From left: Michael Strahan, Kelly Ripa and Amar'e model. (AP/Disney-ABC Domestic Television, David Steele)
Amar'e Stoudemire stopped by "Live! With Kelly and Michael" on Wednesday to chat with host Kelly Ripa and former New York Giants defensive end/newly minted permanent co-host Michael Strahan (which is going to remain extraordinarily weird to say for a period no less than "a loooong time" that perhaps extends to "forever") and promote the latest installment in his children's book series, which is slated for release on Oct. 1, 2012. In the process, as you can see from the screengrab above, he also rocked the new-look white jerseys that his New York Knicks will be wearing at home this season and gave personalized versions to Ripa and Strahan, because no respectable guest comes empty-handed.
While it's not as highly anticipated as the official jerseys that their new crosstown rivals in Brooklyn will be sporting this season, the Knicks have been careful about building toward the release of their new home strip (minus an unofficial leak spotted a couple of weeks back courtesy of "NBA 2K13," of course). They've slowly teased it in iterations of the Timeline cover photo on the Knicks' Facebook page, peeling back the old model bit by bit to reveal a little more of the new look underneath, and plugging it on their Twitter feed. They've also made a point of promoting its official Sept. 6 debut on the front page of the team's website for a while now.
All of which is to say: It seems weird that the Knicks would go to all the trouble of scheduling an official launch, marketing it through pretty much all of the media channels they control, and then sign off on having one of the two guys (along with Tyson Chandler) slated to model the new jersey on Thursday do it on his own a day early during a national TV appearance on a just rebooted daytime talk show that was No. 1 in 14 of the top 15 U.S. media markets on its first day. Doesn't this sort of steal Thursday's thunder?
(For what it's worth, none of the photos of Stoudemire's appearance that were posted on the Knicks' Twitter account or in the "behind the scenes" slideshow on KnicksNow.com feature the new jerseys. We've reached out to a Knicks spokesman to find out if the team planned this; we'll update if we hear back. Update: Said team spokesman said he "can confirm he was on that show with the new jerseys," and that's it.)
The jersey itself seems pretty cool — the previously rumored removal of black from the design takes a step forward by taking a step back, in that these appear to look more like the classic '70s and '80s Knicks unis than the staid late-'90s models that added black pretty much just because everyone else was adding black to their jerseys then. I don't particularly like how the piping on the shoulders stops before the armpits (you can see it most clearly on Strahan's right side), but maybe there's a reason for that, like stopping Raymond Felton from feeling too constricted. How sharp the road blues will look remains to be seen, though; I guess we've still got that to look forward to on Thursday, at least.
But then, I'm nobody's idea of a fashion plate, as my present mesh-shorts-and-Cherry-Blossom-Clinic T-shirt proves. What's your take on the Knicks' new whites? Let us know in the comments, on Twitter or on Facebook.
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