Here are the Rockets' 3 new alternate uniforms, featuring sleeves and surprise

Ball Don't Lie

We knew the Houston Rockets had a pair of new uniforms coming — they were part of the massive leak of new NBA uniform designs that made their way around the Internet back in July — but the Rox still found a way to surprise us when they made the official unveiling of the new threads on Tuesday night:

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In addition to the gray kits with black accents and red lettering and the "Clutch City" wordmark on the familiar McDonald's-color-schemed duds — both of which feature short-sleeved jerseys, which continue to look, well, unfortunate — the Rockets busted out a brand new black uniform, modeled here by rookie Sam Dekker, marking the first time the club's sported an all-black look.

There's just one catch, though: the Rockets won't actually wear the black "Space City" uniform until the 2016-17 season. That's kind of a shame, since that one (to these eyes, at least) seems by far the best-looking option of the bunch — clean, simple, and not quite as muted as the Phoenix Suns' new all-black-everything strip. I can understand the argument that the pendulum might be swinging too far back toward black uniforms, and that can wind up giving us more drab on-court palettes; on the other hand, y'know, black looks pretty cool, and a well-executed black jersey makes a nice counterpoint to the white, red, yellow and silver that dominate the Rockets' look.

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The new gray/"silver" sleeved uniform sported by Dwight Howard and Dekker's black "Space City" jersey continue the "Pride" collection move toward using city nicknames for franchises, like the "Rip City" and Motor City alternates sported by the Portland Trail Blazers and Detroit Pistons, respectively. They also feature a checkerboard pattern on the side-paneling from the players' underarms down their legs — better visible here on Howard and here on Dekker — that evidently doffs its cap to Houston's NASA roots:

It's a neat nod to the hometown faithful; we'll have to see how it looks on the court. We'll get our first chances come November, with the red Clutch City alternates making their maiden voyage on Nov. 14 against the Dallas Mavericks and the "silver" alternate premiering on Nov. 25 during an NBA TV contest with the Memphis Grizzlies. As for when we'll first see the Space City black threads ... well, I guess we'll have to wait for the 2016-17 schedule to drop next summer.

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Dan Devine is an editor for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!

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