September 01, 2009
OK, we know the first decade of the 21st century doesn't really end until 2011. We think. But we also know there have been 10 full NBA seasons played since the phrase "Y2K" was on all of our lips (1999-2000), and here at Ball Don't Lie we've decided to use this as an offseason excuse to rank some of the best and not-so-brightest of the 10 campaigns in question. The result? Why, top 10 lists!
Did you like yesterday's list of the 10 best jerseys we've seen over the last decade? Did that help you through your Monday?
Well, welcome to Tuesday. And the 10 worst jerseys of the last decade.
10. That time George Karl wore this to work
George Karl was in the midst of a white-hot initial run as Nuggets coach in 2004-05, when he decided to give this look a go. Where former Denver coaches Jeff Bzdelik and Michael Cooper had gone a combined 17-25, Karl was in the middle of leading his team to a 32-8 record, working at a pace that would have the Nuggets leading the NBA in wins had he kept it for the full 82 games.
And yet, for whatever reason, Karl decided to wear this on a throwback jersey night against the Washington Wizards in March of that season. Not just the jersey, mind you, but a pair of Sharpton-esque track pants and a white turtleneck. Sure, Denver beat Washington (a 45-win team that year) by 29 points, but at what cost?
9. Washington Wizards
As hinted at yesterday, I'm not Dr. Blackwell. I know what I like, what I don't like, but sometimes haven't the foggiest about how to explain why. The Wizards? It's just not a good jersey. Not a good logo, silly font, uninspiring colors, dated appearance. Just screams "1997," which makes sense, because it was created in 1997.
8. Atlanta Hawks revisit the Mac and Me strategy
Remember Mac and Me? Luckily, even as an 8-year-old, I managed to miss it. Forgot about its existence until YouTube popped up, and creepy scenes like this and sickening turns like this started to hit the internets. The entire movie was a transparent tie-in with a famous beef burger chain that is known for putting Thousand Island salad dressing on its beef burgers. The Hawks, as pointed out by the good folks (food and fun) behind Third Quarter Collapse yesterday, briefly took to the chain's color scheme in 2004-05.
Do you like them? Don't they seriously look like D-League jerseys? I mean, these honestly, actually, look like NBDL jerseys. The orange, man. The orange. And while the Bobcats are still royally screwed in terms of future prospects, they haven't exactly been Grizzlies-bad since debuting in 2004. They've won, a couple of times, nearly half their games in a season. This isn't a nasty won-loss record tainting a good scheme. It's the scheme, man, that's off.
6. Chicago Bulls and their ruddy pinstripes
What's Kirk Hinrich(notes) all emo about today? Well, he's being forced to play basketball in a pinstripes-laden Chicago Bulls jersey that originally debuted in 1995-96. Wasn't that the year the Bulls won 72 games? Sure, but they also lost 10 games in the regular season, with five of those losses coming in the 10 games Chicago sported the jerseys. To recap: 67-5 in the regular home and away jerseys, 5-5 in pinstripes. Seems pretty disproportionate, no?
5. The West Lafayette Wizards
It could work. I'm not exactly entirely opposed to two-toned jerseys, but look at the picture above. Neither the referee nor Mo Williams(notes) can keep their eyes off how ugly these duds are. And do we really need to remind people of what the Purdue Boilermakers play in?
Also debuting in 1997, this busy, pointless jersey was worn by some very good 76er teams that were on national TV quite a bit due to their good-ness and the presence of Allen Iverson(notes). Sadly, these jerseys also included the presence of a dreadfully ugly logo and color scheme that made little sense. The horror ended last May.
Another winner from 1997, the Warriors' new logo and color scheme was rightfully introduced to the nation around the same time that Latrell Sprewell decided to assault P.J. Carlisemo, and things didn't exactly get better from there. And because these are the Warriors, the team hasn't exactly done much besides slightly modify this mess. This officially licensed mess.
2. Houston Rockets in their jammie-jams
Only Moochie Norris (pictured, above) could be happy in threads like these. Debuting in 1995 and lasting for nearly a decade, these pinstripe-laden unis aided in the destruction of the two-time NBA champions, reminded us all of bad pajamas and then outfitted an entire (rather large) nation in awful, awful threads once Yao Ming(notes) debuted in them during the 2002-03 season.
1. Detroit teals it up
Just look at it. Teal, a flaming horse, Jud Buechler. Goodness, gracious, sakes alive — what an ugly uniform.