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Ranking the NBA’s new “Earned Edition” uniforms

NBA teams that were good enough to make the playoffs in the 2017-18 season were awarded with an additional uniform for this season. With Nike taking over the uniforms league-wide last year, the traditional “home” or “away” titles of uniforms were dismissed.

Now the different sets are referred to as either the “Icon”, “Association”, “City”, or “Statement”, with some teams being given a throwback uniform as well. One of the new twists introduced this season was the “Earned Edition” given to teams that qualified for the playoffs the year prior. Those were unveiled for the 16 teams that qualified for the previous postseason on Wednesday. This included the Minnesota Timberwolves as they unveiled a new twist on the “City Edition” jerseys for this year that are used as a tribute to Prince.

Many of them are similar to the “City Edition” uniforms for that franchise. Some of them look terrific, while others aren’t great. Here are our rankings of the 16 uniforms released league-wide on Wednesday.

Tier 1

New Orleans Pelicans

These are perfect. Possibly the best uniforms since the Pelicans stopped being the Hornets and became the Pelicans. Nothing about these to dislike.

Miami Heat

The Heat have gone with the “Miami Vice” theme for their “City Edition” uniforms each of the past two seasons. Last year the uniforms were white and this year they’re black. The next logical step in them was a pink version. These ones are pretty awesome and leave the question of whether or not the light-neon blue ones will come into play next season.

Minnesota Timberwolves

The Prince-inspired “City Edition” uniforms were a total hit, and these are very similar. The Wolves flipped the base color from purple to white for the “Earned Edition” and it’s a good look.

Tier 2

Philadelphia 76ers

This is a classic, clean look for the 76ers. Philly has this, but in gray for the “City Edition” to represent the sweatsuit that Rocky Balboa wore while training in the movies. The white version might look even better.

Cleveland Cavaliers

The Cavs are another team that just made a color change from their “City Edition” uniforms for the “Earned Edition” as the replaced the blue and orange look with a white and icy blue palette. The color change is supposed to represent the Great Lakes changing from water to ice in the cold of winter. That might be a stretch, but either way these look much better than the blue and orange ones.

Golden State Warriors

It’s fitting for the Warriors to pay homage to the City of Oakland with it being their last season playing in Oracle Arena before moving to the Chase Center in San Francisco beginning next season. The classic gold base color is always a good look as the Warriors have one of the best color sets in the NBA to work with.

Washington Wizards

The look for the Wizards looks kind of plain, but the side panel being made to resemble the Washington Monument is one of the best parts about any of the uniforms that were unveiled.

Toronto Raptors

The Raptors have embraced Drake and his OVO brand as part of their uniforms for the last couple of seasons with alternates. This look is taking that brand and actually putting it on team colors. It’s a look that the franchise should make an attempt to keep around in the coming years.

Tier 3

Portland Trail Blazers

The Trail Blazers have a very clean look and this is no different. That being said, there’s nothing too special about this uniform, it’s rather plain.

Oklahoma City Thunder

The sunset uniforms for the Thunder take us back to a simpler time when Russell Westbrook, James Harden, and Kevin Durant played together in peaceful harmony. Oh, what could have been.

Houston Rockets

See above (Portland), but not as nice.

Tier 4

Indiana Pacers

There’s a lot going on here, and none of it is that great. The jersey is made to resemble a road, with Indianapolis being an important city in motor racing. That much makes sense, it’s just not executed that well.

Boston Celtics

The Celtics have one of the most iconic uniform sets in all of basketball. Most of this uniform is rather nice, but the white trim makes these look like JV basketball uniforms. A “Vegas Gold” type color would have made these better, too.

San Antonio Spurs

Could the Spurs get any lazier with their alternates? It feels like every single alternate that they have had lately is just “let’s toss camo onto the jersey.” This is no exception, the only difference is a lighter shade of the black, gray, and white camo mix. The Spurs missed a huge opportunity to bring back the fiesta colors for this.

Milwaukee Bucks

So, these are better than the yellow “City Edition” uniforms that resemble the floor at the MECCA where the Bucks used to play. With that said they’re still ugly.

Utah Jazz

Like the Celtics, these look like JV basketball uniforms. Unlike the Celtics, the Jazz don’t have an iconic, historic brand to stand on.


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