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Ranking the Nike “Statement” jerseys for every NBA team

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Nike is the new uniform sponsor of the NBA, and this week they released the new “Statement” jerseys for every NBA team. Marketing gibberish aside, what that really means is this is the third alternate for most teams.

We’ve now had a few days to process what the new jerseys look like for these squads, and it’s time to figure out which teams got a good deal and which are going to look ridiculous next year.

Yes, it’s time to rank the best Statement jerseys for every NBA team. However, it would be hard to put them in a strict numerical ranking, so instead I’ve decided to put each in one of three different categories.

The first are teams with a patently dope colorway or uniform combination. These are the good ones. The second are the openly awful, which seems to have forsaken a large swath of franchises this season, even after Nike took over for adidas. Finally, we have the boring. These teams sit in the middle of the pack, with no real impact. Some teams also landed there because they didn’t debut new alternates with Nike.

So without further ado, here are how the new Statement jerseys shook out for every NBA team. If you don’t like these, you still have the fourth colorway yet to be released here this year.

The Patently Dope

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Boston Celtics: The Celtics went with a cool black and green colorway here instead of going with some of the weirder combinations that were similar to this jersey in years past. Teams either go with too much black or not enough black, and this is just the right amount with some green still on it.

Charlotte Hornets: Look, the Hornets have had a new purple uniform for a few years but just how dope this rebrand has been from top to bottom is enough to put it in this category. Plus, how do you not love a jersey with the Jumpman logo on it?

Chicago Bulls: These black joints came back like Jordan wearing the 45.

Denver Nuggets: Let this be a notice to teams with cities whose skylines are not interesting. That is, make the whole thing a scene and not just some squares that nobody outside your market will recognize. This means you with your water stain/skyline floor, Cleveland.

Houston Rockets: Just about anything is an improvement for Houston, who have had some of the worst jerseys in the league since the Bobcats turned back into the Hornets. If Portland is any indication, having a black and red jersey will always be timeless.

Milwaukee Bucks: This is similar to jersey designs of years past for Milwaukee, but this is just too fresh to dismiss. That black, cream, and forest green colorway is incredible.

Philadelphia 76ers: Do I even have to explain this one? That script is legit.

The Boring

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Brooklyn Bkyln Nets: They’re black and white and have letters missing. Not exactly inspiring design work.

Cleveland Cavaliers: This one looked better as a concept than it did in person. The number and logo being the same size looks a little awkward, but the nod to the sponsor (and history) in Goodyear is cool.

Golden State Warriors: The tree logo is nice and of course it has its roots in the city. However, it doesn’t really look like it belongs on the front of a jersey. This is a cool t-shirt design.

Indiana Pacers: Indiana’s kit here is sort of hard to call but it is at least a move in the right direction for the Pacers, who have had a terrible streak of design missteps over the last two decades.

Memphis: Abolish the sports bra / shoulder pad thing. It looks weird. This goes for Washington, too.

Miami Heat: Same ‘ol, same ‘ol. Give me black, orange, and pink already.

LA Lakers: It’s purple.

New Orleans Pelicans: The Pelicans don’t have good colors. They need to go full French Quarter and stop coming up short. This one is also similar to jerseys from years past.

Toronto Raptors: Repeat. Pretty cool, but again black-and-red really only belongs to one team in this league.

Washington Wizards: I know everyone loves these jerseys but I think they are pretty boring. It’s fine, it’s grown on me.

The Openly Awful

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Atlanta Hawks: Atlanta’s rebrand continues to be hilariously terrible. This is Steve Nash Phoenix Suns bad.

Dallas Mavericks: The Dallas skyline isn’t nationally recognizable and we have to stop putting city outlines on courts and jerseys. These have a strong Team Blue From A Detergent Commercial vibe to them.

Detroit Pistons: Have you ever seen something this aggressively gray?

LA Clippers: The Clippers need to go back to their old script immediately.

Minnesota Timberwolves: Say it with me: Go Seahawks. Did Minnesota learn nothing from Atlanta rebranding with bright, neon colors? We might have to rethink watching a lot of Timberwolves games this year like we all planned.

New York Knicks: For as much as orange and blue is an “uncool” colorway, the Knicks have typically done their uniforms pretty well. This one misses the mark so bad it looks like I designed it.

Oklahoma City Thunder: These have to be gone after next year right? They are so hilariously bad it really gives Minnesota a run for their money. The schism in the front contrasted with the WordArt-style gradient on the back is a huge clash in design language. Not a great showing for the team who might already have the worst uniforms in the league.

Orlando Magic: There are two problems with the Orlando black alternate. First, there aren’t enough stripes on it. Just go back and look at some photos of what these are mimicking from the mid-90s. That’s why these look so weird, they have half the striping. Second, the jerseys are too wide at the shoulder and neck, making them look like a sweater vest. They say black is slimming but weird shoulders and wide set stripes actually make Orlando players look fatter somehow. These have to go, they are so close to getting it right.

