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Learn the local inspiration behind each of NIKE's NBA City Edition Uniforms

The designs aren’t just dope. The stories behind them are, too.

Nike officially unveiled the majority of their NBA City Edition uniforms on Wednesday, and while you might appreciate them for their fire (or not-so-fire) designs and color schemes, many of the uniforms pay homage to a special moment in hometown history.

We’ve given you a quick backstory on each uniform below:

Atlanta Hawks

All that really needs to be said about these is that Jeezy was the one to debut them and they say “True to Atlanta” at the bottom, which all seems wildly appropriate.

via Nike.com

Boston Celtics

Two words: parquet floor. Do I need to mention the 17 Championships and that the waistband has the 2008 banner on it?

Brooklyn Nets

Look close, that’s the Brooklyn Bridge on that jersey.

Charlotte Hornets

The Hornets put “Buzz City” across the chest as a nod to the fans of the team. You can also see stingers on the sides of the words if you look close. And the sides? That is supposed to resemble a hornet’s nest.

via Nike.com

Chicago Bulls

These are a representation of the Chicago city flag, which is probably the best flag there is. It even says “Sweet Home” above the tag, a nod to the song made famous by the Blues Brothers.

Cleveland Cavaliers

The Cavs lean into “The Land,” which is Cleveland's nickname. You can also find an outline of the state of Ohio on the waistband.

Dallas Mavericks

The neon green outlining of the blue DAL lettering on the Mavs’ City jersey is a nod to the Bank of America building in Dallas that has a similar color scheme.

via Nike.com

Detroit Pistons

The “Motor City” reference here is pretty obvious since Detroit is in fact, the Motor City.

via Nike.com

Denver Nuggets

Denver is known as the Mile-High City because of its altitude. That elevation is highlighted in the City Edition jersey, including the shorts with the numbers 5,280 — the number of feet above sea level the city is.

via Nike.com

Golden State Warriors

Golden State’s City Edition jersey pays homage to the Chinese culture in the Bay Area, mainly due to the fact that team’s relocation to the area coincided with the birth of San Francisco’s Chinatown

Houston Rockets

The Rockets’ City jerseys have yet to be officially unveiled, but it is believed to be a tribute to Chinese New Year as Houston did in years past.

Indiana Pacers

The Pacers added a checkerboard stripe down their jersey to pay homage to their name, the Pacers. The player number also is reminiscent of numbers on classic race cars from, you know, the ... Indy 500.

Los Angeles Clippers

The Clippers’ color scheme pays homage to San Diego, where the team used to play before relocating to Los Angeles 40 years ago.

via Nike.com

Los Angeles Lakers

The Lakers’ City Edition jerseys will pay homage to franchise legends, starting with a Black Mamba print for Kobe Bryant, whose jersey was retired this season.

via Nike.com

Memphis Grizzlies

The “Memphis” word mark is directly influenced by the “I Am A Man” signs used in Memphis during the 1968 sanitation strike and protest. For this reason, the jerseys have been named the MLK50 City Edition jerseys in remembrance of the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination.

via Nike.com

Miami Heat

The Heat don’t officially unveil their jerseys until January, but the ties to Miami Vice are hard to ignore.

Milwaukee Bucks

The “Cream City” jerseys from the Bucks are in tribute to the clay found in Menomonee River Valley, which is the staple for most architecture in the Milwaukee area.

Minnesota Timberwolves

The Timberwolves’ gray jersey serves a dual purpose, paying homage to the wintry characteristics of Minnesota while also highlighting “the guard hairs of the wolf during the frozen season.”

via Nike.com

New Orleans

The lively purple, green, and yellow color scheme of the Pelicans’ new City jerseys reflect the life of New Orleans during Mardi Gras with bold colors that represent “power, faith and justice.” The numbers are also dancing on the jersey.

via Nike.com

New York Knicks

A clear and pretty great reference to the New York Fire Department.

Oklahoma City Thunder

OKC’s City Edition jersey is a tribute to the Thunder’s playing style: fast, bold, and dynamic. The orange and blue stripes around the jersey are to to represent the coming of a storm. OKC is in Tornado Alley after all.

via Nike.com

Orlando Magic

Straight from the Magic website: “The Magic’s City Edition uniform celebrates the magic that exists in our solar system and beyond.”

via Nike.com

Philadelphia 76ers

The color is based on parchment paper and a reminder of the Declaration of Independence, which was signed in Philadelphia. Incredible.

Phoenix Suns

Phoenix’s uniform reads “Los Suns” across the chest and “Somos PHX” right above the waist. The City edition jersey pays tribute to the city’s Hispanic heritage.

via Nike.com

Portland Trail Blazers

The Trail Blazers’ City Edition Uniform has a plaid pattern that pays tribute to former Trail Blazers head coach Jack Ramsay’s wardrobe. The term Rip City is a reflection of Portland’s community and a phrase fans have long used with the team.

via Nike.com

San Antonio Spurs

The city nickname for San Antonio is Military USA, so this fits perfectly. The Spurs’ camouflage print honors the servicemen and servicewomen of the U.S. Army, paying special tribute to the U.S. Army Combat Uniform.

via Nike.com

Sacramento Kings

Sacramento’s baby blue City Edition jerseys are a nod to the past. It is the first time the Kings’ secondary logo — the lion — has been featured on a jersey.

Toronto Raptors

These have not been officially released yet, but it’s pretty clear the black and gold is all about Drake and his love for the city of Toronto.

Utah Jazz

You’ll find the red-orange-yellow color scheme of the Jazz City Edition uniform just by driving through Utah’s red rock formations and canyons.

Washington Wizards

These may seem tame at first, but there is a marble pattern on the side that is in the shape of the Washington Monument. The numbers are also meant to reflect the look of all the iconic Washington, D.C. monuments.

via Nike.com

We will update this list as more City Edition uniforms are unveiled.


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