One of the interesting things about the NBA is how often every team changes their uniform concepts. Every year. You don’t see this happen in the NFL – although this season we will see secondary helmets concepts – and while the MLB will sprinkle in city jerseys and Little League baseball concepts, they don’t have the same staying power as what the NBA offers. Because, you know, it’s baseball.
Perhaps the ever-changing uniform methodology began with the Chip Kelly-led Oregon Ducks of the 2000s. The university, which sometimes is referred to as Nike U due to the contributions of Nike founder Phil Knight, began donning flashy and splashy new threads not only from season to season, but from game to game.
It was a strategic recruiting tactic, playing on Deion Sanders’ “look good, play good” philosophy as the program attempted to lure recruits to Eugene, Oregon.
As society has become accustomed to uniforms changing on a regular basis, the NBA recognized an opportunity to begin incorporating a variety of uniform concepts for each team. When the NBA began partnering with the NBA prior to the 2017-18 season, we saw an influx of specialized uniform sets for each team.
Association. Icon. Statement. City. Classic. Earned. These different variations have increased engagement with the fanbase, and excite the players who will ultimately don the threads.
The 2022-23 season will see the Phoenix Suns wear five different uniforms throughout the year, including their Classic Edition, which will pay homage to the 1992-93 Sunburst uniforms concepts originally designed by Tom O’Grady.
While much speculation has occurred relative to what the Phoenix Suns’ Statement Edition will be, it has been confirmed that the Suns will not rock the ‘Orange Friday’s’ uniforms next season. Thankfully.
Instead, the team is returning to the “PHX” concepts they previously have worn, as this year’s Statement will be black with the city’s abbreviation across the chest. The team will retain the purple-to-orange gradient made popular by the City Edition ‘Valley’ concepts as it will be featured as the color inside of the numbers on each jersey.
Suns Statement Edition confirmed via NBA Uni Tracker/NBA 2K23 files. I started that account with @caseyvitelli to keep y'all informed and Casey has taken over full time. He does a great job and it's a lot of work so please reward him with a follow. https://t.co/vCCzHLY6wr pic.twitter.com/zC8tTPLrqj— Suns Uniform Tracker (@SunsUniTracker) September 9, 2022
We knew change was on the way, and the next question is whether or not we like it. I know, there are plenty of you who truthfully could not care about what uniforms the Suns are wearing. You care more about the players that fill them and the brand of basketball that occurs while wearing them. And I hear ya. I agree.
Still, we have to watch this team on television. And I don’t know about you, but watching those orange Statement Edition uniforms was somewhat painful. It looked like a group of Home Depot employees trying to crash the glass.
The 2022-23 Statement Edition jerseys remind us of what the Suns wore of the year that Josh Jackson was drafted and pays homage to the concepts worn by Deandre Ayton during his rookie year. These are not banner years in Suns’ history, but they are a clean look.
When it comes to uniform concepts, black might be a lazy color because everything looks pretty good in all black. Don’t even get me started on the Arizona Cardinals’ black secondary helmets this season. I realize I’m in the minority on this one, but the ‘red flakes’ don’t hide the fact that it’s a lazy design. Just because Cardinals fans are desperate for something new doesn’t mean that it looks good. It’s just different. Pardon my sidebar.
These new Statement Edition jerseys combine the old ‘PHX’ look with the new gradients and I believe will look sleek on television.
But what do you think, Bright Siders?
What do you think of the new Statement Edition uniforms?
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