If you’ve watched your fair share of basketball for the past couple of years (and this year in particular), you’ve probably noticed that the NBA has gotten a little lax about the home team wearing white at home and colors on the road. It’s not just the teams with “trendy” new looks who are wearing color at home — bluebloods like the Celtics, Bulls, and Spurs have been seen wearing colors other than white on their home court.
It appears that teams are just electing to wear any old uniform that’s in their catalog while making sure that the color’s don’t clash with the road team. If that’s the case, then the NBA should just go ahead and make it official — make color-on-color matchups the default choice for teams.
I’m making this request if only for consistency’s sake. It really does seem like the idea of wearing white jerseys at home appears to be more of a suggestion than a rule. Speaking of the rule, here’s the rule itself (Rule 3, Section VI, Article C):
The home team shall wear light color jerseys, and the visitors dark jerseys unless otherwise approved. For neutral court games and doubleheaders, the second team named in the official schedule shall be regarded as the home team and shall wear the light colored jerseys.
I bolded the part that reads “unless otherwise approved,” because I believe that the NBA should just go ahead and do away with the whole “otherwise approved” thing and make color-on-color the standard for uniform matchups in the NBA. The rule already appears to be loosened anyways, so you may as well go all the way with it, right?
Of course, there’s always the issue that two teams could completely lose their minds and go out there with one team wearing blue and the other team wearing darker blue (like our friends who played in the 2016 World Series). That would be a disaster — especially in a sport where contrasting uniforms are important for officiating purposes. Plus, from a purely aesthetic standpoint, this would also open up pandora’s box for some ugly uniform matchups. Right now I’m thinking about the Bulls in their gray uniforms playing host to the Cavaliers in their black sleeved uniforms. That wouldn’t be a pretty sight, but it would be a sight that we could see a lot of if the uniform rule got loosened.
With that being said, I think that ultimately, things should be fine if the NBA went to color-on-color for primary uniform matchups. While there’s the possibility that this could open things up for some truly ghastly uniform matchups, there are some cool ones that have the potential to be seen a lot more often than currently seen.
Plus, teams wouldn’t have to completely do away with their white jerseys, either — if there was a situation where the two team’s colored uniforms are inevitably going to clash, then the home team could still break out the white jerseys and the problem would be solved. Some teams could even choose to keep on wearing white at home. They’d have that choice under this new rule, and wouldn’t be “restricted” to wearing white at home — at least from an official standpoint.
Either way, now appears to be the right time for the NBA to make a change when it comes to uniform policies. The league’s teams already appear to be doing so, but it’s time to make it official. Let’s go ahead and let the teams wear color-vs-color as the norm, and let the matchup variety that’s already beginning to emerge around the league officially take hold in basketball.