The Central Division spans across the Midwest and includes the Chicago Bulls, Cleveland Cavaliers, Detroit Pistons, Indiana Pacers, and Milwaukee Bucks. Each city holds its place in American history, and Nike did an excellent job gracefully incorporating historic Rust Belt culture into the division’s special edition gear: City Edition jerseys. Let’s take a closer look at the meaning behind these significant designs.
Stars Out in Chicago
There are two main changes to the Bulls jersey: color and stars. The typical red and black colorway is swapped out for a design that mimics the flag of Chicago. Prominently featured along the side of the jersey are four stars. Nike likely modeled the jerseys after this flag due to its thoughtful and symbolic design. According to the Chicago Tribune, the stars represent the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893, Century of Progress Exposition of 1933-34, and Fort Dearborn. Fans will be able to see rookie sensation Lauri Markkanen donning this rich look during the 2017-18 season.
Defend the Land
LeBron James helped coin Cleveland’s nickname, “The Land,” which makes it even more fitting that he was involved in the design of this jersey. These all-gray jerseys prominently feature “The Land” in place of the team name, with the word “Defend” in the bottom corner of the jersey.
Andre Drummond and the Detroit Pistons will be wearing automotive-inspired jerseys with a navy and steel colorway. These jerseys call upon the city’s history of being the heart of the automotive industry. The Pistons’ ode to car companies is still applicable today, as Michigan remains home to three auto industry giants, Ford, GM, and Chrysler.
Racing Up the Court
Seeing as Indianapolis has been home to the Indy 500 race for over a century, it’s only right to have a checkered stripe through the Pacers jersey. The player number follows this theme by mimicking the number style of a race car.
During the 19th century, cream-colored bricks were discovered and used to build the foundation of much of Milwaukee’s architecture. These Bucks jerseys honor the city’s architectural history by swapping the team’s typical green for cream. Nike included the blue and green stripes across the torso because of Milwaukee’s proximity to water and lush landscapes.
If any of these jerseys evoke a sense of pride, you’re not alone! Join your fellow fans in supporting these thoughtful designs by purchasing authentic City Edition gear from Fanatics.