Given that my lists on the ugliest hockey jerseys and ugliest baseball jerseys are my two most read posts, continuing the series was a no-brainer. Coinciding it with the end of the NBA Finals is decent timing on my part, but the truth is, I started working on this list months ago and gave up. The history of the NBA simply doesn’t get much attention, so the resources for finding some of these ugly jerseys was getting too difficult. It’s a league very much focused on the now, paying little attention to anything that happened before Magic and Larry, other than the obligatory nod to Dr. J, Russell’s Celtics, and Wilt. But I persevered, using the knowledge that people everywhere will click over to this blog, get pissed because I’m insulting their favourite team, and then never visit again.
To tell the truth, I could easily do ten butt-ugly jerseys from the mid-to-late 90s alone, and it would look pretty convincing. A basketball jersey should be a simple thing: choose a two-colour scheme (with maybe a third shade for accents), put a word mark across the chest, number on the stomach, number on the back, done. Sure, you could mess it up by choosing ugly colours, but more often (and especially throughout the mid-to-late 90s) what makes an ugly jersey is messing with this formula. There’s not a lot of real estate on a basketball jersey, so when teams try to push the limits, the results are usually gaudy monstrosities.
One note: given that there’s some repeat offenders, I’ve limited this list to one jersey per team. That way this whole list wouldn’t be all Detroit, Philadelphia, and Cleveland. Also, given the spotty info available out there on NBA history, some of my dates might be wrong. Feel free to point them out, just try not to think of me as stupid for making them (instead, rely on my opinions and prose to make your judgements on my intelligence).