away jerseys over the home jerseys simply for the fact that the unique wine color is featured in an even greater demeanor. The bold "C" in Cleveland shows the strength and determination within the organization and it puts fear into the hearts of opposing players who knew they would have their hands full when going up against James and the rest of the Cavaliers.
James led the team to their first finals appearance in franchise history while sporting this look. The Cavs have since changed up their look quite a bit.
25 Dallas Mavericks - Alternate Jersey, 2011-12
This design is an all-around work of art. Inspired by a previous jersey designed by Sean "P.Diddy" Combs, this navy blue jersey has a lot going for it. The curl on the end of the "M" in Mavs is a nice little touch that gives the name a bit of flair. It's always interesting to see an off center number on the front of a jersey and previous versions of this design had the numbers above the letters. This time around they moved it underneath to improve on its look. The star on the front of the collar is also a terrific addition and representation of the Lone Star State. Safe to say that Dirk wore this jersey best and the league won't be the same without him.
24 Denver Nuggets - Pride Sleeved Jersey
Here's one of the t-shirt jerseys that works terrifically. The t-shirt jerseys have received mixed reactions from basketball fans but more teams are starting to use them and the Nuggets struck gold with theirs last season. The white is crisp and refreshing and works perfectly with the newly designed double pick-axe and mountain logo that incorporates the spirit of Denver and the Rocky Mountains as well. This is one of the few jerseys without any text on the front but it really doesn't need it.
Denver wore these during six home games last season. Nikola Jokic is clearly the best player on this squad and they're going to need everything but the kitchen sink from him if the team wants to make the playoffs this season.
23 Detroit Pistons - Detroit Chrome Jersey
Also debuting last season, the chrome jerseys are a different take on the Pistons usual color scheme. Along with the "Motor City" jerseys, these pay tribute to the cars of the past and future as Detroit is seen as the automobile capital of the world. The Pistons have used some crazier looking aesthetics in previous jerseys but this one keeps things on a simpler level. It's a clean look that represents the blue collar workers of the city which goes perfectly with low post players such as Andre Drummond. Would they ever adopt these into a permanent look?
Let's see if the big man can take his game to the next level as the Pistons are in need of leader if they want to make a statement in the east.
22 Golden State Warriors - Run TMC Jersey
Now this is what we like to see. Honoring the classic Golden State trio of (T)im Hardaway, (M)itch Richmond and (C)hris Mullin, the Golden State Warriors broke this bad boy out at the beginning of this season and haven't looked back. The jersey fuses elements of the teams 90s jerseys and components of their current ones. It's a perfect blend. Kevin Durant gets to wear some awesome apparel as he continues his quest for his first NBA Championship. Would KD have a better chance of winning a title if he played with Hardaway, Richmond and Mullin? Who knows but he's probably better off in this era of basketball anyway since he would have ruined one of the greatest nicknames in NBA history. Run TMCK sounds awful.
21 Houston Rockets - Current Home and Away Jersey
The Rockets haven't had too many jerseys throughout their time in the league but they do have a bunch of quality ones to choose from. Introduced back in 2003, the Rockets' current look is much more modern compared to the previous jerseys they wore back in 1995 for eight years. A much simpler logo and an altered color scheme has looked great on players such as Tracy McGrady, Yao Ming and more recently James Harden. The extensions on the "R" are also a nice touch on what is a nice font overall. It would be cool to see the Rockets bust out those old school jerseys from '95 but for now, there's nothing wrong with the jerseys that they have now worn for 14 years.
20 Indiana Pacers - Hoosiers Alternate Jersey
When it comes to basketball movies, Hoosiers is definitely up there with the best of them. The Indiana Pacers decided to honor the 1986 film and unveiled these jerseys last season. With Hickory (the name of the high school in the fictional film) proudly displayed on the front, Paul George and company showoff the maroon and gold in all its glory and it is just as awesome as you would it expect it to be.
This is the first time that a major North American sports team has worn a uniform based on a film. Now all we need is a team to play in Tune Squad Jerseys and have someone dunk from half court. With Space Jam 2 seemingly on the way, could we see LeBron rock one?
