Nike reveals first NBA jerseys of new partnership, scraps 'home' and 'road' designations (Photos)

Henry Bushnell

Nike is taking the mantle as the official on-court apparel provider of the NBA for the 2017-18 season, and the sportswear company revealed the first of many jersey designs on Tuesday.

Here’s the initial look at one of the four jerseys that the defending champion Golden State Warriors will wear beginning this fall:

(Nike)

A bit later in the day, the Kings revealed their two core uniform combinations on their website (and via an augmented reality feature in their mobile app):

The Kings’ Association edition jersey. ( Sacramento Kings)
The Kings’ Icon edition jersey. (Sacramento Kings)

The Warriors and Kings’ threads — and those of the league’s 28 other teams — aren’t getting a complete makeover, but there are some slight differences. The curvature of the collar on the Warriors’ jersey is interesting. The designs of both are ever so slightly different. And these aren’t “home” or “away” jerseys; it’s Golden State’s Association edition jersey, and Sacramento’s Association edition and Icon edition jerseys. More on that below.

But the most important innovations are to the material, something Nike trumpeted in its announcement:

“Nike … employ[ed] 3D-body maps of players, including heat and sweat maps. This research led Nike’s designers to make significant changes to the weight, fit and construction of the uniforms — paying special attention to enabling agility.

“NBA players, including members of last summer’s gold medal-winning USA Basketball team, tested early versions of the uniforms and provided specific feedback that prompted Nike to further evolve the designs in ways that included moving the armhole, neck and side seams to eliminate distractions for athletes.

“The most significant change comes to the back shoulder of the uniform where Nike designers altered the construction for a vastly improved fit. Additionally, the hemlines on the bottom of both the jersey and shorts were modified to allow for full range of motion.

“The uniform is comprised of a combination of Alpha Yarns and recycled polyester (each athlete uniform represents approximately 20 recycled PET bottles). Not only does this yarn blend match Nike’s broad commitment to sustainability, it also removes moisture more quickly than previous NBA uniforms, wicking sweat 30-percent faster than current NBA uniforms.”

Additionally, Nike laid out the framework for the rest of its 2017-18 jersey designs. There will be more than 120 in total — at least four per team. Here’s a graphic explaining the format:

(Nike)

The NBA is doing away with the “home” and “road” uniform designations beginning this upcoming season. Instead, according to Nike’s release, “home teams will pick which of their uniforms will be worn at all home games and visiting teams will choose a contrasting uniform within their own assortment.”

Those assortments will include the four editions featured above. The first two — the Association edition, which “pays homage to the league”; and the Icon edition, which “represents the rich heritage and iconic identity of each NBA franchise” — will be revealed by teams this summer. The Association edition will be what was formerly known as the home jersey, and the Icon edition correlates with road jerseys.

The latter two editions “will be revealed in the coming months,” according to Nike.

Nike will also give eight teams a fifth uniform, a Classic edition that will be released in the fall.

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