Earlier this season the NBA announced that in conjunction with honoring the 45th Anniversary of the ABA, several current NBA teams would sport throwback ABA jerseys during live NBA action.
The movement to the earlier threads surely brought a spike in old ABA jersey sales for their respective teams but many were severely lacking in style, especially those multi-colored horrific Miami Floridian and Memphis Tams uniforms. What exactly is a Tam anyways?
A few others, like those worn by Indiana, Denver, and New York back in the day proved to be actual improvements over their current uniforms. Seeing Deron Williams of the Nets in New York blue surely must have looked good to future Brooklyn Nets fans as the team moves across the Hudson River next season.
Check out the 9 Best NBA Retro Jerseys of 2012:
I don’t exactly know why Heat management chose to swag up the Heat roster with 70’s afro wigs and uniforms that looked like they were made for Jackie Moon in the movie Semi-Pro, but they must have gotten some of their multi-colored jersey ideas from their cross-town baseball team, the Miami Marlins, who also recently went the multi-colored, neon/glow-in-the-dark route for this season.
Even though the Memphis franchise was only called the Tams for 3 seasons from 1972 to 1975, the Grizzlies chose to wear those horrific green shorts with non-matching yellow jerseys for 5 games against the Clippers, Jazz, Nets, Warriors, Mavs, and Raptors. The reason for the rather unsightly mismatch in colors is that because the original Memphis Sounds franchise was purchased back in 1972 by the same owner that had the rights to the Oakland A’s, who wear,……….you guessed it, yellow and green. Although the Tams back in the day averaged barely over 2,000 fans per game, they did have legendary NCAA coach Adolph Rupp as Team President.
While the original ABA team from North Carolina was called the Cougars and featured former ABA stars and future NBA Hall of Famers Billy Cunningham and Larry Brown, the current Bobcats are straight stinking up the court behind a league worst record, and are trying desperately not to break the Sixers oangtime mark for futility. The red, white, and Carolina blue were a nice touch, but the uni’s were much too plain and reminded many of their local high school team. Maybe some of those HS squads could have beaten MJ’s dreadful Bobcats?
Once the headquarters of the old ABA, Minneapolis was thought to have a bright future in pro basketball, but the Muskies lasted only one season in the league(’67-’68) as the team was promptly moved to Miami to become the Floridians. The move forced the team to sell the rights to their star player Mel Daniels, one of the ABA’s most celebrated players, to the rival Pacers to pay off an estimated more than $400,000 in debt. After trading away former franchise player Kevin Garnett more than 4 seasons ago, the Timberwolves franchise has had one of the most deadful stretches in NBA history, but this time the team was able to hold on to their star player Kevin Love for the foreseeable future. As for the Muskies jerseys, the originals featured a bit more blue and yellow than the modern version, which was mostly plain with a yellow “Muskies” across the chest and blue numbers. I guess the full term “Muskellunge” wouldn’t fit on the jersey…..
After just one season playing in Anaheim and called the Amigos, the franchise was relocated to the bright lights and big city feel of Los Angeles for two non-descript losing seasons from ’68-’70, as the team officially took on the Stars moniker. Similar to the Clippers franchise, the Stars were one of the most losing franchises in the ABA until they eventually relocated in the early 70’s to Utah. The Stars used the traditional red, white, and blue, but with a powder blue, UNC type feel. I don’t know, but these Stars uni’s somehow remind me of those old 1990-esqu Sacramento Kings jerseys.
It sure did look different to see the longtime Surs core of Duncan, Parker, and Ginobili wearing something other than the trademark white, grey, and black that we are accustomed to. Originally beginning in Dallas, the Chaparrals were bought by a large group of San Antonio businessmen in the early 70’s and were promptly renamed the Gunslingers, before changing team colors and taking on the Spurs name a year later. While the basic uniform was pretty plain, the “Chaps” written across the chest was a nice touch, and upon closer look, the triple stripe around the neck and armpits also added some flavor.
The early origins of the New York Nets were traced to Teaneck, NJ before moving to Long Island just prior to the 70’s. The New York Nets had some very successful seasons during the decade, especially since they had the help of future NBA stars Rick Barry and later “Dr J” Julius Erving. Since the Nets franchise was originally called the Americans upon their inception in 1967, it’s fitting that the team chose the very patriotic red, white, and blue of the flag.
As a member of the ABA, few teams were better than the Pacers, who were, dare I say, a dynasty during the late 60’s and early 70’s, winning 3 championships and making it to the Finals 5 times in the league’s 9 year existence. While the older Pacers were held down by George McGuiness, Mel Daniels, and former Hoosiers star Bob “Slick” Leonard, the current crop is quietly having a marvelous season, with the potential to lock down the #3 overall seed in the East before season’s end. The very cool initial Pacers jerseys still used their trademark blue and yellow but with some nifty yellow and white “racing stripes” running across the chest and down the right rib cage, an obvious ode to the famous Indianapolis 500 race.
Originally known as the Denver Larks, then the Rockets, the Denver franchise was forced to change their name to the Nuggets prior to joining the NBA in 1974. The early Denver franchise featured some of the best hoops players of the era like Larry Jones and Spencer Haywood, one of the first players to play professionally before graduating college. Those sparkling Nuggets jerseys could probably be seen even in the dark, with with red, white, blue, and yellow all incorporated into the uniform design. The very stylish pick axe, along with the tiny golden nugget under the Nuggets moniker, was a nice reminder of their origins of the mining trade of the Midwest.
April 23, 2012 – Check out the 9 Best NBA Retro Jerseys for the 2012 season…..