19 Los Angeles Lakers - Hollywood Nights Jersey
For the Lakers I could have gone with their current jersey as it is almost as untouchable as the Celtics current look but I wanted to take a different route and go with something that stood out from the rest. The Hollywood Nights Jersey uses the same aesthetics as the Lakers current home and away jerseys but throws a curve ball into the mix and uses black as a primary color. The black acts as a nice backdrop for the purple letters and numbers and is a color that we have never seen associated with the team before. Actors such as Jack Nicholson, who has supported the franchise for a number of years, and the rest of the Hollywood industry are paid homage to with the jerseys.
18 Los Angeles Clippers - Alternate Jersey, 2012-13
Using design aspects similar to their previous jerseys, the alternate jerseys along with the home and away colors for the Clippers during the 2012-2013 season were among some of the sharpest in the league. I chose the alternate jersey for the Clippers but feel that all three patterns are fantastic. The cursive writing gives off the vibe that the Clippers are all business when it comes to basketball and the "LAC" on the jersey is a nice touch as well. The jersey also marked a new era in Clipper basketball and one that has been much more enjoyable compared to previous years for the team. Will Chris Paul ever make it to a conference finals? Only time will tell with that story.
These would be a far better look than the Clips' current unis.
17 Memphis Grizzlies - Home Jersey, 2000-2004
Representing the last iteration of Grizzlies basketball in Vancouver, this jersey was the last the team displayed in Canada before moving to Memphis. What really pulls this jersey together are the turquoise stripes down the sides. The team also took a more subtle approach with this look as did a number of other teams with their jerseys coming out of the 90s.The red outlines on the letters give off the image that the team was just as blood thirsty as a real grizzly bear but not really considering the fact that the team finished way under .500 in every season during its time up north.
The Grizzlies continued to use these jerseys for three more years after the team moved in 2001. They should seriously consider bringing these back.
16 Miami Heat - Black Tie Jerseys
No that's not a Brooklyn Nets jersey your looking at. The Miami Heat "Black Tie" jerseys were unveiled in 2014 and has been the closest thing that we can wear to a wedding in terms of basketball gear (please don't actually do this). The look is meant to emulate men's formal wear on the court and is similar to the pattern of a tuxedo. The tuxedo pattern makes for a very unique look for a basketball jersey and the three dimensional block numbers also looks great on the jersey.
The Heat have a number of different jerseys that they've used over the past years but this one stands out the most while using a simple color scheme. Once again, please don't actually wear these in a formal setting.
15 Milwaukee Bucks - Alternate Jersey, 2015-16
When it comes to the alternate jersey that the Milwaukee Buck revealed last year during one of their "Fear the Deer" nights, the team could not have done a better job when it came to re-branding the team. A new court along with new jerseys like this gave the Bucks a much needed face lift. The new color scheme along with the more menacing deer graphic acts as an upgraded version of the team's 90s alternate jersey. With their previous color scheme of green, red and white it looked like Milwaukee was wearing Christmas jerseys every night. Santa Claus would have made for a good mascot during this time. The team has hit a bit of slump at this point in the season. Maybe if they break these out more often they'll start winning again.
14 Minnesota Timberwolves - Current
The Minnesota Timberwolves had some of the better jerseys coming out of the 90's. After Kevin Garnett left the team in 2007, the Timberwolves organization wanted to start fresh after losing their all-star forward. The jerseys were the first thing to change and it was an alteration for the better. With a revamped logo the new jerseys debuted in 2008 and looked sleeker then ever. The new design and color scheme was a breath of fresh air and was a welcome addition to a new era of Timberwolves basketball that currently features young prospects such as Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns. A return to the playoffs should be in store within the next couple of the years as Wiggins, Towns and the rest of the team continue to develop into one of the more exciting teams to watch in the league.
