Is orange a light or dark color?
That all-so-critical question was probably one the NBA didn’t spend enough time pondering.
Playing at Madison Square Garden on Saturday, the Knicks wore their alternate orange uniforms. The Hawks wore their road reds. The result: a blurred on-court mash of two colors right next to each other in the rainbow. (Roy G. Biv, kids. Roy G. Biv.)
Apparently, the Knicks and Hawks weren’t the problem. The NBA’s guidelines didn’t adequately account for this matchup.
According to the N.B.A. rule book, the home team is mandated to wear light-colored jerseys, and the visitors dark jerseys, unless otherwise approved. This would explain Atlanta’s uniform choice.
“Neither team was at fault,” Tim Frank, the N.B.A.’s vice president for basketball communications, said. “The Knicks orange has been designated as a light alternate home uniform. Going forward, we’ll ensure that the opponent wears a more distinguishing color uniform when the Knicks wear orange.”
I’m a bit surprised the NBA wasn’t prepared for this. More than a third of the league – Hawks, Bulls, Cavaliers, Rockets, Clippers, Heat, Bucks, 76ers, Trail Blazers, Raptors and Wizards – has red uniforms.
I’m not quite as surprised the Knicks and Hawks weren’t prepared. Schonbrun:
The first half especially was filled with sloppy play and errant passes.
Carmelo Anthony dismissed a question that the uniforms had any effect on the game, which the Knicks lost, 110-90.
He referred to the suggestion as “nitpicking.”
Considering all the Knicks’ problems, it probably is nitpicking. But that might say more about the Knicks than the uniforms. If the Spurs and Heat played a sloppy game while both wearing their black jerseys, the uniforms would probably be the culprit.