The days of home and away jerseys in the NBA are done, at least in a nominal sense.
The NBA norm used to be white jerseys for the home team and team-color jerseys for the road team. These days, each team has four jerseys with a handful of organizations having five.
With 123 uniforms across the NBA, who gets the final say in which team wears what on a given night?
Do NBA teams get to choose what jerseys they wear in a game?
Players used to have a say in what uniforms they would wear on the court. That changed in 2017, when Nike started an eight-year apparel deal with the league.
“The league gives us a master schedule,” Celtics travel and equipment coordinator John Connor told The Boston Herald in 2018. “We put it on the wall and we just give out what’s on the wall. We get the schedule and what we’re supposed to wear from the league, and it’s for the whole year.
“It used to be Paul Pierce saying, ‘Hey, let’s wear the green/black ones.’ Not anymore. The players can’t control it.”
Where is the NBA’s uniform schedule?
The master schedule Connor is talking about got a new home before the league’s 75th anniversary season. The league posted a season-long uniform calendar on its LockerVision website, giving everyone a glimpse at what the jersey matchup would be for each game.
Do NBA teams still have home and away jerseys?
Teams’ uniforms are broken down into five editions: Association, Icon, Statement, City and Classic.
Association Edition is each team’s conventional white jersey that would have previously been deemed its “home” jersey. The Icon Edition is each team’s conventional “road” jersey. Statement and City Editions take a spin on a team’s uniforms, going with some kind of alternative color or design. The Boston Celtics, Golden State Warriors and New York Knicks are the three teams that got Classic Edition uniforms for the 75th anniversary season.
Along with a name switch, the role for each jersey changed. The league has deviated from the “home whites” standard even though the jerseys still exist, spreading out the jersey assignments across the many editions for each team no matter where they are playing.
For instance, the Celtics wore their white Association Edition uniforms for seven road games and their green Icon Edition uniforms for seven home games during the regular season. Here’s a breakdown of how often the Celtics wore each jersey during the regular season:
Association: 13 home, 7 away
Icon: 7 home, 11 away
Statement: 5 home, 8 away
City: 7 home, 8 away
Classic: 9 home, 7 away
What jerseys will the Celtics wear in the Finals?
The Celtics were given a more traditional uniform assignment during the Eastern Conference finals against the Miami Heat. Boston wore its white Association Edition jerseys for two of its three home games and green Icon Edition jerseys for three of its four road games. The team sported its black Statement Edition uniforms for Games 5 and 6 of that series.
In the Finals, the Celtics will follow the old uniform arrangement in six of their seven games against the Warriors. They will wear their Icon Edition uniform for Games 1, 2 and 7 on the road, Association Edition uniform for Games 3, 4 and 6 at home and Statement Edition uniform for Game 5 in San Francisco.
The Warriors, meanwhile, will wear their Association Edition uniform for Games 1, 2, 5 and 7 at home. On the road, they will wear their black City Edition uniform for Games 3 and 4 and their blue Icon Edition uniform for Game 6 at TD Garden.