From Absolute Mess to the Best: Ranking All 30 ‘City Edition’ Jerseys


30. Cleveland Cavaliers 

(Twitter via @WeAreCavsNation)

The Cavs may be one of the best teams on the court, but this jersey is an absolute mess. The color scheme is completely uninspiring, and the design is of little interest. As long as LeBron James is in Cleveland, Cavalier basketball will always be exciting, but this jersey is a dud.

29. Boston Celtics 

(Twitter via @aardodson)

I know that a lot of people really like how Boston always keeps its jerseys simple and classic, but I think it’s just plain boring. There really isn’t anything unique about this design at all; we’ve seen this same layout for decades just with a different background color. The grey also does the jersey no favors. As I mentioned with the Cleveland jersey, grey just doesn’t look good on most uniforms. The one saving grace with this design is that the jersey background is made to look like the parquet-floor design.

28. Atlanta Hawks 

(Twitter via @SONTLive)

I tried really hard to like this one, but I just don’t. The text is kind of a mess, and the design on the left side makes everything else feel off center. I’m not a huge fan of the color choice either. This design could have been much stronger if they had used the normal red instead of this weird yellow-green.

27. Orlando Magic

(Twitter via @rafusetolose)

At first glance, I kind of liked this jersey. The star background is a cool idea, but the product is cheesy. On the Orlando Magic twitter, they attached the “reach beyond limits” phrase to it and comes off as childish.

26. Dallas Mavericks 

(Twitter via @BallinWithBryan)

Apparently this is supposed to represent the downtown Dallas skyline? I’m not sure how that idea created this jersey, but there you go. Confusing design aside, the color scheme is a mess. Neon colors rarely work and neon green never does.

25. San Antonio Spurs

(Twitter via @SONTLive)

I feel like I’ve seen some variation of this Spurs’ jersey at least a half dozen times. It’s a good design so it get points there, but it’s just too unoriginal for me to rank it any higher than this. Also, the whole “city” theme seems to be forgotten with this one. There are several fan designed jerseys online that do a much better job at capturing the San Antonio spirit.

24. Minnesota Timberwolves 

(Twitter via @nikestore)

Minnesota has had a rough year with its new jerseys, and this new one hasn’t done much to help. Overall, it’s just dull. The lack of color really hurts, and there isn’t much design wise to make up for it. The slashes on the side are a nice effect, but there’s nothing else to keep anyone looking.

23. Indiana Pacers 

(Twitter via @aardodson)

Indiana’s jersey has too much going on. The team name off to the side doesn’t work and makes the balance of the jersey feel off. Finish line stripes is never a good look, and the Pacers’ use of it here has a clipart feel to it. The color scheme is strong, but the use of it is weak.

22. Detroit Pistons 

(Twitter via @SONTLive)

There’s nothing particularly bad about this design; it’s just uninspiring. Like with San Antonio’s jersey, the “Motor City” script has been used a ton of times and often in a better way. Color is also an issue with this one. For a team that has one of the better color combos in the league, this one is king of boring. Again, I don’t have any serious issues with this jersey, but it doesn’t make me care enough either.


21. Oklahoma City Thunder

(Twitter via @KicksDeals)

The Thunder’s design is really close to being on the better half of city jersey’s, but the weird fade from black to grey really knocks it down a few spots. Orange and blue isn’t the greatest color combo, but I think it’s not overpowering here. This jeresey also loses points for lack of city connection.

20. Phoenix Suns

(Twitter via @SONTLive)

The solid purple jersey is a good look, but there’s nothing really else that captures the eye with this jersey. It isn’t bad, but it finds itself in more of an “eh” category. Using “Los Suns” is a good way of utilizing Phoenix for the city theme.

19. Denver Nuggets 

(Twitter via @aardodson)

This is the point on the list where the ranking gets very tough. The Nuggets did a decent job with this one and playing the logo big was a nice touch. If they had gone very simple and left of the small stripes on the side, it might have actually been a little better. Overall a solid jersey, but nothing to write home about.

18. Houston Rockets 


Several of this designs seemed to play it safe and go with something that we’ve seen a lot of; Houston has one of those designs. The good thing for the Rockets is that the safe route yields a really solid jersey. We’ve seen this type of jersey a ton of times, but it works. The script is always a nice touch and overall I like this one, but the lack of creativity is what ultimately holds it back.

17. Portland Trail Blazers 

(Twitter via @SONTLive)

I’m a sucker for any red on black design, and it really pops with this jersey. The detail of the piping along the sides is subtle enough that it doesn’t overwhelm but isn’t forgotten. Usually plaid is a mess in my book, but as an ode to the late “Dr. Jack” Ramsay it works.

16. Milwaukee Bucks 

(Twitter via @aardodson)

Cream is always a nice look for uniforms. The Bucks use the cream color here to represent the clay found on the coast of Lake Michigan, so that’s a very nice touch. The only parts I don’t like are the blue and white stripes near the deer head. Overall, a really nice jersey that’s only held back by the merits of the ones above it.

