The NBA will be celebrating its 75th anniversary this upcoming 2021-22 season. To celebrate, Nike will be releasing new Classic Edition uniforms that recognize three franchises that were part of the league since its formation in 1949: the Boston Celtics, the New York Knicks (originally called the Knickerbockers), and the Golden State Warriors (originating in Philly as the Philadelphia Warriors).
“Retro uniforms are nothing new in basketball. What is new is how the Nike NBA Classic Edition uniforms intersect with such a pivotal moment in the league’s history,” says Elesban Montoya, Design Director for Nike Basketball uniforms. “A big reason for the merger’s success was the fan support. So this is our spin on historic uniforms, but it’s also an emblem of respect for the fans who rallied for their teams and showed up for the league over the years.”
All three uniforms are badged with the classic Nike Sportswear Futura logo, making it the first time the mark is prominently featured on an NBA jersey. The Knicks uniform features the authentic NY typeface and larger-scale numbers found on the original 1946 uniforms. The original Knicks jersey also had belt buckles around the waist, so Nike added loops to the waistband to give a similar aesthetic.
The Warriors Classic Edition jersey pays homage to both the original Philly team and its current home in the Bay Area. Like the original jerseys, the Classic Edition jersey feautres blue, yellow, and white with striping on the waist and a drop shadow on the numbers. Scarlet red was added to the palette, a color synonymous with San Francisco.
The clover graphics on the Celtics Classic Edition uniform are pulled from the 1946 uniform, as is the set’s shimmering finish. Back then, players wore tight-fitting, short-sleeved shirts, and the Celtics jersey had green shoulder-blocking. This is nodded to in the Classic Edition within the modern tank. Above the jock tag is a quote from legendary Celtics coach Red Auerbach: “The Boston Celtics are not a basketball team, they’re a way of life.”