20 Best NBA Throwback Jerseys Ever
Some of the best jerseys in the NBA were present in the 1990s and in previous years. Many of us took them for granted at the time, but it's always good to take a trip down memory lane to relive the glory days of uniforms.
One of the best from the '90s era was the blue pinstripe jerseys from the Orlando Magic, made famous during the Anfernee "Penny" Hardaway/Shaquille O'Neal years. The color combination is a plus but it's the pinstripe and font that sets these uniforms off.
The blue Magic pinstripe jersey was iconic pic.twitter.com/A4MJBNVOMb— Jasmine (@JasmineLWatkins) July 20, 2017
A lot of people weren't too fond of them at the time but Toronto's purple uniforms with the actual dinosaur on them were amazing. Long before the Raptors switched to the red/black color scheme, they were one of the few who could properly rock purple.
New York Nets
The team that is now the Brooklyn Nets, was once the ABA's New York Nets. Nothing could top the 1975 version of the red, white and blue combination with the stars on the side. The play of Julius Erving may have had a hand in making these uniforms so legendary.
On February 14, 1975 in one of the longest and highest scoring games in ABA history, the San Diego Conquistadors defeated the New York Nets 176-166 in four overtimes. The game featured a career-high 63 points from the Nets’ Julius Erving. "Dr. J" also se… https://t.co/XHpyRJj8fC pic.twitter.com/9ueymWvHgT— Davenport Sports (@Davenport_SN) February 14, 2018
Who could forget the teal and purple of the '90s Hornets? They were literal perfection, but like many teams they tried to change too much as the years went on and no look was as good as these. Although some of the current Hornets uniforms gives you a nostalgic feel, nothing will ever compare to these.
@kenicemobley Listening to your @TVGuidance episode. God, those ‘90s Hornets uniforms are gold (not literally but ... well ... you know what I mean). Brings back so many memories! pic.twitter.com/E6JwFg9LPD— William Johnson 🤘 (@SecureImmaturT) January 6, 2018
Depending on who you ask, this could be considered a controversial pick. Before the Grizzlies moved to Memphis, they had some really cool jerseys. Maybe it was the air up there in Canada, but these were some funky jerseys that just seemed to work. Obviously this probably worked well in combination with the location of the team at the time.
Got this classic Mike Bibby Vancouver Grizzlies jersey the other day. This one, the purple Raptors 90s throwbacks, and the teal Hornets pinstripe throwback. Top 3 all-time. pic.twitter.com/h0PkCTODxn— Andy (@AndyRantz) February 4, 2018
There isn't enough cursive in the world. It's hard to read in some cases but on this 1984-85 Bulls jersey, it just seems to work. It screams classic but a little modern (for that time). Also, red and black is a pretty hard color combination to get wrong so that's another thing to take into consideration.
Brilliant photo of Michael 'Air' Jordan at the 1985 Slam Dunk Contest. pic.twitter.com/V5SkrFbHuz— phases pictures (@picturephase) February 24, 2016
These are iconic Timberwolves uniforms. From the trees to the rugged font, everything about these jerseys screams T'Wolves. To many, these are better than the current clean-cut option but to each his own. They even have the trees going around the outside. The attention to detail is unmatched.
No uniforms list is complete without the Sonics. Although now they're the Oklahoma City Thunder, the jerseys now are nothing compared to the gems they had in Seattle. Green and yellow with a clean typeface has us wishing they would bring these back (but that might bring too many bad memories for Seattle fans missing their team).
Young Gary Payton with the Sonics pic.twitter.com/laeflZ94pi— Sports Days Past (@SportsDaysPast) April 12, 2018
You'd be hard-pressed to find someone who didn't like these jerseys back in the day. Although the love has faded for the rainbow-infused uniforms, they are still a favorite among many old school NBA fans.
