The NBA offseason is upon us and, as usual, doesn’t lack for drama with player movement and rookie (over)hype. This offseason, with the NBA moving to Nike as it’s official apparel supplier, we’re seeing some hype and drama seep into the aesthetic aspect of the league. In the past couple of weeks, news has filtered across social media about possible leaked photos of Nike NBA uniforms. Nothing has been completely confirmed, but there seems to be viable evidence to support the leaks of the Charlotte Hornets throwback uniform or the Brooklyn Nets alternate uniform.
A few weeks back, I learned of some images posted to the Chinese social media platform Weibo that appeared to be catalog entries of Nike NBA uniforms. I was hesitant at first to share them as we couldn’t confirm their authenticity, they very well could have been elaborately-crafted fake designs. This morning, some of that apprehension was allayed, as the tweaked 2017-18 Toronto Raptors road uniform was inadvertently unveiled via the NBA 2k18 Canadian cover photo and it matched those images exactly.
Weibo user BJ兄弟球衣社 owns a business supplying authentic uniforms, and in late May, he posted some interesting photos detailing the NBA uniforms and merchandise that he was in the process of ordering and organizing.
Here’s a closer look at each of the photos he posted:
Suns fans won’t be too happy about losing the Sun-streak lines from the road uni, I’d imagine. Unless perhaps this is an alternate uniform, but that seems unlikely.
This is just the beginning of the hoopla that will be ensuing as we learn more and more about the NBA’s transition to Nike as their official supplier. The growing theory among the sports design community is that we’ll see the official Nike NBA takeover occur after the Summer League (which is being outfitted by Adidas) is completed on July 17th, but as of now, no official date has been set by the league. The Raptors earlier today, however, said their new look would be unveiled in the fall… could be a long wait but lock in and stay tuned!