Five new 2021-22 season NBA jerseys leaked this morning to Twitter (thanks to user @skunwong32) giving us a glimpse at some of next year’s all new City Edition designs. Those five jerseys belong to the Atlanta Hawks, Brooklyn Nets, Chicago Bulls, Los Angeles Lakers, and Miami Heat and they’ve all been confirmed as legit to me by reliable sources.
With the league celebrating its 75th anniversary next year, it’s no surprise that many of the leaked designs are throwback-inspired. What’s kind of a surprise is that those which go the throwback route do so by combining several retro designs into one uniform.
The Atlanta Hawks top is very reminiscent of their late 1990s design which featured a large red hawk across the front of the jersey, the uniform is yellow much like their 2004 alternate jersey and the “ATLANTA” wordmark across the chest takes us all the way back to 1971.
In Brooklyn, the Nets uniform reminds us of a trio of older New Jersey Nets designs, with a single red stripe down just one side of the jersey (like in the 80s), the updated 1990s wordmark, and in the early 2000s colours.
The Lakers are a tough one to read due to the lowered resolution of these graphics. It’s a purple jersey with light blue trim, and… stars? on either side of the numbers. Again, the colours alone here are a combo of the early ’60s Lakers with the last-sixty-years Lakers.
Miami is a bit of an oddball here, it’s hard to see at this low resolution but the design looks like what we’d call a “Ransom note” style wordmark (each letter cut out of a magazine, like a kidnapper would use in a ransom note), and the numbers in both orange and pink. Our eagle-eyed NCAA reporter Andrew Lind notes that each letter of this jersey appears to be cut from the wordmark of another Miami Heat uniform:
Overall these five give us a promising look at what could be coming our way for the NBA’s 75th anniversary, here’s hoping more teams opt to go the modified throwback route in recognition of the milestone season. I suppose you could call it the NBA’s version of the NHL’s Reverse Retro program, but I’m not sure Nike would like that too much… or Adidas.