Phoenix Suns' next uniform? Team introduces 'Aztec' uniform concept

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The Phoenix Suns already have a black "The Valley" uniform.

Could they add a black "Aztec" uniform to their uniform rotation sometime soon?

The team introduced the uniform concept on Twitter and their website on Wednesday.

A release from the team said that the "Suns are looking to the future and how we celebrate the communities and cultures that support us through uniform design, in this case our Mexican and Mexican-American fans. Honoring our fans today with a tribute to early ancestors of the Valley whose imprint on art, innovation, clothing and beyond is still felt today, the Phoenix Suns have been working on a uniform concept based on ancient Aztec symbolism. Currently conceptual, the Suns are pulling back the curtain on the potential design for fans to weigh in and provide their input."

SOME FANS WEIGH IN: On new 'Aztec' uniform concept

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The uniform is steep in symbolism.

The team wrote that the Aztec Sun Stone centered on the chest, as well as within the “PHX” word mark, symbolizes a gathering of deities working as one.

The rays surrounding the triangular design represent emanating heat and unity, all originating from a single source, the Sun.

The armor displayed down the left side of the leg depicts the ultimate warrior animal, a jaguar. The inner animal of the Hispanic people stands for strength and the notion that those who bear the armor are ready to strike and attack at any time.

The Aztec Death Stone imprinted on the back of the jersey pays homage to fearless warriors even in the face of death. They carry an all-or-nothing mindset into battle, often leading to victory through intimidation or strength or both.

The Suns released several statements Thursday on social media regarding the concept:

"Regarding proximity to Arizona: Some sources trace the origins of Aztlan, the ancestral home of the Aztec people, to modern day Arizona before migrating south. While research is ongoing, we wanted to create an open dialogue with our fans surround this uniform concept.

"Regarding cultural vetting: In addition to representatives from the Mexican government, we pursued insight on the designs and historical ties with the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and Arizona Latino Arts & Cultural Center and received positive feedback all around."

"While this uniform is still conceptual, it was important for us to hear from you, the community. For comments regarding other indigenous Arizona communities, we’re excited to introduce a uniform honoring the Tribal Nations of Arizona for the 2022-23 season. More to come."

The Phoenix Suns' Aztec uniform concept.
The Phoenix Suns' Aztec uniform concept.

Earlier this month, a team source confirmed with The Arizona Republic that the team's popular City Edition uniform will return for the 2021-22 season.

The uniform, which features the words "The Valley," has been immensely popular among fans and the players since it was unveiled in November.

The team wore them for every home playoff game in the postseason.

The team will also wear its Statement, Icon and Association uniforms next season, with embellishments for the NBA's 75th Anniversary, a team source said.

The embellishments will include diamond NBA logos on the back neck of the jersey and diamond Nike logo embellishments on the left chest of the jersey, the NBA announced last month.

The Suns' Statement Edition uniform is the orange uniform with a sunburst above the player's number on the front of the jersey.

The Association Edition is white with "Suns" on the front and the number in purple underneath.

The Icon Edition is purple with "Phoenix" above the number in white letters. The number is in orange.

The Suns will also still use "The Valley" court at Footprint Center next season, a team source said.

Could the team end up wearing these "Aztec" uniforms as well?

Reach Jeremy Cluff at jeremy.cluff@arizonarepublic.com. Follow him on Twitter @Jeremy_Cluff.

This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Phoenix Suns' next uniform? Team introduces 'Aztec' uniform concept