Phoenix Suns: Right Click > Blending Options > Bevel & Emboss > Inner Bevel > Chisel Hard > OK.

Portland Trail Blazers: It’s pretty hard to find a way to mess up a red and black jersey, but the Blazers did it this year. It’s a double whammy given that Portland took the best alternate jersey in the league from last season and turned it into the worst. This uniform literally has tire tracks on the side of it. Hard pass.

Sacramento Kings: I am all for the Kings really leaning into their mascot and namesake, but loose weave chainmail isn’t doing it for me here.

San Antonio Spurs: Everyone likes to make Boring Spurs jokes but it is time somebody said it: we have to get rid of gray jerseys. They look like someone forgot to design anything. We can’t stand for this in the best sports league on Earth.

Utah Jazz: Two blues and one purple will forever be the best Utah Jazz color combination. You can’t tell me otherwise. Yellow and green is great, but you can’t stick navy blue in there and expect me not to point to a color wheel, eyebrows up and mouth agape. I’ve got no nostalgia for the old school Jazz colors, they need to ditch ’em ASAP.

NBA: Clint Capela never knocked on front door of Clippers’ locker room

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The most fantastic reported detail of the Rockets-Clippers post-game brouhaha Monday: As Trevor Ariza, Gerald Green, James Harden and Chris Paul charged the Clippers’ locker room through a back entrance, Clint Capela knocked on the front door and was turned away.

Was Houston attacking on two fronts? Was Capela serving as decoy? If so, did he know his role, or did other Rockets set him up? Was he on a solo mission?

According to NBA executive Kiki VanDeWeghe – who suspended Ariza and Green two games for the incident, but penalized no others – it amounted to practically nothing. And whatever happened involved Tarik Black, not Capela.

Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle:

VanDeWeghe said he had reviewed footage from a security camera in the main hallway and it showed that no player attempted to enter the Clippers’ locker room from the front entrance the team generally uses.

“It was reported that (Clint) Capela was out there,” VanDeWeghe said. “We have no video evidence that Capela was out there.”

Rockets center Tarik Black was on his way to lift weights at the time, as he does after each game, and heard the noise from the back hallway, VanDeWeghe said.

“He heard some commotion and called in, but never got any farther,” VanDeWeghe said. “I think we’d all do the same thing.”

VanDeWeghe violated the rule of the Old West: When the legend becomes fact, print the legend. Now, we’re left with a dull story.

LeBron James, Stephen Curry captains as All-Star starters named

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LeBron James, you are on the clock.

LeBron was the top overall vote-getter in the NBA All-Star balloting by the fans (2,638,294 votes) and that — along with votes from the media and current players to ensure he was in — has him as one of the two captains for the All-Star Game (Feb. 18 in Los Angeles). Stephen Curry was the top vote-getter in the West (2,379,494 votes) and he will be the other captain.

This year those two captains will pick the team — playground style — first from the pool of other starters selected by fans, media, and current players, then from the list of reserves selected by the coaches (which will be announced next week). With the most fan votes, LeBron gets the first pick. LeBron and Curry do not have to choose from their own conference, but here are the starters (two backcourt, three frontcourt players):

WESTERN CONFERENCE
Stephen Curry
James Harden
Kevin Durant
Anthony Davis
DeMarcus Cousins

EASTERN CONFERENCE
Kyrie Irving
DeMar DeRozan
LeBron James
Giannis Antetokounmpo
Joel Embiid

This is Embiid’s first All-Star Game, it’s LeBron’s 14th (one behind Kobe Bryant’s all-time record of 15). Anthony Davis is back after dropping a record 52 points in last year’s All-Star Game, and with him and Cousins starting it’s the first time New Orleans has had two starters.

In the East, Victor Oladipo and Kristaps Porzingis both just missed the cut (the players had him as a starter over Embiid, but the fans and media did not), and in the West it was Russell Westbrook and Draymond Green who were just on the outside looking in (the fans voted Green a starter, while the media had LaMarcus Aldridge in the starting five. All of them are basically locks to be selected by the coaches for the All-Star team.

Here is the voting breakdown, where each player’s score is weighted based on 50 percent for fan vote, 25 percent for player vote, and 25 percent for media vote [if you care, the formula to get the weighted score is (Fan Rank * 2 + Player Rank + Media Rank)/4].

