With the switch from Adidas to Nike as the NBA's official on-court apparel supplier for the 2017-18 season, the old system of home teams wearing white and away teams wearing color uniforms has been scrapped — making official a trend that had become more and more common in recent years. Now, Nike and the NBA have redesignated each team's white uniform as its Association edition; the former road uniforms are the Icon edition; the alternate uniforms are now called the Statement edition, while the old 'Pride' uniforms are now labeled as the City edition. Some teams will also wear throwback uniforms, which are referred to as the Classic edition.
As there are technically no longer home uniforms, the home team will decide which of their four or five uniforms their players will wear and the away team will then pick a uniform that provides enough contrast to be distinguishable. While this opens up the possibility for a number of interesting color-on-color matchups, there will be many games where the home team wears a color uniform and the away team wears white. As someone who has watched NBA basketball nearly all my life, I can't say I'm a fan of these matchups. While I never believe tradition alone is enough of a reason to continue doing something, 30+ years of seeing the home team in white means that today, whenever I see a team in white, my brain automatically wants to identify them as the home team.
From a purely aesthetic standpoint I believe the traditional matchup still works best in most cases. The entire purpose of wearing uniforms is to make it easy to distinguish between the players of both teams. A color-on-white matchup always provides a high degree of contrast for the players and spectators in the arena as well as the fans watching at home. The colors on the court bring out the trim on the home whites and create the right amount of balance between both the home and away teams. However, in many case where the home team wears color uniforms, the players often 'disappear' in the paint when those two colors are the same, resulting in less contrast even when the road team wears white.
For this project, I will document every uniform matchup of the 2017-18 season and provide a grade, using the following system:
For color-on-color games where both teams' uniforms provide a high degree of contrast from each other and the court, creating an aesthetically pleasing sight.
For color-on-white games where the home team wears white and the road team's uniform provides adequate contrast with the court.
For color-on-white games where the road team's color uniform does not provide adequate contrast with court.
For white-on-color games where the home team's color uniform provides adequate contrast with the court.
For white-on-color or color-on-color games where the home (or away) team's color uniform does not provide adequate contrast with the court.
For color-on-color games where the uniforms clash with each other and/or the court creating a garish, aesthetically displeasing sight.
- color-on-white games: 140 (58.3%)
- white-on-color games: 73 (30.4%)
- color-on-color games: 27 (11.3%)
|Team||Asc. H||Asc. A||Asc. T||Icon H||Icon A||Icon T||Stmt. H||Stmt. A||Stmt. T||City H||City A||City T||Clsc. H||Clsc. A||Clsc. T|
|Golden State Warriors||6||4||10||1||4||5||0||0||1||1||2|
|Los Angeles Clippers||4||2||6||4||5||9||0||0||0|
|Los Angeles Lakers||3||2||5||5||5||10||0||0||2||2|
|New Orleans Pelicans||6||3||9||1||6||7||0||0||0|
|New York Knicks||10||1||11||4||4||0||0||0|
|Oklahoma City Thunder||5||2||7||2||6||8||0||0||0|
|Portland Trail Blazers||5||3||8||7||2||9||0||0||0|
|San Antonio Spurs||8||1||9||1||6||7||0||0||0|
Legend: H = home, A = away, T = Total; Asc. = Association, Icon = Icon, Stmt. = Statement, City = City, Clsc. = Classic
—Stats current through Nov. 19th, 2017—