13 New Orleans Pelicans - Mardis Gras Jersey 2015 Edition
These jerseys are almost so ugly that they're awesome. Paying tribute to Mardi Gras, the Pelicans unveiled these jerseys during the 2012-13 season. After being placed on the shelf for a couple years, the team brought them back in 2015 for another run in the league but added sleeves to them to go along with the whole t-shirt trend. They might not be the most professional looking jerseys but it fits a team that's named after a giant water bird. This might be the most unique jersey that the NBA has ever seen. The designs for many of the teams logos in the 90s represented loud and colorful cartoon graphics but this is something in its own category. New Orleans has worn them on only a few occasions which is understandable since their players look like jesters instead of athletes.
12 New York Knicks - Current Home and Away Jersey
Paying tribute to the great Knicks teams that included legends like Walt Frazier and Willis Reed, the Knicks current look is another one that is simple but effective. For a majority of the Knicks history, the color scheme has stayed the same. The current look, which was introduced back in 2013, took the designs of the 70s, 80s and 90s jerseys and added a few tweaks to produce the more modern and cleaner looking uniform we see today.
With so much turmoil surrounding the players and the front office this team would do anything to revisit those glory days of the organization. Basketball fans feel your pain Charles Oakley. No one wants to see a team go through something like this, especially with an iconic franchise like the Knicks.
11 Oklahoma City Thunder - White Sleeved Jersey
Yes, OKC has joined the party when it comes to t-shirt jerseys. Sporting the Thunder logo on the front, the jersey is fairly simple. In fact it might be the most simple out of all the t-shirt jerseys. It's almost as if someone just took a plain white t-shirt and slapped a logo on it. In the end, its a clean looking outfit but the Thunder really don't have much to choose from. This, along with the Nuggets t-shirt jersey, might be the only jerseys of its kind that would be suitable for everyday wear. The rest are crazy colors that I wouldn't wear but feel free to wear whatever makes you happy.
Some players have complained that this style of jersey has been a hindrance on their play but the last time Russell Westbrook wore one he hit a game winner against the Jazz. He also could have hit that shot due to the fact that he's having a monster season but that's a topic for another time.
10 Orlando Magic - Current Home and Away Jersey
In 2008 the Orlando Magic decided to go back to their roots and sport jerseys similar to the ones that the team wore during the 90s. The pinstripes were back in all their glory but gone were the cheesy looking stars that wouldn't look great in today's NBA. The magic would beat the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2009 Eastern Conference Finals while dawning these jerseys to earn a spot in the franchise's second NBA Finals.
Dwight Howard had some of his best years in Orlando and he may have had his best shot at winning a championship with the Magic but only time will as he continues to play for his home town Atlanta Hawks. Either way, we're happy the Magic decided to bring back the pinstripes.
9 Philadelphia 76ers - Current Home Jersey
The 76ers' current home jersey is another uniform that pays homage to some of the greatest teams in the franchises history. It really doesn't get any more patriotic than this jersey right here. The stars on the sides of the jersey look the best in white on the home jerseys along with the red white and blue color scheme that just screams America. If Uncle Sam played basketball this would be his jersey of choice. The team appears to be finally making strides with their rebuilding process as Joel Embiid makes his presence felt around the league.
Number one overall pick Ben Simmons continues to rehab an injured right foot with hopes of joining Embiid on the court in the near future. Philadelphia should feel good knowing that their worst years may be behind them.
8 Phoenix Suns - Current Away Jersey
The Phoenix Suns are currently rocking jerseys that are very similar to their 90s counterparts. Their current look uses a similar aesthetic and an almost identical logo to the one the team used during Charles Barkley's tenure with the team. Of course the old school jerseys will always be remembered in the classic purple and it's no different today as the current away jerseys outshine the home ones in a number of aspects.
Players such as Devin Booker and Eric Bledsoe are doing all they can to win games this season but the team will most likely find themselves watching the playoffs from home for the seventh consecutive year. When the Suns finally do become one of the top teams in the NBA, they'll look good doing so in these uniforms.
