Welcome to Cloth Talk! An ode to the phrase coined by DJ Khaled, NBA.com's Gilbert McGregor and Kyle Irving delve into all things style in the NBA. From uniform reveals to sneaker choices and everything in between, the two experts give their takes and provide clarity on concepts that are impossible to ignore.
If you missed the first editions, catch up on the teams with new uniforms this season and a rundown of the Classic Edition uniforms that will be worn this season.
Gilbert McGregor (@GMcGregor21): So we've already covered teams with completely new uniform sets as well as the teams that are throwing it back this upcoming season, but have you been able to keep up with the teams that have revealed new City Editions for the upcoming season? It's pretty much everyone.
Kyle Irving (@KyleIrv_): I have, I have. There's a lot of awesome ones, some that are solid and some that are ... how did they even get past a board of people to the point that they were actually created to be worn on an NBA court?
McGregor: Hahaha, yeah, there is a wiiiide range of styles. I guess that's what makes the whole concept of the City Edition so cool, right? I actually like those tiers. I feel like with these, we can develop a little ranking system, too:
- Awesome: Unique connection with the team's market, a mass appeal with those on the outside AND they look great.
- Solid: Two of the above components, but not all three.
- And the third tier is … self-explanatory.
Is that fair?
Irving: More than fair. Let's do it.
MORE: Teams reveal new looks for the 2020-21 NBA season
McGregor: I'm with it. Let's get straight to it.
Given the fact that we've seen 29 of a possible 30 uniforms, we might as well not waste any time and focus on the Awesome. Seeing how a definitive ranking of all 29 would probably get lengthy rather quickly, I'm interested to see your top five.
Wondering how many similarities - and differences - our lists might have.
Irving: At No. 5, even though they're super plain and a throwback to an older jersey, I love the Lakers City jerseys this year. The plain white with the lighter blue is going to look clean on LeBron. It's an ode to the Minneapolis Lakers, but it also gives me World Series champion-Los Angeles Dodgers vibes. It's a good look.
Dual by Nature- Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) December 4, 2020
Introducing the 1960 Original & the 2020 Remix 🔥🔥 pic.twitter.com/MWE9Qc1D6S
McGregor: Welp. Didn't take long for us to have a difference. Those are clean, I love that the Lakers have been honouring past legends with their City Editions. First, it was Kobe with the Black Mamba uniforms, then Magic with the purple pinstripes and Shaq last year. You mentioned Minneapolis and this modernized classic is the perfect ode to Elgin Baylor.
Now, I say all that to say that those do fall into the Awesome category, however, they just missed my top five … I went with the Hawks' MLK tribute uniforms for the fifth spot. They also remind me of a baseball team - the old school Milwaukee Brewers with the font - but it's a clean take on a unique connection between the city of Atlanta and one of the most impactful figures ever.
We can't stop looking at our new MLK City Edition unis 🔥 pic.twitter.com/1r3E5tRHen- Atlanta Hawks (@ATLHawks) October 5, 2020
The stained-glass effect on the Hawks logo on the special edition court adds a little extra, too.
Take another look at what makes our MLK City Edition court special 🤩#EarnTheseLetters x @Chase pic.twitter.com/m97dObNKaZ- Atlanta Hawks (@ATLHawks) December 1, 2020
Irving: It's funny you say that because I was between the Hawks' MLK jerseys and these Lakers jerseys for No. 5. I went Lakers strictly because the silver numbers outlined by that light blue is **chef's kiss**
At No. 4, and this might be a very unpopular opinion but I'm owning it ... I love the Hornets City jerseys this year. I remember when you first sent me the link of the leaked stock image and I thought they were the ugliest things I've ever seen.
I've done a complete 180 since seeing the jersey reveal in this picture of Devonte' Graham.
The Hornets unveiled new a City Edition uniform today to be worn- Marc J. Spears (@MarcJSpears) November 11, 2020
next season. The uniform, which celebrates Charlotte's history as home of the first U.S. Branch Mint and the Carolina
Gold Rush of the early 1800s, is mint with gold and granite accents. Granite is the state rock. pic.twitter.com/6nRJR23gsy
And the court to go with it makes them even better.
Uniforms that fresh need a matching court. 🔥- Charlotte Hornets (@hornets) November 13, 2020
Presented by @lendingtree
McGregor: In that case, I'm glad you went with the Lakers at five, we've already got plenty of variety to start, especially with you going with the Hornets next, cause, well … you'll see soon enough.
I gotta agree with you, though. The flat stock imagery did nothing for that mint colour, which is honestly set off perfectly by the granite and gold pinstripes. It's also funny that we've each mentioned courts as a contributing factor - I should've added that to the criteria! In this case, a mint and gold uniform wouldn't even have looked right on a teal and purple court, so I'm with it.
And given the familiarity both you and I have with Uptown Charlotte, the "Trade & Tryon" text on the sideline is a nice "if you know you know" ode to the city. And for those of you that don't know, those are the names of the main two intersecting streets in the heart of Charlotte.
Irving: To be honest with you, I didn't even know they had "Trade" and "Tryon" on the sideline of the City Edition court until I linked that tweet. It made me even more confident in my overall decision to put them at No. 4.
