September 30, 2008. That’s the day Oklahoma City unveiled their jerseys to the world. We all remember the press conference. There were a lot of negative opinions on the jersey. To be honest, I cannot remember if I loved or hated them. One thing is for sure, people did not like them.
Take Uni-Watch.com. They were quite negative of the jerseys. They said
The long-awaited Oklahoma City Thunder uniforms were finally unveiled yesterzzzzzzzzzzzzzz….
Okay, so I pulled that same joke when the Rays’ uniforms were unveiled, but c’mon — these things are so generic, they might as well just have “Basketball Team” printed on the front and then they could have a cameo scene in Repo Man. It’s not like they’re ugly, mind you. Au contraire, the colors are reasonably pleasing, the road jersey typographywould look pretty cool on a 1960s NCAA team, and the whole package is admirably gewgaw-free. But for an NBA team rebranding itself? It’s tempting to call it a joke, except jokes are funny. This is just sad.
The most inexplicable part is the heavy use of sky blue, which is called “sky blue” because it refers to, y’know, the sky. Which you see on a clear day. When there’s no thunder. I mean, seriously, it doesn’t take a meteorology degree to figure out that there’s some sort of disconnect going on here.
Now, we’re five years later. Oklahoma City is fresh off a Western Conference Championship, and an appearance in the NBA Finals. My how the times have changed. Uni-Watch just released their rankings of all major league sports uniforms in the North American sports. Oklahoma City came ranked at #37 overall and seventh in the ENTIRE NBA!
Here is what they’re saying
#37 overall and #7 in the NBA: Very underrated. The home design is particularly strong — one of the best in the league — in large part because of the orange and gold trim, which really pops. The road design would probably be stronger if they put “City” below the uni number instead of stacking the two words, but it still works. Sort of amazing that they haven’t come out with an “OKC” alternate yet, but that’s presumably right around the corner.
Funny how winning has changed the perception of our jerseys. I’m sure our logo has received the same reception across the league. When you win everyone loves you, when you lose, you’re the goat (no offense real goats). In a few years, if Oklahoma City can continue to win and release a solid alternate uniform, they may rank right up there with the likes of the Celtics, Yankees and Montreal Canadians. Only time will tell though.