Thursday, June 19, 2014

Best new Hornet uniform is the alternate one

Can the Charlotte Hornets make their alternate uniforms their primary home uniforms?

Unfortunately, they cannot, because those alternate uniforms -- primarily teal in color and on the far right in the picture above -- are the ones that I like the best of the new trio of uniforms the Hornets unveiled Thursday.

The Hornets will wear those teal uniforms 16-20 times a year, they say -- about half of those at home games and half at away games. Of the three, the teal uniforms are the only ones that say "Charlotte" on the chest plate -- the other two both say "Hornets."

None of the three uniforms have the characteristic pinstripes coming down the front of the jersey that the originals had. That is a lost opportunity in my book. I wish the pinstripes had been inserted into at least the alternate uniforms.

On the other hand, I think the lettering is good and the overall look is crisp and uncluttered on all three uniforms.

The Hornets will have three uniforms for 2014-15. Here is a quick look at each and my reaction to each:

1) White home uniforms. The NBA mandates that a light-colored uniform must be an NBA team's home uniform. None of the Hornets' new uniforms are bad by any means, but these to me are the weakest of the three. I just like purple and teal to be the primary color -- that's what says "Hornets" to me.

Also, while the word "Charlotte" is actually on this uniform, it is in very small print and extremely hard to read on the bottom right leg of the shorts. The Hornets' brass say this is a "discoverable" element -- to me, it should have been easier to discover. The purple numbers are cool, though. (Here's another take from the influential "Uni Watch" blog, which believes the home whites are actually the best).

There is colorful striping on the left side of the uniform, which the Hornets are insisting are "pinstripes" in homage to the original design. To me, a pinstripe is thin. These are very thick. These "pinstripes" use purple, teal and light blue like the original Hornets, but they also add a new color in gray.

2) Purple road uniforms. These are the second-best of the new uniforms. The purple is vibrant. This is basically like the home uniform but with a lot more color to it. Like the home uniform, the chest plate says "Hornets" and not "Charlotte" -- Hornets officials said this was in large part due to their research, which said fans wanted the word "Hornets" very prominently displayed since it was so hard to get the old nickname back. Again, the word "Charlotte" is on the bottom right leg of the shorts and you won't ever see it unless you are really, really looking for it.

3) Teal alternate uniforms. These will be worn in about a quarter of the Hornets' games. I wish it was more like 90 percent of them. Talk about a pop -- these uniforms are the ones I predict will sell the most (fans can pre-order all of the new unis, but not until August).

These also have "Charlotte" on the chest plate, and I like that too. The purple numbers on the teal looks a lot like the iconic Alexander Julian design that originally made so many millions for the Hornets (Julian wanted to design these new uniforms for free, but the Hornets instead had a team of designers from Nike do it).

This shade of teal is a bit darker than the original teal, by the way. It looks fantastic.

All in all, it's wonderful to see actual Hornets' uniforms again -- ones that will be worn, not just old uniforms that will only be nostalgically remembered. And while I am nitpicking some here, what will be the most important ultimately is how well the Hornets play in these uniforms.


Anonymous said...

Not too bad, but kinda bland...especially the home uni. I really wish the stinging C-shaped Hornet could have made it on all three unis, instead of just the alternate shorts.

Anonymous said...

Spot on. I've found in sports that most alternate jerseys are better than the typical home/away.

dj said...

I agree, Scott. Pinstriping implies that the stripes are thin. In painting, they are applied with a special brush. In fashion, they are also thin -- the width of a thread. In the Hornets new unis, they are simply stripes. Overall, my opinion of these uniforms are that the colors are nice, but the style is not bold.

Brazen said...

The home and away jerseys will have "Charlotte" across the back (while the alt jersey will be the reverse), so no need to worry about the small print on the shorts.

Both Scott and ESPN's Lukas say that the new teal is darker than the old teal. I find it to the opposite. It looks brighter to me(almost neon) compared to the old unis. Google the images and see for yourself.

Overall, I like them, though I would love to see what they looked like with a little more pinstripe.

Anonymous said...

I am usually very critical of uniforms, but I think these look GREAT.

Scott Fowler said...

Actually, the home and away uniforms will not have "Charlotte" on the back. While "Charlotte" is on the back of the anonymous uniforms the Hornets displayed today, in fact the lettering on the back will be replaced by the player's last name. The word "Charlotte" will only appear on the right front of the shorts.

Michael said...

My only complaint is the numbers on the road and the alternate uniforms. They need to be outlined in white trim. Other than that, I really like them.

Anonymous said...

I really do not have a problem with the new unis. Actually, I really dig them now that I've seen them enough.

It's great to see Michael Jordan pushing the right buttons in Charlotte...

Anonymous said...

Love them. Not like short shorts, pleats and pin stripes are in style. Players are going to look great in these unis.

Brazen said...


Well, that makes too much sense. Didn't think about where they would put the player name. Thanks for the clarification.

James Edgar said...

I was initially opposed to this re-branding, but once it was announced that all the stats and records from 1988-2002 will reside with the current Charlotte franchise, and New Orleans only keeps the records & stats for the years a team has played in New Orleans, I got on board with the re-branding.

I like these uniforms. I wish they had Jullian's pleats. Those made for great jokes. I remember a radio broadcast in the first season when someone got hurt and trainer Terry Koffler rushed out to help the injured player. It was a minor injury, so Gil McGregor decided it was OK to drop in a joke. He said, "I think he tore a pleat." Steve Martin said, "Oh, heaven forbid!"

But these do look good. I agree the teal one is the best.