This past Wednesday, the Phoenix Suns turned back the clocks as they played the Los Angeles Lakers in jerseys from a bygone era. The Suns were the first of seven teams blessed by the marketing department at Adidas with a fresh set of throwbacks. These particular jerseys harkened back to the days of Charles Barkley, Dan Majerle and AC Green; a simpler time for the residents of Phoenix. Much like their historical counterparts, Wednesday’s iteration of the Suns saw relative success, defeating the woeful Lakers 92-86.
While some fans will complain about throwbacks, claiming they hate how they look when really they hate that they act as a reminder of their current roster’s inadequacy, I feel that Adidas needs to do more. If I had it my way, our society would have never moved beyond the aesthetics of the 90s and my Air Jordans wouldn’t be viewed as ironic. With that being said, let’s look at ten NBA throwback jerseys that should come back.
10. Philadelphia 76ers Black Alternate Jersey
Throwback jerseys? We talkin’ about throwback jerseys?
The Philadelphia 76ers have had some classic jerseys over their long history, none of which are currently being worn by the team. These all black unis call back to the 2000-2001 season, where Allen Iverson lead the team all the way to the NBA Finals with his MVP performances.
9. Milwaukee Bucks Purple Alternate Jersey
Milwaukee is already one of the teams that will be rolling out a throwback jersey this year, and while they got the era right, they picked the wrong alternate. Granted, purple is no longer an “official” color of the Bucks, but who doesn’t miss watching a young Ray Allen tear up the league in these mauve kits.
8. San Antonio Spurs Warm-Ups
Okay, so this one isn’t technically a jersey, but come on. Look at David Robinson up there, majestic in his orange, pink and blue stripes. Time is running short for this current Spurs roster, so why not have Timmy and the boys embrace their age en route to one final title.
7. Brooklyn Nets “ABA” Jersey
The Nets actually did break out these Dr. J-inspired throwbacks last year whilst still playing in New Jersey. Unfortunately, there is essentially zero chance of them re-emerging now that the team has moved to Brooklyn. This is because the team is now focused on moving as far away from the team’s dismal roots as possible, even if this means ignoring the championship winning teams of the 1970s.
6. Orlando Magic Black Alternate Jersey
Because maybe, just maybe, if you squint your eyes, Aaron Afflalo will look like Penny Hardaway.
5. Detroit Pistons Teal Away Jersey
The aptly titled “Teal Era” brings nothing but bad memories rushing back to Detroit fans. In fact, I’m pretty sure Grant Hill’s ankle exploded midway through the dunk pictured above. He looked pretty doing it, though.
4. Houston Rockets Navy Away Jerseys
I still remember begging my parents to buy me this Steve Francis jersey back in middle school. After all, what was more fashionable in the late 90s than fat pinstripes and cartoon rocket ships? This would be a perfect jersey to throw on the current, uber-hip Rockets squad.
3. Utah Jazz Purple Away Jersey
In “researching” this article, it really upset me just how few pictures exist of Greg Ostertag in this jersey. Most people don’t realize this, but it was Double Zero that held those great Utah Jazz teams together, not Malone or Stockton. I mean, the man was the first player in NBA history to return to the game after donating an internal organ (his kidney!). Guys, I love Greg Ostertag.
2. Vancouver Grizzlies Teal Away Jersey
You guys think teal is ostentatious? How about we add an intimidating, oversized grizzly bear on the shorts? Still not enough? Fine, we’re going to go ahead and add a trim of some vaguely “Native” looking symbols. The only caveat that Memphis needs to agree on before using these jerseys is to sign Spencer “Little Country” Hawes and assign the No. 50 to him.
1. Toronto Raptors Purple Away Jersey
It was you, ridiculously over-the-top, cartoon dinosaur Toronto Raptors jerseys… It was always you.