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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.


Game Matchups

Click on the links below to see the uniform matchups for each week:
Oct. 17 – Oct. 22Oct. 23 – Oct. 29Oct. 30 – Nov. 05Nov. 06 – Nov. 12Nov. 13 – Nov. 19


Color Matchups

  • color-on-white games: 140 (58.3%)
  • white-on-color games: 73 (30.4%)
  • color-on-color games: 27 (11.3%)

Uniform Count

TeamAsc. HAsc. AAsc. TIcon HIcon AIcon TStmt. HStmt. AStmt. TCity HCity ACity TClsc. HClsc. AClsc. T
Atlanta Hawks437279000
Boston Celtics662911000
Brooklyn Nets338513000
Charlotte Hornets22446100011
Chicago Bulls55639000
Cleveland Cavaliers549347000
Dallas Mavericks6174610000
Denver Nuggets516459000
Detroit Pistons841244000
Golden State Warriors641014500112
Houston Rockets557512000
Indiana Pacers4483710000
Los Angeles Clippers426459000
Los Angeles Lakers32555100022
Memphis Grizzlies718167000
Miami Heat32521300358
Milwaukee Bucks7310440011
Minnesota Timberwolves443912000
New Orleans Pelicans639167000
New York Knicks1011144000
Oklahoma City Thunder527268000
Orlando Magic2245712000
Philadelphia 76ers1344711000
Phoenix Suns9211550022
Portland Trail Blazers538729000
Sacramento Kings2134913000
San Antonio Spurs819167000
Toronto Raptors3364610000
Utah Jazz628459000
Washington Wizards639347000

Legend: H = home, A = away, T = Total; Asc. = Association, Icon = Icon, Stmt. = Statement, City = City, Clsc. = Classic

—Stats current through Nov. 19th, 2017—