It's been a busy day for NBA uniforms, as three teams have revealed new designs. Let's take a look:
Mavericks. Remember a while back when Mark Cuban invited Mavs fans to come up with a new uniform design for the team? The 10 finalists were announced about a year ago, and now Cuban has finally revealed the winning design, which features the Dallas skyline. You can get a slightly better view of the design concept here, but keep in mind that the team isn't going to be using the white or green-accented versions, at least for now -- only the navy version, which will be used as an alternate to the Mavs' current home and road unis. Cuban said at the unveiling that the other two versions could be incorporated into the team's uniform rotation a few years down the road.
The only catch is that the navy alternate won't be seen on the court until next season: 2015-16. So this may go down as one of the earliest unveilings in sports history. Still, it's a really nice design (although there's already some grumbling that the skyline depiction is inaccurate), so it should be worth the wait. On Uni Watch's standard rating scale of Good to Stupid, this one is solidly Good.
Pelicans. There were several problems with the Pelicans' inaugural home and road uniforms. For starters, there was no use of the team name -- an odd move when you've just changed the name of your franchise. Also, the "New Orleans" lettering on the front of the jerseys was actually smaller than the player names on the back. The team's new red alternate jersey solves both of those problems.
The red uni will be worn on opening night Oct. 28, and for a handful of other games during the season (further info here). It's good to see the team's name on the chest, but still -- solid red? What a lazy default option, especially for a team that plays in a city with such a rich chromatic heritage. Remember the Hornets' Mardi Gras uniform? That's the kind of thing a New Orleans team should be doing. I wouldn't go so far as to call this uniform Stupid, but it's definitely Not Good Enough.
Hawks. In an unexpected development, Hawks forward Al Horford tweeted an image from a preseason photo shoot, which shows that the team is changing its chest insignia from "Hawks" to "Atlanta." As you can also see, they're adding the old "Pac-Man" logo to the left leg of the shorts, part of a broader revival of that logo, which among other things is now being used at center court.
While the Pac-Man resurrection is fun, it'll take more than that to save this team's visual program, which is hopelessly generic. There's nothing wrong with shifting from the team name to the city name per se, but it's a missed opportunity for more proactive changes that could have been made. Stupid.
There's still more than a month to go before the season starts, so we may see more alternate designs released between now and then. Stay tuned.
Paul Lukas will have his annual NBA season preview column, running down all the uniform and logo changes for the coming season, about a week before the regular season starts. If you liked this column, you'll probably like his Uni Watch Blog, plus you can follow him on Twitter and Facebook. Want to learn about his Uni Watch Membership Program, be added to his mailing list so you'll always know when a new column has been posted, or just ask him a question? Contact him here.