The Phoenix Suns entered this week with five different uniform designs — their home whites, their purple roadies, their sleeved orange alternates and "Los Suns" Noche Latina threads, and the grey-sleeved duds they introduced back in February. Evidently, a handful's not as enticing as a half-dozen, because Phoenix unveiled a sixth kit on Tuesday night — an all-black-everything look falling under the league's "Civic Pride" design umbrella, as modeled by 2015 first-round pick Devin Booker:
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... and star point guard Eric Bledsoe:
— Kip Helt (@PhxSunsGameOps) September 9, 2015
As the team tells it, the dark new uniforms — which first began making the rounds as part of the massive '15-'16 uniform leak that came across our desks in July (second row, far right) — are intended to pay tribute to a pair of lighter periods in Suns history:
The PHX first was emblazoned across the chest of the “Seven Seconds or Less” Suns jerseys as they went on to capture the imagination of Valley and NBA fans. As a team known for innovation, it should come as no surprise that the Suns were the first NBA team to use an abbreviation of their hometown on their uniforms. The alternate orange jersey with a white PHX outlined in purple was the defining look of one of the most proud eras in franchise history. An era led by two-time MVP and future Ring of Honor member Steve Nash. The look represented the fast paced and fun style while showing the civic pride that has been a hallmark since the team’s inception in 1968. As an homage to this era and it's captain, the new look will be worn 13 different times throughout the 2015-16 season starting with opening night October 28. [...]
The color of the uniform hearkens back to another group of the Valley’s favorite Suns, too. The black jersey and shorts pay homage to the alternate set that debuted during Sir Charles’ reign during the 1994-95 season. The purple and orange piping along the neckline is also a call back to that beloved uniform.
Personally, I think the best part of the Suns' 2013 rebrand is how well they use the orange and purple as primary colors rather than accents, so it seems a bit of a waste to marginalize that flash and lean so hard on the black-on-black look. Then again, all that black ought to look pretty nice when the Suns wear the Civic Pride uniforms on the new court at ... [double checks release] ... Talking Stick Resort Arena?
— #WeArePHX (@Suns) September 9, 2015
Okey-doke, then. Nice to see the sunburst basketball back at center court, though, if nothing else!
As part of their unveiling event at The Phoenician resort in Scottsdale, Ariz., the Suns also showed off two other tweaks to their existing ensemble that fans might find more welcome. So long, orange and "Los Suns" sleeved alternates, and hello, new models:
The orange alternate in a tank-top silhouette looks dynamite, and I love the idea of getting more purple in there with the new "Los Suns" option. I still think the Suns would be better off letting the "ember" grey sleeved uniforms smolder before depositing them in the nearest ashcan, but hey, two out of three ain't bad. And now, if you're a Suns fan, you've got no shortage of options from which to choose when figuring out how best to represent your affection for the hometown team. (Maybe don't pull the trigger on the Markieff jersey just yet, though.)
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