In 2017, Nike unveiled City Edition jerseys for every NBA team, and these jerseys celebrate the franchise’s history and connect the cities with these storied franchises. These uniforms typically change every year, and for the 2021-22 season, they highlight the NBA’s 75th anniversary.
What Are City Jerseys?
After Adidas’ contract with the NBA ended in 2017, Nike signed an eight-year licensing deal to produce the NBA’s jerseys. While Nike previously produced jerseys for the NBA, the company wanted to make more of an impact this time around. In 2017, Nike and the NBA announced a new uniform concept called the City Edition. The goal of this creation was to give new life to the jerseys and allow every design to form a connection with its respective city.
The City Edition jerseys often change annually, and Nike typically introduces these jerseys during the earlier part of the season, in November or December. Teams can decide to wear these jerseys based on their schedule, and they’re not designated as specifically home or road jerseys. These jerseys are also only available in one color.
2021-22 City Edition Jerseys for Each NBA Team
All 30 NBA teams released the 2021-22 City Edition jerseys on November 1, 2021. While two teams kept the same design as the previous season, all teams made their announcement that day. Every uniform is a mashup of several uniforms worn throughout a team’s franchise history to recognize the league’s 75th anniversary.
The Hawks went with a yellow uniform just like the team did from 2004 to 2007. The “ATLANTA” wordmark across the middle of the jersey dates back to 1970. The main feature of the jersey is a red hawk with its wings spread, which was used in the late 1990s.
As one of the original NBA franchises, the Celtics selected green jerseys that feature the “CELTICS” wordmark arched across the front along with a drop shadow, similar to what the team wore during the 1949-50 season. The shorts have a gray triangle design with a green shamrock inside, which is close to what they wore from 1946 to 1948.
The design of the Brooklyn Nets City jerseys comes from its time as both a New York and a New Jersey team. The “NETS” wordmark across the chest was on the jersey used from 1990 to 1997, while the team’s main logo that was used from 1997 to 2012 sits on the waistband.
Teal is the highlight for the Hornets City jerseys, but blue, green, and purple pinstripes run down the front of them just like the inaugural ones. The number font is the same one used on the team’s current jerseys.
The Bulls incorporated their six NBA championships over eight seasons into their uniforms by listing the years on the lower right of the jersey. The “Chicago” wordmark dates back to 1973, and the numbers include a drop shadow from the team’s first season in 1966.
Paying homage to the earlier teams, the Cavaliers chose wine and gold for the uniform colors, which is different than the gray color used on the Land jerseys in 2017. The alternating striping around the collar and sleeves dates back to 1974, while the team’s primary logo from the 1970-83 season is on the center of the chest.
Returning to the original color scheme of blue and green from the 1980s, the Mavericks’ City jerseys also have a modified logo on the chest from the same time frame. This logo features a cowboy hat, which marks the first time this emblem has graced a Mavericks’ jersey.
Across the chest, the Nuggets’ City jersey has the “Denver” wordmark from the 1977-82 jerseys. Player numbers come from the 1993-2003 seasons, while the colorful rainbow Tetris-diamond shapes on the side of the jersey harken back to the ABA days of 1975.
While the bright red jerseys might not seem subtle, the rest of the Pistons City jersey is. The “DETROIT” wordmark is arched across the front and used in the same font as those used from 1981 to 1996. The shorts include lightning bolts from the uniforms of 1978-81.
Golden State Warriors
The Warriors went with a black base and the Bay Bridge surrounded by a pattern of the Oakland Arena, which is the team’s longtime arena. Down each side of the jersey is a lightning bolt, which was on the uniforms from 1997 to 2001.
The Rockets opted for a blue base and white pinstripes for the City uniforms, which is what the team wore from 1995 to 2003. The “Houston” wordmark comes from the 1982-85 team, while the rocket ship panels are from the 2003-19 jerseys.
For their jersey, the Pacers combined the late 1980s with the early 1990s jerseys. Across the chest is the “PACERS” wordmark from the 1985-90 uniforms, with the striping found on the jerseys is from the 1990-97 uniforms.