7 Portland Trail Blazers - Alternate Jersey, 2012
An updated version of the team's previous alternate jersey, this version replaces the "BLAZERS" with "PORTLAND" and has a few more minor adjustments added to it as well. The Trail Blazers pinwheel was added to the front of the jersey and the stripes angling down are now a bit thinner. The pattern on the collar is also a bit different from its predecessor but it still is a great look for the team. Overall this is one spiffy looking jersey as Portland has had one of the best color schemes in the league for several years. Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum are leading a new era of Trail Blazer basketball but after the departure of LaMarcus Aldridge and several other key names, the team is fighting for a spot in this year's playoffs.
6 Sacramento Kings - Current Home Jersey
If the Sacramento Kings have anything going for them right now its the look they sport today. Resembling the Webber-era look, the Kings introduced these jerseys to the league back in 2014. The look has been toned down quite a bit this time around. The crown in the "i" is now gone and all of the letters on the front of the jersey have been capitalized to give the logo a more threatening look. The number on the front has also seen an adjustment having been moved into the center of the jersey and looks much better overall. Boogie Cousins might not be very happy in Sacramento but at least he can wear some cool gear before a possible change in scenery. Now if only the team's play could follow suit.
5 San Antonio Spurs - Black Alternate Jersey, 2015
This is one of the more interesting choices on the list. San Antonio is a winning organization. There's no doubt about it. They've rocked the same look for quite some time now but in 2015 the franchise mixed things up a bit and brought these out for the world to see. The Spurs logo is very prominently featured on the front of the jersey and the number is in a very unusual spot but its a simple jersey that works well for a team that generally flies under the radar until the playoffs. One thing to note about this look is that it's the first time the Spurs have ever used a consistent alternate jersey. This one seems to be sticking around for the next couple of years.
4 Toronto Raptors - Drake's OVO Nights Jersey
I will be the first to say that Drake is one of the more annoying celebrities when it comes to sports. I'm not exactly sure what a team ambassador does but I would assume that it involves some charity work of some sort but that's besides the point. Drake's OVO Nights jersey takes the the current Raptors jersey and adds a bit of the rapper's flair to it. Drake designed this colorway himself with the black and gold being a trademark of the OVO label. The black is solid but the gold really does pop off the jersey. This is one of the harder jerseys to find right now but in this day and age no one is really wearing basketball jerseys anymore unless they're in college.
3 Utah Jazz - Current Home Jersey
Utah has had its fair share of awesome jerseys throughout its history in the league. The Jazz overhauled their jerseys in 2010 but decided to make a few changes this season. While the previous uniforms looked great, the updated version looks even better. The most notable change comes in the numbers. The edges are now angled at a 66 degree angle to give off the slanted look that the logo has. Outlines on the collar have also been reduced to two colors to tone down the look of the jersey overall. Utah is playing some of its best basketball in recent years; it will be interesting to see what kind of impact they can have in their first playoff appearance since 2012.
2 Washington Wizards - Alternate Jersey, 2007-2009
The last time we saw these jerseys in use Gilbert Arenas or "Agent Zero" was getting buckets on a Wizards team that didn't make much noise in the playoffs. Today you can find the former all-star on snapchat breaking into Nick Young's house. The colorway for this jersey was really out of the blue but it really did work and it stood out from the rest of the league's apparel during its time. The stars are placed in the right spots on the jersey: on the sides, shoulders and above the name on the back of the jersey. A jersey like this wouldn't look too bad as an alternate for the 76ers today with their color scheme.
* Click to our next slide for a bonus entry.
1 Bonus: All-Star Jersey - 2003
Look at that you made it all the way to the end! As promised earlier here's a little added bonus to the list. The 2003 NBA All-Star Game was a classic for a number of reasons. Yao Ming was cementing his place in the NBA with his first all-star appearance, Vince Carter continued to defy the laws of physics with a number of sensational dunks and Shaquille O'Neal showed off some of his best crossover moves against Brad Miller. There was even some defense being played, something you don't quite see anymore in all-star games. More importantly this was Michael Jordan's last all-star game of his career. This year's jersey reverted back to the design that Jordan wore in his first all-star game and for good reason. Why not honor one of the greatest players of all time? Jordan scored 20 points in one of his final match ups against Kobe Bryant. Here's a trip down memory lane for those with a little extra time to spare.
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