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. Many NBA teams seem to switch up their jerseys after a decade or so goes by, however some franchises actually end up changing into worst jerseys that can really make fans confused. In this article we will be looking at the top 15 best retro jerseys, that NBA franchises should bring back.
As always, feel free to leave any other retro jerseys you feel NBA franchises should bring back in the comment section below, as we would love to hear your thoughts on this matter.
Here are the top 15 retro jerseys NBA franchises need to bring back.
14 Atlanta Hawks - 1995-99
The Hawks jerseys today don't even compare to this throwback, as the jerseys the Hawks wore during the late 90s were excellent to say the least. I could even go on to say these Atlanta Hawks jerseys are easily some of the coolest uniforms in all of NBA history. The awesome gradient behind the flying Hawk looks great, as it really is one of the most iconic jerseys to ever be worn on the NBA hardwood. The Hawks should definitely consider bringing these bad boys back, as they have to understand that these jerseys are just head and shoulders over what they have going right now. Any player that put on one of these jerseys looked excellent, as it really is one of the coolest jerseys in all of the NBA's long history.
13 Cleveland Cavaliers - 1994-99
Another awesome jersey worn throughout the late 90s, the Cavs took a risk with these uniforms but definitely hit the mark as these are some of the most stylish jerseys of all-time. 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. Imagine LeBron or Kyrie rocking one of these uniforms today.. I think it would look pretty cool. You hear that Cavs owners? Bring these back!
12 Los Angeles Lakers - 1978-99
The Lakers current jerseys don't look much different than the jerseys you see here, however there just is something about the 3D lettering that makes this jersey better than its newer version worn by the young team today. The great Kobe Bryant got to wear these jerseys for two years until they switched to a more modern look, however he may have looked better in these uniforms instead. These retros have history written all over them, as Lakers stars such as Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar have all dawned these excellent jerseys.
The Lakers should think about bringing these old school classic jerseys back into the rotation for good, as it would be nice to have the younger players paying homage to all of the great Lakers players who have worn the jersey years before them.
11 Indiana Pacers - 1998-2005
The Pacers are one of the most talented teams in the East, however their record doesn't necessarily show how good they could be. Maybe the problem is their jerseys? Who knows? More NBA teams really need to start wearing jerseys with pinstripes, because these jerseys really do look good. The bold lettering is presented cleanly and boldly, and the stripes behind the lettering are superb as they give the uniform a unique feel. 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, as you can still see some of the style the team had back then. Still, it would be awesome for Indiana to just go all the way and bring these back.
10 Washington Wizards - 2006-09
These jerseys were only worn for three years, which is just blasphemy considering they are some of the coolest jerseys in NBA history. 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 have gone back to their red, white, and blue designs, but they need to consider going back to their gold days a few years ago. The Wizards keep the essence of their organization by placing the stars on the front, back, and down the side of the gold jersey. The only thing I don’t love about these jerseys is the simplistic logo on the front. If you're going with a gold jersey, you might as well go all out.
9 Minnesota Timberwolves - 1996-2006
The Timberwolves are easily one of the youngest and most talented teams in the league right now, however they don't have the same grit that Kevin Garnett brought to the team years ago. Are the jerseys the issue? Maybe, as the new jerseys worn today don't have the same swagger the team had when they wore they uniforms that's for sure. The lettering on the jerseys are something we haven't seen before in the league, as the jagged edges and green spikes down the sides of the arm holes really bring the whole jersey together in an awesome way. I wish the team brought these back while KG still played for them, as he may have transformed back into his old self one more year...probably not.
8 Memphis Grizzlies - 1995-2001
Yes I know these jerseys were worn by the Vancouver Grizzlies not the Memphis Grizzlies, however would it be so hard for Memphis to change the city name on this jersey? I mean these jerseys are definitely some of the hottest uniforms in all of the NBA's catalogue, as fans all over the league know these jerseys are great. The colors are cool and the designs are fresh. Everything is brought together nicely with the Grizzly like font that seems to pop right out of the players chest. I hate to say it but the Memphis Grizzlies went from one of the coolest teams to one of the most boring with their location change, so maybe Memphis might want to think about bringing these back, or at least a similar version of them.
7 Philadelphia 76ers - 2000-07
I am a huge Sixers fan, however I am not blind to the fact the jerseys my boys wear right now definitely aren't anything special. While they aren't very ugly or anything, they don't have the same flash their old jerseys had when Iverson was tearing up the league. Opinions will probably be mixed on this one however, 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.
6 Phoenix Suns - 1992-2000
The Suns are another great young team in the league, however just because they are looking into the future, doesn't mean they can't still play in the amazing jerseys they did throughout the 90s. 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 uniforms don’t stray away from that whatsoever, as the colors are one of the best part of the jersey. They also bring back some great memories of Charles Barkley electrifying the Phoenix crowd back during his playing days.
5 Toronto Raptors - 1995-99
Wow. Possibly my favorite jerseys ever, these definitely take the cake for the best Raptors jerseys of all time that should definitely be brought back. 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.
There's nothing wrong about these beauties as they really are some of the nicest jerseys in all of sports history. The Raptors should consider bringing these back, as maybe it's the key to finally coming out of the East as the top team.
4 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. Yeah, 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 and should be brought back. I mean unless you're a Jazz fan you're probably not going to buy any Jazz jerseys with the current design they have right now. However I know I would definitely love to buy a Gordon Hayward jersey if they had the same uniforms they did over a decade ago.
3 Milwaukee Bucks - 1995-99
I really love the current Bucks jerseys, however nothing can compare to the uniforms they had back in the late 90s, as fans of the NBA know they had some of the best jerseys in the league at that time. Another jersey where a very artistic design is the most featured item on the uniform. You may not think that '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. Giannis Antetokounmpo would look great in these, which means the Bucks' front office may want to look into bringing these back.
2 Houston Rockets - 1995-2003
The Rockets' current uniforms are just a little too boring for my liking, and I believe they should consider bringing back there old jerseys from the late 90s early 2000s. They wore these uniforms for a bit less than a decade, however they really are stylish. They have a unique look due to the big pinstripes coming behind the cool Rockets logo. The dark blue and red captures the feel of the Rockets more than the red and white does today. For a name that pops out at you like 'Rockets' the current jerseys certainly don't pop.
The Rockets are one of the hottest teams in the league right now, which is really saying something considering they could be balling in much nicer jerseys than they are right now.
2. Denver Nuggets - 1982-93
This Nuggets 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. Fans all over the NBA love these jerseys for their uniqueness and style, as they are definitely some of the best looking NBA uniforms that the players got to put on every night. The dark version of these uniforms with the green trim wasn’t a fit, but these sure were. I am a fan of the Nuggets current jersey sets, however the franchise should look into maybe bringing these back, possibly putting a modern twist on them.
1 Orlando Magic - 1989-98
These old Magic uniforms have to be one of the most iconic uniform sets in all of sports, as they appeal to the eye on just so many different levels. I really 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. Hey Magic front office reps, bring these bad boys back for pete's sake!