15. New York Knicks

(Twitter via @aardodson)

The Knicks strayed from their typical color scheme with a much darker blue and it really works. Focusing on the New York City fire department is really important for an organization that’s meant so much to the city.

14. Washington Wizards 

(Twitter via @MasterTes)

The simplicity of this design is really strong when paired with the mass of words above the number. That’s not to say that “district of Columbia” is a bad choice; I actually think it’s a nice choice to highlight the D.C. part of Washington D.C.. The marble coloring of the background is said to represent the many monuments in the nation’s capital, so that’s a good use of history.

13. New Orleans Pelicans 

(Twitter via @ForwardMileNBA)

The Pelicans utilized the city theme in the most obvious way. Using a very loud color scheme works for such a loud city. The purple, yellow, and green really feels like New Orleans, and the font choice is the icing on the cake.

12. Brooklyn Nets 

(Twitter via @aardodson)

I had to look at this one several times before coming to a final decision. Brooklyn fell into the same trap as many of the other designs by creating something that looks fairly similar to a jersey they’ve used in the past, but it works for them. The use of both the city and team name is a nice touch, and using the vertical lines in the background reminiscent of the Brooklyn bridge puts it over the top.

11. Toronto Raptors

(Twitter via @HoopDreamInc)

Embracing the northern identity is a big win for the Raptors. Gold on black is always an appealing choice and a good little nod to Drake here.

10. Utah Jazz

(Twitter via @JazzfanJorden)

I really liked the colors of this right from the jump and thought it had a really warm sunrise feel to it. After looking at it for a while, I realized the lines were representing the red rock canyons of Utah and it secured its place in the top ten. This one is also interesting because it’s probably one of the designs that strayed the most from the team’s traditional jerseys.

9. Charlotte Hornets 

(Twitter via @aardodson)

As I mention with both the Dallas and Atlanta designs, neon is usually a color scheme that I would suggest staying away from, but in this case I think it works. Charlotte has the ability to work with two very vibrant colors, but they don’t overuse them. They balance it out with the mostly black middle and nice white outlining the text. The Hornets will always get extra points because of the Jumpman logo.

8. Golden State Warriors 

It seems that all Golden State can do is win, win, win, and win some more. The Warriors already benefit from a killer colors, and the deeper blue and red in this design take it over the top. The representation of the Bay Area’s rich Chinese culture is a big plus for this jersey.

7. Los Angeles Clippers

(Twitter via @aardodson) 

Someone call up the Clippers’ ownership and tell them they have to switch to this color scheme ASAP. I mentioned for the Thunder’s design that orange and blue rarely work, but it works and then some with this one. There isn’t anything particularly striking with this jersey, but I can’t stop looking at it.

6. Chicago Bulls 

(Twitter via @aardodson)

For a team that usually relies heavily on their red designs, toning it down with this jersey is a refreshing choice. Chicago subtly hints at the theme with the four stars on the side representing the city’s flag. This is another iconic jersey for a team that has plenty of them.

5. Philadelphia 76ers 

(Twitter via @aardodson)

Again, cream is always a winner. The 76ers really try to hit you with patriotism with this design, and it works. The script is reminiscent of the Declaration of Independence, and Philadelphia has been killing it with its jerseys lately.

4. Sacramento Kings 

(Twitter via @AustinUsery)

I originally had this one ranked lower, due to the fact that its fairly similar to the baby blue throwbacks the Kings used during the final season at Sleep Train. However, I think it really captures the city theme by using the first colors of the Kings, a team that means so much the city of Sacramento. I also really like that they highlighted the secondary lion logo with this design.

3. Miami Heat 

(Twitter via @HeatvsHaters)

There’s really not much to say here. Who doesn’t like Miami Vice? The Heat are big time winners with this design. I honestly think I might order myself one.

2. Los Angeles Lakers 

(Twitter via @QiasOmar)

C’mon, how could you possibly hate on the “Black Mamba” inspired jerseys? Even in retirement, Kobe Bryant is coming in clutch for the Lakers. Outside of that, the lighter yellow on black looks is really smooth, and the throwback to the older Lakers  jersey is good use of the organization’s rich history.

1. Memphis Grizzlies 

(Twitter via @SONTLive)

This jersey just works on every level. The design is very simple, but it’s clean and refreshing compared to the complicated looks many of the other teams opted for. White and black works particularly well next to the striking blues and yellows of the Grizzlies’ normal jerseys. Memphis has also done the best job at creating a jersey that really plays to the “city” theme. Paying homage to a very important moment in Memphis and United States history earns an A+ on its own.



About Jordan Schauberger

Jordan is a Sports Journalism student at American River College. He is a passionate NBA fan and unironically supports the Kings. #SacramentoProud

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