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Entries in Knicks (2)

Saturday
Jun092012

Meet My BUD

Some of you may have been wondering, "Why hasn't Tim posted anything here in a while?"

Well, this is why: The Basketball Uniform Database.

Over the past few weeks and months, I've been working on something big. I volunteered to to work with some of my fellow uni-nerds on creating a database of NBA uniforms. The goal is to go back to the '40s but as of today, our coming out party, we have 2011-2012 finished and are beginning to work our way backward in time.

In my position as the graphic designer, it has been my job to create the templates, recreate the jerseys and do anything else graphically I can for the project. I've been working with tons of images, logos and color swatches to try and come up with as accurate a depiction of NBA jerseys as I can, no matter if it's the '60s, '80s or the tweens.

Now, I'm not perfect (though I'm damn close...). That being the case, if you ever see something on there that's a glaring error, feel free to drop me an email (See: sidebar) and let me know.

And it turns out, NBA uniforms aren't perfect either.

In my personal research I've discovered two bizarre uni-quirks that I haven't seen mentioned anywhere else (though, perhaps I just haven't looked hard enough...). Let's start off with the quick one.

Philadelphia, before this season, introduced a brand new alternate uniform. It was pretty standard fair, a blue version of their current jersey template. Not bad. Not great, but not bad.

Unfortunately, Philadelphia never wore it.

You can do - as I did - and go through all of daylife's 76ers images, it doesn't appear once. Or you can go to their team website and watch game recaps. No sight of it. Or go to ESPN. I think you know what you'll find.

It's truly bizarre. The Sixers don't even sell the jersey in their online store. What makes it even more bizarre is that fans seem to love the blue jersey.

So the phantom alt of Philadelphia remains a uni-mystery. Who killed it? Why was it killed? Will it ever make it on court? We may never know.

Finally, we come to a case of, "Wait, why wouldn't they just change that?"

The New York Knickerbockers broke out new unis - their current unis - for the 2001-2002 season. Other than a collar change, the uniforms have remained unchanged for more than a decade.

Except for on thing.

Look at these pictures from the Stephon Marbury era of the nicks: Home Road and St. Paddy's Alt. See how the Knicks logo on the shorts is on the right short leg, placing the NBA logo on the left pant leg? Well, at some point during the Starbury era, the Knicks switched their logo to the left leg (where it remains today).

Except on the St. Paddy's Day alts.

For some reason, the Knicks have never switched the shorts patch on their green alternates. Never. It's very bizarre.

The Knicks changed the logo location years ago, so it's not like these are jerseys created before the change and they just never got around to it. The materials and cuts of the jerseys have changed over the years and most - if not all - of the current players on the Knicks roster have never worn the old home and road unis with the logo on the right pant leg.

It doesn't matter the occasion (Christmas, St. Patrick's Day, dunk contests, etc.), the patch is on the other pant leg. It's a very strange uni quirk that I would love to hear the rationale behind.

Though, I suspect the the explanation will be less than satisfactory.

"It's just a logo on a uniform, who cares?"

Wednesday
Mar302011

Tweaking the Classics - NBA EDITION 

A while back, an emailer - Zack - sent me a request with a really interesting idea:

Just an idea since you do a lot of NBA rebrandings I would be interested to see what you would do with the Knicks, Lakers or Bulls.

To me, those three organizations are three of the top four franchises in the NBA as far as history and uniforms (the Celtics being the unnamed fourth).

Taking a crack at their uniforms - while certainly not unheard of, all three have gone through some pretty dramatic changes since the mid-80s - would be a challenge between balancing what makes their uniforms great with new ideas that can improve their image.

Also, with such perfect logos and historic courts, the only changes needed to these teams would be to their uniforms (although, as you'll see, I did alter the Knicks' logos a smidgen)

So here we go:

Bulls

Not much of a change here to the Home or Road versions. Jordan and company made these already great unis classics, so, in my humble opinion, I left them generally unchanged.

Unfortunately for these concept templates, you don't see the backs of the jerseys. If you could, you would see that the names on the backs would be sans-outline and would be white on both Road versions, because this looks way better than this.

The Bulls' black Road alternate has a long storied history. In the 1995-96 season the Bulls broke out these black alternates 10 times in route to their historic 72 win season. Good karma right? No.

The Bulls went 5-5 in their pinstripe duds (duds being the key word) and 67-5 in white and red. Ever since, the Bulls have tried to keep and update their black alternates but never quite got them right.

The biggest problem was the striping. Either the Bulls didn't have the striping (including the diamond on the shorts) or the striping was different from the Home and Road. Even today's black alternate is still wrong - the striping colors go red-black-white-black-red when they should go red-white-black-white-red (because the uniform color should be the middle stripe color).

Fixing the striping and then taking inspiration from the mid-80s Road jersey, I give you my fixed black Road alternate.

Knicks

As I said at the top of the show, I did have to make some small alterations to the Knicks' logos. All I did, as you can see, is take the black out and replace it with blue (this should give you a hint about what I did with their uniforms).

        

As far as the Knicks uniforms go, I basically took everything good from the modern set and combined it with the good from the Ewing Years set.

From the Ewing era, I kept the stripe pattern, collar and sleeve pattern and the fonts.

From the modern era, I kept the continuous side stripe and the logos.

Combine all that, and Voilà: I give you the New Look Knicks.

Lakers

Once again, I present to you an amalgamation of old and new.

I should be a poet.

While the Lakers look great in their current set, they used to look great in their old set too. And while I've gone back mostly to the old set, I didn't go all the way back (no one wants to see this).

I have kept the current logos, fonts (especially the lack of the drop shadow) and have made all the numbers the opposite color scheme as the 'Lakers' script this is both old and new). And finally, the striping is all from the Magic Johnson to early Kobe era.

Those are my ideas to perfect perfection. Obviously, all three teams currently look great, but who says you fix what ain't broke.

Once again, I hope you like this design. If you really like my designs, remember that I just opened up my own shop where you can purchase any of my original designs in t-shirt form. If you have any merchandize or design requests, please drop me an email.

Until then - as always - leave it in the comments.