NBA’s 75th anniversary City Edition jerseys celebrate each franchise’s history — The Undefeated

As the NBA celebrates its 75th anniversary season, teams across the league will be debuting new uniforms beginning on Christmas Day that will look to blend design details and elements of their franchise histories into one unified look and new expression.

After Nike’s eight-year, $1 billion partnership with the NBA began in 2017, the design and marketing teams based in Beaverton, Oregon, and Secaucus, New Jersey, looked ahead to the 2021-22 season as a landmark year for the association.

“We went to Nike in August of 2019,” said Christopher Arena, the NBA’s vice president of outfitting, identity and equipment, “and said, ‘Hey, we’ve got the 75th anniversary season [coming up], how are we going to celebrate it?’ ”

For the 1996-97 regular season, the league’s 50th anniversary year and last major milestone season to receive this much planning, a select group of original franchises wore Hardwood Classics uniforms that honored a storied chapter in each team’s history.

Occurring before the dawn of the throwback jersey era at the turn of the century, the celebration was short-lived, with the past looks worn on just a few occasions. The gold-outlined NBA logo affixed on jerseys and shorts for all of the then-29 teams became the memorable detail incorporated for the golden anniversary.

This time around, according to Arena, Nike came back to the league with a simple insight and starting point: “Remember the mixtape you would make? Let’s just do that – take all of these different eras and put them together.”

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