As you said, a great "if you know, you know" tribute.
MORE: Raptors unveil new City Edition uniforms for 2020-21
McGregor: It's the little things.
That being said, I'll go back-to-back with my next reveals, since, actually, I had the Hornets set at No. 3! So, you were preaching to the choir about doing a 180. As someone born in Charlotte, I might have lost my card if those didn't make my top five and I'm loving these, even though the "Buzz City" moniker has yet to grow on me. So imagine how much I have to be into these jerseys to look past that.
Now, to jump right back out of order, I'll add that I went with the San Antonio Spurs Fiesta at No. 4.
SQUAD! @HEB | #SpursFiesta pic.twitter.com/R7Ulz4c0g8- San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) November 20, 2020
For me, these falling at fourth just shows how strongly I feel about some of these uniforms. I remember when I was young, being very confused at why the Spurs uniforms didn't feature the colours in their actual logo or the court itself. Now, if only for a few games this year, that problem has now been solved in the eyes of my seven-year-old self.
And, of course, there's a court to put it over the top.
Irving: Spoiler alert: I have the Spurs on my list too, but it's higher than No. 4. Let's not get ahead of ourselves, though.
At No. 3, I have the Memphis Grizzlies, who, to take things a step further, I honestly think they should just switch to this jersey - the side pattern, the font, everything - as their full-time uniforms.
shut your mouth 😎🙅♂️ pic.twitter.com/ooMHkZu4dq- Memphis Grizzlies (@memgrizz) November 24, 2020
Irving: These jerseys may have taken a hit because of the circumstances, and if not for those circumstances they may have come in at No. 1...
I'm going with the Phoenix Suns. It's too bad they did this entire roll out - the freshest jersey roll out I've ever seen - with Kelly Oubre Jr. just days before trading him to the Golden State Warriors, but nonetheless, these jerseys are incredible.
We support The Valley.- Phoenix Suns (@Suns) November 12, 2020
We play for The Valley.
Now, we are reppin' 𝗧𝗵𝗲 𝗩𝗮𝗹𝗹𝗲𝘆.
City Edition 2020-21: https://t.co/t1l2nEvmiF#WeAreTheValley pic.twitter.com/2BeZ720Dag
One time for Kelly Oubre, he really fostered that culture up there and although he's now in Golden State (which is, ironically where that GIF takes place), I gotta give him his credit for the impact.
The GIF is also my reaction to you and I both having Phoenix at No. 2. At one point, I didn't think we'd have any uniforms at the same slot but here we are.
It's a perfect year for the Suns to have such a clean look. With Chris Paul and Devin Booker in the backcourt and a much-improved roster all around, I wouldn't mind seeing these Valley unis once Phoenix takes the floor to end a postseason drought, which I get the feeling is gonna happen this season.
The digi camo, the fact that she shorts read "Suns," either way you look at it, the rollout, the "Valley" wordmark.
Those are hard to beat, although I now know who went No. 1 for you, as you now should know for me, too.
Irving: Yup, you got it. I love the Spurs City jerseys this year. They were one of the first ones that leaked and I had a feeling they'd stay near the top of my list and they've done just that.
Nostalgia now included. #SpursFiesta pic.twitter.com/t2LyxRHXT1- San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) November 13, 2020
The colour combination is crisp. The font - with the little spur above the "i" in San Antonio - is perfect. They're a masterpiece. Spurs fans have waited a long time to see the "Fiesta" colours appear in the team's uniforms and it must feel like it was worth the wait.
McGregor: I've obviously said it before but I'll say it again: Those are cold.
After San Antonio saw its postseason streak come to an end last year, I think a look like this is the perfect way to kinda move into a new era. I understand why it wouldn't be a full-time look, but I like the splash of colour for a team that's shifting away from its identity of years past to focus on a youth movement.
If nothing else, I hope San Antonio goes to a route similar to the Miami Heat with the Vice theme and introduces different Fiesta looks annually.
Irving: Now that's an idea I can get behind.
McGregor: With that in mind, for No. 1 … it's not a surprise at this point, but I'm going with the set that you said could be a full-time look.
In my eyes, Memphis knocked it out of the park. Starting with the video it used to reveal the uniforms.
I'm obviously too young, but through my pops, I began recognizing the "Theme from Shaft" at an early age. It doesn't get any more Memphis than Isaac Hayes, man. A perfect ode to a legend, with the uniform designed to mimic the texture of a record, the jersey font matching that of the Stax record label, the colourway matching his car, the kente cloth pattern and the hidden sunglasses logo in the shorts.
A+. 10 out of 10. It's all in the details. They crushed it. I can't wait to see them in action.
Irving: That's the best part of these "City Edition" jerseys. They all represent things that are so relevant to each city whether outsiders recognize it or not. It's a great idea on Nike's end to pay ode to these places and gives people new uniforms to get excited about and talk about, as we're doing right now.
McGregor: Absolutely, now all that's left is to see them on the court, and I'm sure we'll have even more to say about how they look once we see them under the bright arena lights.
The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA or its clubs.