Eastern Conference Frontcourt

Player (Team) Fan Rank Player Rank Media Rank Weighted Score
1. *#LeBron James (Cleveland)      1      2      1      1.25
2. *Giannis Antetokounmpo (Milwaukee)      2      1      1      1.5
3. *Joel Embiid (Philadelphia)      3      4      3      3.25
4. Kristaps Porzingis (New York)      4      3      4      3.75
5. Kevin Love (Cleveland)      5      6      7      5.75
6. Al Horford (Boston)      7      8      5      6.75
7. Andre Drummond (Detroit)      9      5      6      7.25
8. Jayson Tatum (Boston)      6      12      8      8.0
9. Enes Kanter (New York)      8      9      8      8.25
10. Dwight Howard (Charlotte)      10      13      8      10.25

 

Eastern Conference Guards

Player (Team) Fan Rank Player Rank Media Rank Weighted Score
1. *Kyrie Irving (Boston)      1      1      1      1.0
2. *DeMar DeRozan (Toronto)      2      2      2      2.0
3. Victor Oladipo (Indiana)      4      3      3      3.5
4. Ben Simmons (Philadelphia)      3      6      6      4.5
5. John Wall (Washington)      6      4      4      5.0
6. Bradley Beal (Washington)      9      5      4      6.75
7. Isaiah Thomas (Cleveland)      7      9      6      7.25
8. Kyle Lowry (Toronto)      8      7      6      7.25
9. Dwyane Wade (Cleveland)      5      15      6      7.75
10. Eric Bledsoe (Milwaukee)      12      10      6      10.0

 

*–Voted to start
#–Team captain

Western Conference Frontcourt

Player (Team) Fan Rank Player Rank Media Rank Weighted Score
1. *Kevin Durant (Golden State)      1      1      1      1.0
2. *Anthony Davis (New Orleans)      3      2      2      2.5
3. *DeMarcus Cousins (New Orleans)      4      3      4      3.75
4. Draymond Green (Golden State)      2      7      6      4.25
5. Paul George (Oklahoma City)      5      6      7      5.75
6. LaMarcus Aldridge (San Antonio)      8      4      3      5.75
7. Karl-Anthony Towns (Minnesota)      9      5      4      6.75
8. Kawhi Leonard (San Antonio)      6      8      9      7.25
9. Carmelo Anthony (Oklahoma City)      7      9      9      8.0
10. Kyle Kuzma (L.A. Lakers)      10      12      9      10.25

    

Western Conference Guards

Player (Team) Fan Rank Player Rank Media Rank Weighted Score
1. *#Stephen Curry (Golden State)      1      1      2      1.25
2. *James Harden (Houston)      3      2      1      2.25
3. Russell Westbrook (Oklahoma City)      4      3      3      3.5
4. Manu Ginobili (San Antonio)      2      8      7      4.75
5. Klay Thompson (Golden State)      5      9      5      6.0
6. Chris Paul (Houston)      7      7      5      6.5
7. Damian Lillard (Portland)      8      4      7      6.75
8. Jimmy Butler (Minnesota)      9      6      4      7.0
9. Devin Booker (Phoenix)      10      4      7      7.75
10. Lonzo Ball (L.A. Lakers)      6      13      7      8.0

 

*–Voted to start
#–Team captain

Pharrell and N.E.R.D to headline NBA All-Star halftime show

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NEW YORK (AP) — The NBA announced Thursday that 11-time Grammy winner Pharrell and his hip-hop-rock band N.E.R.D will headline the halftime show at the 2018 NBA All-Star game in Los Angeles next month.

Fergie, who has eight Grammys, will sing “The Star-Spangled Banner” prior to tip-off. Canadian rockers Barenaked Ladies will perform the national anthem of their home country.

The Feb. 18 game will air live at 8 p.m. Eastern on TNT from the Staples Center. It will be seen in more than 200 countries.

Pharrell and the band, which released its fifth studio album last month, will perform a medley of chart-topping hits. Fergie released her second full-length album, “Double Dutchess,” and a companion visual album in September. She is a host of the new Fox show “The Four: Battle for Stardom.”

Kevin Hart will open the night.

 

Magic’s Aaron Afflalo suspended two games for swing at Nemanja Bjelica

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This wasn’t two guys yelling into a locker room after a game, this was an actual fight. With an actual haymaker punch being thrown — and missing.

Aaron Afflalo and Nemanja Bjelica had been going back-and-forth all game Tuesday night, then it bubbled over when Jamal Crawford missed a jumper, Bjelica charged right at Afflalo while going for an offensive board, Afflalo blocked him like an offensive lineman, and then it got out of control.

The league announced Thursday that Afflalo has been suspended two games for throwing a haymaker. Both men were ejected from that game, but there is no further punishment for Bjelica (which is fair, Afflalo was the instigator here, Bjelica ended it with a headlock).

Glad to see this suspension was more than one game — if Trevor Ariza and Gerald Green get two games for an incident where there wasn’t a punch thrown, this had to be at least equal to that.