Announced in June 2015, Nike’s partnership with the NBA begins with the 2017-18 season. Today, and prior to a major launch in early fall, Nike and the NBA release details of four new primary uniforms and give a first glimpse of the league champion's Association jersey.
Informed by more than 25 years of research on all levels of basketball and insight from current NBA players, the uniform is built on a refined version of the Nike Aeroswift basketball chassis.
Nike tuned the uniform design to the rigors of the league's increasingly intense 82-game season by employing 3D-body maps of players, including heat and sweat maps. This research led Nike’s designers to make significant changes to the weight, fit and construction of the uniforms — paying special attention to enabling agility.
NBA players, including members of last summer’s gold medal-winning USA Basketball team, tested early versions of the uniforms and provided specific feedback that prompted Nike to further evolve the designs in ways that included moving the armhole, neck and side seams to eliminate distractions for athletes.
“The mental advantage of a quality uniform is priceless,” says Kyrie Irving. “The fact that Nike listened to all of our feedback while developing the new NBA uniforms speaks volumes. I’m excited for the new fit and feel.”
The most significant change comes to the back shoulder of the uniform where Nike designers altered the construction for a vastly improved fit. Additionally, the hemlines on the bottom of both the jersey and shorts were modified to allow for full range of motion.
“When you look and feel good, you play good,” says Draymond Green. “I welcome any competitive advantage on the court and the new Nike NBA uniforms deliver on the feedback that we've provided."
The uniform is comprised of a combination of Alpha Yarns and recycled polyester (each athlete uniform represents approximately 20 recycled PET bottles). Not only does this yarn blend match Nike’s broad commitment to sustainability, it also removes moisture more quickly than previous NBA uniforms, wicking sweat 30-percent faster than current NBA uniforms.
A NEW NAMING CONVENTION FOR NBA UNIFORMS
Coinciding with the introduction of the new uniforms, the NBA is eliminating its “Home” and “Road” uniform designations. Beginning with the 2017-18 season, home teams will pick which of their uniforms will be worn at all home games and visiting teams will choose a contrasting uniform within their own assortment.
Because of this change, Nike and the NBA worked together to create four core uniforms for each team, classified as “editions,” which draw from the rich heritage of the NBA and its respective franchises.
The first two editions of the NBA uniforms, which will be introduced by teams this summer and will make their on-court debut at the start of the season, are the Association and Icon editions. The two remaining core uniforms, inspired by the mindset of the NBA athlete and the communities that support their teams through thick and thin, respectively, will be revealed in the coming months.
The Association Edition, the traditional home white uniform that all 30 teams will have in their assortment, links them as members of the most exclusive basketball club in the world. It represents an achievement that most athletes have worked their entire lives to reach.
The Icon Edition, previously known as the road uniform, represents the rich heritage and iconic identity that exists within each franchise. This edition utilizes the team’s primary color, a color that dominates the closets of the most diehard fans.
Also this season, eight NBA teams will have a Classic Edition uniform that will be available in the fall. The Classic Edition celebrates some of the most iconic uniforms in league history and can be worn at each team’s discretion.
Complementing the new uniform editions, Nike will also unveil a new on-court collection, including tights and socks, that provide a seamless look for the greatest athletes in the world when they play on the game’s biggest stages.