Los Angeles Clippers
The Clippers paid tribute to all three cities that have served as the team’s home location. The baby blue base comes from its time in Buffalo, the font comes from the San Diego jerseys, and the scripted “Clippers” wordmark comes from its L.A. jerseys.
Los Angeles Lakers
When the Lakers played in Minnesota and for a few seasons in California, the team wore purple uniforms, so the City Edition jerseys are in purple. The “Lakers” wordmark is slightly tilted, which the team also used from 1967 to 1986.
Featuring a midnight blue and yellow, the Grizzlies’ uniforms have a stylized “MEMPHIS” arched wordmark used from 2004 to 2018. It used a recolored version of the bear on the left leg of the shorts.
The Heat took the task literally when they incorporated different letters from several Heat uniforms over the years. A thin gold stripe runs around the entire uniform, a nod to the security rope used during the 2013 championship.
Featuring green and blue from the team’s current uniforms, the Bucks’ City Edition uniforms have side panel blocking that comes from 2001 and numbers from its championship season in 2021. Rainbow striping on the shorts comes from the 1971 season.
The Timberwolves went back to their original color scheme of 1986 with royal blue and green. The “WOLVES” wordmark and series of evergreen trees on the waistband both come from the 1996-2008 uniforms.
New Orleans Pelicans
The Pelicans decided to stick with their City Edition uniforms from the previous season. Across the chest is “NOLA” in blue with gold trim.
New York Knicks
Although the Knicks never donned black uniforms, they do for the City Edition ones. The arched “NEW YORK” wordmark comes from the 1995-2001 season, and the logo of Madison Square Garden is on the shorts.
Oklahoma City Thunder
Atop a white base, the Thunder City uniforms feature vertical lettering from the team’s first alternate uniforms worn from 2012 to 2016. The font used for the “OKC” wordmark comes from the 2017-19 uniforms.
With a nod to the Florida orange industry, the Magic’s uniforms include the “Magic” wordmark from the 1989-98 uniforms. Pinstripes are also found on the jersey and shorts.
The 76ers called the Spectrum home for three decades, so the jersey’s sides have red, blue, and green squares to resemble the Spectrum’s logo. Its wordmark comes from the uniforms from the 1971-76 seasons.
The Suns decided to stick with their 2021 City Edition uniforms for another season. It kept the jerseys that had “The Valley” on the front along with a desert sunrise.
Portland Trail Blazers
During the 2019-20 season, the Trail Blazers wore jerseys that had the “Rip City” wordmark, so the team used that phrase again. The black uniform also has a plaid pattern on the shorts to pay tribute to the plaid suits worn by former head coach Dr. Jack Ramsay.
The Kings are relying on their 1994-2002 uniforms, borrowing the “Sactown” wordmark from the 1970s. The shorts have the same template as found in the 1990s but have the most recent alternate logo on the shorts.
San Antonio Spurs
The color palette for the Spurs dates back to the 1990s when the team used teal, orange, and pink. The “SPURS” wordmark is the current one that’s been used by the team since 1997.
The Raptors’ popular black jerseys with gold trim return as does the gigantic dinosaur logo scrawled across the chest, although it’s now facing the other direction. The “Toronto” wordmark from the 2019-20 season returns, which was the year the team won the NBA Championship.
The Jazz kept their City Edition jerseys from the previous year, which wasn’t that much of a surprise because the team wore the other City Edition jerseys from 2017 to 2020. The one the team stuck with has a red rock theme, starting with a light yellowish color at the top and progressing to black.
The classic Washington Bullets uniforms from the 1960s are incorporated in these jerseys, but this time they have thick red stripes on a blue base across the chest. It kept the “Washington” wordmark used since 2011, while the player numbers are those used after the name change in 1997.
If you’re looking to pick up a City Edition jersey from your favorite NBA team, check out Fanatics. You’ll find jerseys from all 30 teams as well as plenty of other sports collectibles and memorabilia, so pick up a few pieces today.