Two classic jerseys. Two big time scorers. Alex English & Tom Chambers (@nyknicks coach Jeff Hornacek in the background)@PhilHecken #Suns #Nuggets @SunsTV @chrisadempsey @TJMcBrideNBA @AlexEnglish_2 pic.twitter.com/BQ6n17WzL2— Goat Jerseys (@GoatJerseys) March 10, 2018
The Hawks had some pretty interesting color schemes and combos over the years so this could end up being a pick that not many agree with. The 1970-72 jerseys were underrated at the time and probably still are because these should've stuck around for way longer than they did, especially when you consider what the Hawks are wearing these days. The 2003 Hawks brought them back a couple of times but it still wasn't enough.
Every once in a while a team will bless us by wearing a throwback uniform in today's NBA and many fans clamor to have the good old days back. It should come as no surprise that the Kings' powder-blue jerseys with the cursive font are a favorite among many.
Los Angeles Lakers
At the time these uniforms were used, the Lakers were still in Minneapolis (where it made more sense) but even though the team is in Los Angeles, they find time to throw it back to these classics. The MPLS uniforms are iconic in the NBA. Although the originals didn't have the Nike logo or the advertisement patch, they're about as close as you can get to the real thing without paying a lot of money these days.
A throwback in it's own right, the red and black pinstripe uniforms from the Bulls were another good combo. As I've stated earlier, it's hard to go wrong with this color scheme, and the red pinstripe on a black uni like this makes it a sight to see.
Golden State Warriors
Just look at these. This is a beautiful uniform. Sometimes simple is better and that is definitely the game with the Warriors uniforms back in the 1960s and early '70s. Nothing but "The City," a number and the Golden Gate Bridge. Perfection.
On this day (1964) in history, Nate Thurmond was wearing a San Francisco Warriors uniform pic.twitter.com/qGtvnP4DBG— Dan Ivie (@boxscoreguy) October 27, 2017
Not too many people would have a Suns uniform among the best but there is one. Although many people remember Larry Nance Sr. for his time in Cleveland, when he was a member of the Suns they had a pretty underrated uniform. The words give off that Old West vibe (something you probably can't do today), which was pretty cool at the time.
Larry Nance Sr., 1984— Matt Petersen (@TheMattPetersen) February 18, 2018
Larry Nance Jr., 2018 pic.twitter.com/O2VIKMXqx4
Let's be clear, Philadelphia is an impossible word to work with when it comes to jerseys. The best way to do it was the old-school version and many are still pretty fond of, just using "Phila" on the front. Hey, it worked for Wilt.
The “Phila” is a throwback to the old Wilt Chamberlain-era jerseys in the 1960s. pic.twitter.com/PY6jsoa8ia— Thinking Man Sports (@thinkingmnsport) April 15, 2018
Another questionable pick coming up... the Grant Hill-era Pistons jerseys weren't that bad. In fact, after a while they just grew on you. We all got used to see the horse and the interestingly-written numbers and just kind of went with it. The color scheme really didn't match Detroit but that somehow didn't matter at the time. These were an unforgettable gem back in the day.
New Orleans Pelicans
Back when Chris Paul played for New Orleans, they were the Hornets which was perhaps one of the weirdest times in the NBA. One thing it did provide is the purple and green combination that is probably more precious to the people from the city than anyone else.
Portland Trail Blazers
Another black, white and red color scheme that worked is owned by the Trail Blazers. Although the current uniforms are cool, the ones from the Clyde Drexler-era were just great to say the least (and the teams back then were pretty good too). Simple and to the point, the typeface with a couple stripes does the job for the Portland crew.
I'm cheating a little but these Miami Vice throwbacks are too good to ignore. They're technically new but since they're taking back to the old-school Vice days, we'll make an exception. The Heat should look into making these the primary home uniforms. The script writing plus those colors make you feel like vintage South Beach.
I said last week to myself that Dwayne Wade would’ve looked sick in the Miami Vice Jerseys and now... pic.twitter.com/NnGHOoWuAG— 🐙 (@PatYeargin5) February 10, 2018