Ranking the NBA 2022-23 City Edition jerseys


The NBA officially released its 2022-23 City uniforms for all 30 teams Thursday morning, to be used in select games this season by each team. Some of these special jerseys are truly that: special. Some are especially bad. Let’s run through them all and rank them from worst to first.

N/A. Utah Jazz

The Jazz introduced all of their new uniforms in June.

29. Minnesota Timberwolves

If you saw this jersey by itself somewhere, you would think it was a knock-off shirt, certainly not affiliated with the Timberwolves in any way. It looks like a work of art, and art is up to interpretation of the observer. It’s terrible.

28. Houston Rockets

The Rockets didn’t create a new City uniform design, they just used last year’s. Fitting.

27. Miami Heat

Another team that changed virtually nothing from last year. Try harder. No more ransom notes.

25 (tie). Los Angeles Clippers/Los Angeles Lakers 

Ok. We get it. You play in Los Angeles. Anything else? No? Cool. Wow. Talking about mailing it in, the both of you. Shameful.

24. Sacramento Kings

Alright, we’re out of ideas… grey? Yeah, grey, let’s go with grey.

23. Oklahoma City Thunder

Any ideas? Call the Kings, see if they’ll help.

22. Brooklyn Nets

The Nets took something that wasn’t that great to begin with, and made it worse. They essentially made a negative of their Jean-Michel Basquiat City unis from two season ago; the originals were black, this year’s are white. Virtually bereft of color, save for a splash of trim down the sides of the jersey and shorts. 

21. Orlando Magic

They didn’t do a lot but make really small changes to their road uniforms. Meh.

20. Portland Trail Blazers

Not only do the Blazers go with the airport code, but the teal stripe is an homage to the carpet at Portland International Airport. Airport carpet. Can’t make this stuff up, folks.

19. San Antonio Spurs

These jerseys were inspired by those worn by the 1996 NBA All-Stars. Those jerseys were awful as well.

18. Washington Wizards

It wasn’t that great when the baseball team did it. It isn’t any cooler as a basketball uniform. 

17. Chicago Bulls

While this isn’t a grand departure from the team’s original jersey, a closer look reveals a Y pattern in the jersey, symbolic of the city’s Municipal Y symbol. The symbol represents the three branches of the Chicago River joining at Wolf Point. The accent color is a deeper, rust-colored red, matching the bridges that span the river.

16. Cleveland Cavaliers

The Land. More like the Bland. The Cavs designed their uniforms using colors that match the landscape of their great Metroparks. I feel like they could’ve done a lot better with this. I don’t know a ton of people from Cleveland, but do they really call it “The Land?” 

15. Indiana Pacers

An odd setup for an NBA jersey. Almost looks like a pair of overalls. The design was inspired by the Gainbridge Fieldhouse, where the Pacers currently play. I could understand a throwback to Market Square Arena, but I don’t see the draw of shouting out your stadium, where you’ve won no championships (unless you count the WNBA Fever).

14. New York Knicks

Some could argue it’s a played-out design, just a small tweak on their City unis from last season. They’re right, but it’s a strong look, and far better than the subway token design they had two years ago.

13. Toronto Raptors

The Raptors go back to the black and gold, but it works for them. They’ve instituted subtle changes, but largely similar to their last City jerseys.

12. Denver Nuggets

I like the colors, but not much else. They could have done so much more with the design of this jersey. The Denver wordmark across the front is a tribute to the Union Station neon sign, and there are some other nuances, but still pretty mid.

11. Philadelphia 76ers

They had a tough act to follow from last year’s masterpieces. It looks good at first glance, but it feels… unfinished. Far too much negative space. Definitely could have done a lot more with this jersey. 

10. Golden State Warriors

An admirable job by local artist Allison Hueman, these jerseys celebrate the empowerment of women through its various symbols. While the aesthetics work, the yellow rose is kind of large, and makes me think more of Texas than the Bay Area.

9. Phoenix Suns

The Suns pay tribute to the 22 indigenous tribes from their home state for this simple, yet powerful design.

8. Charlotte Hornets

An interesting colorway of granite, mint and gold, but they aren’t just picked out of the sky. Granite is the state rock of North Carolina, Charlotte was the site of the first branch mint in the U.S., and the gold is a nod to the Carolina gold rush of the 1800s. Not a huge fan of the airport code abbreviation on NBA jersey trend, but I guess it’s better than Buzz City.

7. New Orleans Pelicans

The Pels get this one right. Love the striping against the purple jerseys. It’s simple, but still pops. The wordmark/numbers are strong together. This shows you don’t have to go nuts to get it right.

6. Milwaukee Bucks

The Bucks’ City jerseys pay tribute to Milwaukee’s Bronzeville neighborhood, a hub for the city’s African-American arts and culture. Love the color scheme, especially the trim, which mimics the Patchwork mural, one of many you see in Bronzeville.

5. Boston Celtics

If you paid attention, you know the Cs already wore their City uni this season. Love these. The darker green with gold and black accents is a strong combo, and the 11 diamonds – an homage to the legendary Bill Russell, and the 11 championships he won in Celtics green.

4. Atlanta Hawks

I’m not usually a fan of teams that go completely away from their base color scheme, but this works. The Hawks accent black unis with peach, a color emblematic of the city. An avant-garde choice of color, but it plays, and it’s a slick look.

3. Memphis Grizzlies

Once again, Memphis turns to its rich music history for inspiration for its City unis, but this time instead of its soul roots, they lean on present day hip-hop culture for some serious drip. The chrome-accented Memphis wordmark screams album cover, and the numbers on the jersey backs glisten like an iced-out grill.

2. Dallas Mavericks

Now we’re talkin’. Dallas calls these unis the “Retroplex,” a take on the “Metroplex” name given to the Dallas-Fort Worth area 50 years ago. Like most things from the 1970s, I dig it. From the colorway to the wordmark, all these are missing is bell-bottom warmup pants to go with them.

1. Detroit Pistons

The Pistons went deep into their bag for this, and I am here for it. A full-on tribute to Saint Cecilia’s gym, where NBA stars from Isiah Thomas to Darryl Dawkins to Jalen Rose to Magic Johnson showed their stuff at legendary pickup games. Detroit’s own Big Sean was part of the design team, which captured the essence of the landmark in the uniforms, from the colors, all the way to the stained-glass window in the trim of the shorts.

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