Footwear and sports apparel monolith Nike is once again responsible for the latest crop of City Edition jerseys. Ahead of the official unveiling Nov. 2, images of the 30 looks have leaked.
If those on X (formerly known as Twitter) speak for the masses, the special jerseys aren’t being well received.
In the spirit of snap judgements, here’s a ranking of the 2023-24 City Edition jerseys:
1. Utah Jazz
With the bar set quite low, the Jazz top the city edition mountain with these retro purple alpine efforts. Just make sure Denver Nuggets fans are fully aware that Salt Lake City isn’t actually atop the NBA’s proverbial mountain altitude-wise. (More on that later.)
2. San Antonio Spurs
The Spurs perfectly blend an in-style retro look with a Texas-based theme. This jersey is versatile, much like the team’s brand-new 7-foot-4 unicorn cornerstone, Victor Wembanyama.
3. Minnesota Timberwolves
If you’re a fan of frigid locales and minuscule font sizes, this winter-inspired singlet from the Timberwolves is for you. It’s unique enough to crack the top three on this list. Don’t worry: it gets worse.
4. Detroit Pistons
Among a slew of incredibly generic designs, this one stands out as both incredibly generic and somewhat decent. Perhaps it’s the cursive font that harkens back to a bygone era where people used pens and paper.
5. Houston Rockets
The Rockets jerseys do the best job demonstrating that less can be more. That’s basically the opposite of what Houston’s front office did in splashing its free-agency budget on veterans for a team unlikely to compete.
6. Cleveland Cavaliers
The Cavaliers have seemingly found every way possible to show off their wine-and-gold color scheme in recent years. They’ve succeeded again with this creative yet refined display.
7. Milwaukee Bucks
It’s unusual to see a blue and cream Bucks jersey, but these uniforms find a way to make it look natural. It’s almost what it’ll feel like to watch former Portland Trail Blazers icon Damian Lillard playing for Milwaukee.
8. Charlotte Hornets
Despite selling a majority stake in the team in August, Michael Jordan’s iconic silhouette remains on this offering from the Hornets, which looks quite similar to their other jerseys. Whatever.
9. Portland Trail Blazers
The Blazers might be destined for basement-dweller status after shipping Lillard to the Bucks, but this plaid-and-black jersey firmly places them in the upper echelon of this list. However, it’s largely due to how bad the other ones are.
10. Phoenix Suns
One of the more happening outfits amongst the group, these jerseys are a spinoff of the popular “The Valley” uniforms of seasons past. They’re also the only ones to feature a different language.
11. Sacramento Kings
The Kings pay homage to their Rochester Royals days with this color scheme and vertical team name display. They’re fine.
12. Los Angeles Clippers
If you squint, this effort resembles the wide-shouldered Wizards jerseys sported by the team back when Gilbert Arenas was resolving gambling debts in the most unhinged ways possible.
13. New York Knicks
We can already picture somebody sunning next to the picturesque Gowanus Canal wearing this with some Timberlands, jorts, and a matching fitted cap. It could be worse. A lot worse.
14. Oklahoma City Thunder
You’d think the Thunder would opt for a city jersey with some pizazz while having one of the most exciting young cores in the Association. They would’ve gotten a better result if fashion expert Shai Gilgeous-Alexander was the designer.
15. Golden State Warriors
Some coaches teach man-to-man defense by telling the player to focus on the ball-handler’s chest, so these unis may give an already elite Warriors offense an additional leg up.
16. Washington Wizards
Considering how outstanding the cherry blossom-inspired shirts were last season, this offering is a step back. We can’t wait to see Jordan Poole jack up 40 field-goal attempts in these.
17. Orlando Magic
What in the “Pawn Stars” is this font? Whatever, at least the Magic will be fun to watch this year. We can see both the Wagner brothers selling these to some kid for lunch money.
18. Atlanta Hawks
Few things are as jarring to the eye as a lowercase acronym. If they fix that, and the font, and the spacing between the text and the number, then maybe the Hawks would have something with this clean color scheme.
19. Dallas Mavericks
This font is half cursive and half of a normal font. It’s creative, but it seems unfinished. If this season is like the last, there’s no better franchise to be wearing this mismash of text than the Mavericks.
20. Boston Celtics
The timber strip running down the side represents the fact that the Celtics are one of only 30 NBA teams to play on a wooden court. Not our favorite, though the decision to feature a player’s age on the jersey is a novel concept.
21. Indiana Pacers
With one of the NBA’s youngest rosters, most of the Pacers’ core can probably still remember what they watched on the Disney channel as a kid. If any of those shows had a basketball theme, they’d be featuring these jerseys.
22. Chicago Bulls
It’s fitting that the Bulls chose Lonzo Ball, who’ll unfortunately miss the entire campaign with injury, for their city uniform template. With this ugly, bizarre design, it should see the floor just as much as Ball this season.
23. Los Angeles Lakers
We’ll assume that the placement of “Los Angeles” on these jerseys is subliminal messaging. It represents the franchise in the couple years before LeBron James, followed by the summit, and then what’s next once he inevitably departs to play with Bronny.
24. Philadelphia 76ers
Unless you have binoculars or extremely impressive vision, these 76ers jerseys really only just say “Brotherly.” That is a strange coincidence when considering the current relationship between James Harden and Daryl Morey.
25. New Orleans Pelicans
We wish that, like jersey representative Jose Alvarado’s patented defensive maneuver, these jerseys would sneak up from behind and surprise us. But that ugly green color and extremely plain design have completely failed to do so.
26. Brooklyn Nets
The Nets turned to every hypebeast’s favorite artist, Brian “Kaws” Donnelly, for this effort. While it might resemble something designed by a blindfolded dog, at least it’s thematically aligned to Kaws’ usual cartoonish stuff.
27. Denver Nuggets
What’s 5280, you ask? It’s Denver’s altitude. Because the Nuggets franchise has nothing else to boast about these days apparently. Welp, time to change the pin number on my debit card.
28. Toronto Raptors
The OVO/Drake collab used to be a fashionable boost for the Raptors. Much like the team itself, though, these jerseys are a shell of what they used to be while remaining in complete denial that a change is needed.
29. Miami Heat
If Heat Culture means refusing to trade Tyler Herro for Damian Lillard, then you have to celebrate that in sartorial form. It’s incredible that this is the same organization that released those slick “Vice” City Edition unis. Shambolic stuff.
30. Memphis Grizzlies
If for whatever reason you like to risk life and limb by walking through a crosswalk with your eyes glued to the asphalt, the font on this jersey might be a familiar source of pedestrian PTSD. Ja Morant did himself a favor by limiting the number of chances he’d have to rock this.