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.
New Orleans Pelicans
The Pelicans were rewarded with a Nike NBA Earned Edition uniform for being a playoff team last season. The uniform will debut on 12/29 when the Pelicans host the Rockets at the Smoothie King Center. #doitBIG
— New Orleans Pelicans (@PelicansNBA) December 12, 2018
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 (@MiamiHEAT) December 12, 2018
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.
A playoff berth earned us these 🕊 🕊🕊
— Timberwolves (@Timberwolves) December 12, 2018
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.
Team Reveals New Earned Edition Jerseys
— Philadelphia 76ers (@sixers) December 12, 2018
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.
The cool color palette in the Earned Edition represents the change of seasons as the cold winter that grips Northeast Ohio transforms the Great Lake Erie from water to ice ❄️
More photos → https://t.co/aSc09HJ2xQ#BeTheFight pic.twitter.com/08arhzYEXA
— Cleveland Cavaliers (@cavs) December 12, 2018
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
Introducing the Nike NBA Earned Edition Jersey pic.twitter.com/kyw2I5PmVL
— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) December 12, 2018
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 (@WashWizards) December 12, 2018
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.
Nike Basketball and the NBA have announced the “Earned Edition” jerseys. Here’s the Toronto Raptors jersey.
— Kris Pangilinan (@KrisReports) December 12, 2018
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.
Portland Trail Blazers
We earned a spot in the playoffs last season & were awarded a special jersey, debuting on the court December 29th vs Warriors.
— Trail Blazers (@trailblazers) December 12, 2018
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
OKC Thunder Earned Jersey
— 🤩ona stan🤩 (@NoodSexual) December 12, 2018
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.
#12 Houston Rockets
These are kinda just boring too, they look so much like their road jerseys I couldn’t tell the difference for a while. I mean it looks alright but it’s really nothing special. pic.twitter.com/vsR6BjiuS4
— Christmas Dapper Cardinal (@GobertOrGoHome) December 12, 2018
See above (Portland), but not as nice.
Making the playoffs pays off.
— Indiana Pacers (@Pacers) December 12, 2018
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.
— CelticsBlog (@celticsblog) December 12, 2018
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
The spurs “earned” uniforms. Camo…what a surprise pic.twitter.com/6l5TEwVWVQ
— The Spurs Way🏀 (@TheSpursWayy) December 12, 2018
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 (@Bucks) December 12, 2018
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 (@utahjazz) December 12, 2018
Like the Celtics, these look like JV basketball uniforms. Unlike the Celtics, the Jazz don’t have an iconic, historic brand to stand on.