Just when you thought the Los Angeles Clippers’ new logo and uniform launch could not have gone any worse, the Philadelphia 76ers have stepped in to make owner Steve Ballmer’s rebranding effort look like even more of a debacle. The Sixers unveiled their new uniforms Thursday at a public event, roughly six weeks after announcing their new logos. Like the Clippers, the Sixers went with a minimalist look. Unlike the Clippers, their designs do not look like an amalgam of focus-group responses.
Before we explain the concepts behind the new unis, let’s take a look at the three designs themselves:
That’s Nerlens Noel in the road blue, Joel Embiid in the home white, and Jerami Grant in the alternate red. Sixers.com has many more looks at the jerseys, including this one:
The designs work in part because they marry a minimalist, classic look with specifics from franchise history. The “PHILA” lettering on the primary tops harkens back to the uniforms worn by Wilt Chamberlain and others in the late ’60s. Meanwhile, the red alternate is intended to connect with the design worn by Julius Erving and the rest of the 1983 championship team.
There are many more nods to team history throughout the uniforms, such as seven stars down the right side and six down their left (you know, like their name). At the same time, the jerseys do not appear simultaneously overthought and undercooked, in stark contrast to the Clippers’ new look. The key is that the Sixers figured out ways to inject nostalgic elements and minor branding notes without having them overwhelm what’s ultimately a pretty standard look.
In fact, it’s familiar enough to wonder if we’re grading the Sixers on a curve:
Then again, maybe we can only ever judge NBA uniforms by their direct competition. From that perspective, the Sixers have come up with a great success.
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