Sartorial Splendor

I’ve always been unusually obsessed w/sports uniforms. Throughout my so-called formative years, I could routinely be found doodling, my fave players in their respective uniforms, with a scrivener’s obsession for getting all the details – the piping, the logo design – precisely right. This caused me no undue grief w/my teachers who seemed for some strange reason to think that the drawings of Richard Todd et al. splattered all over my notebook was an indication that I wasn’t paying attention in class. I just think it was an early incarnation of multi-tasking, if you will. Maybe it’s because the teams I pulled for ranged from the routinely awful to the tragically flawed (the early 80’s Mets, Jets, Knicks, and Rangers), but sometimes the sartorial decisions were far more fascinating than the actual product on the field.

For example, when the ‘Bockers ditched their Reed-Frazier era digs…

…for a “modern” design, I was positively floored

Having the team name underneath the uni number? That just seemed fundamentally wrong. Going from royal blue and orange to navy and maroon? Unthinkable! It’d be like waking up one morning to a purple sky.

Well, today comes the always-reliable Alan Hahn with the word that our beloved cagers may be “tweaking” their uniforms for the 2010-11 season. It’s site-protected, so here’s the skinny….

“…Celebrity Fixer Brandon Tierney came up with an interesting topic on Twitter and it was worth expanding. The ESPN Radio personality (and apparently he does something on SNY, but I don’t watch SNY because they give me no love…LOL) talked about the Knick uniform and what fans would think about the idea of a change.

In fact, there is something to this. According to a source, the Knicks have had internal discussions about making some minor changes to the uniform for the 2010-11 season. It doesn’t sound like anything major is being planned, just a subtle tweak and update. The NBA would have to approve and Adidas, the league’s apparel outfitter, would also have to know with enough advanced warning…”

Not that they don’t already have a No. 6 jersey with a certain nameplate ready to hit the NBA Store in July. (I meant Patrick Ewing Jr., who did you think I was referring to?)…”

He then goes on to “suggest” a bolder change, mainly ditching the orange for some kind of blue, black and silver combo.


Look, my clear preference for the “classic” unis aside, there’s a reason the Nix (and the Mets) are blue and orange. For those who didn’t know, this is our city’s flag:

For all you flag aficionados out there, you might notice resemblance to the banner of another nation. Anyone? Anyone? Frye? Frye?…

That’s right! The correct answer was, “What is the Dutch, Alex.” Even though the flag of the Netherlands currently is Red, White and blue (b/c in the 1700’s, the poor quality orange dye used back in the day tended to fade to red with use and  was  eventually adopted as the official color. Kind of like how the old ABA Denver Rockets went from blue to purple/mauve because they bought some bargain-rate threads that faded in the wash. Like these — the original Orange honored William of Orange, the first Dutch Emperor. And as we all, know, NYC used to be Nieuw Amsterdamm. The team nickname, “Knickerbockers,” is also a nod to our clog-wearing, tulip loving founders and the rationale behind this utterly awesome rarely seen logo:

But I digress…It’s not that I’m pining for Peter Stuyvesant to rise from the dead and run for Mayor. Whether they ditch their color scheme or not or “tweak” the current set or come up with a third/alternate uni like this monstrosity…

…one gets the feeling that every design move is made not in terms of history, loyalty and tradition, but to separate you and I from the almighty dollar via the purchase of “authentic” gear. And the fact that  Shiva aka Now I am become Death, the destroyer  of worlds LBJ has a miniscule chance of coming to NYC (as Hahn suggests) certainly would play into a re-design of some kind. A bold marketing rabbit punch to the gut along the lines of: “Look-ee world! New Nix! New Unis! Sane is rich and powerful! Insane is wrong and poor and weak! Res ipsa loquitur. Let the good times roll!!” Heck, they’d let King Badass Mofo scribble the design with crayolas himself if he’d sign a contract.

(I know, my red diaper is showing.)

I realize the Knicks are a for-profit organization (even if spending by the parent company on the team amounts to 3% of their total budget), but golly, can’t they make a non group-think decision here and just bring back these?

Clean. Simple. Perfect. And nice beard, Clyde. Make the shorts a little a lot baggier to accommodate the current predilection for wearing freakin’ bloomers out there. Keep the two-stripe socks and you’re good to go. Even though Seinfeld was more or less right when he said a few years back, “We’re rooting for laundry, basically,” can’t we at least root for the same laundry?

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Robert Silverman

Hey, did you know that in addition to banging the keys here and occasionally for the NY Times and at ESPN, Robert is a playwright, an actor and a wand'ring mendicant/gadfly? He also once wrestled a bear...and lost.

23 thoughts to “Sartorial Splendor”

  1. How dare you suggest bringing back Championship era short shorts while Eddie Curry is still on the team? Nobosy wants to see him squeeze into that. Dear Lord, can you image Jerome “Burger King” James or Mike “Sweets” Sweetney in those daisy dukes? Oh god, I just imagined it!! Unclean unclean. If I pour bleach in my ear, will it erase the memory?

  2. Re-read the last paragraph, Thomas. I certainly factored in the Eddy “Two pounds of sausage in a one pound bag” Curry effect.

  3. Re-read the last paragraph, Thomas. I certainly factored in the Eddy “Two pounds of sausage in a one pound bag” Curry effect.

    And what makes you think either Curry or Sweetney will ever dress in a regulation Nix game again?

  4. well i like the colors, but i think we could use an upgrade on the logo. the yankee-esque logo was really nice. we should bring them back. especially if we’re trying to lure in lebron

  5. And what makes you think either Curry or Sweetney will ever dress in a regulation Nix game again?


  6. Being a ‘Bocker backer will certainly drive one to the consumption of fermented grapes and whatnot.

  7. I say bring back the 1993-1994 uniforms and MSG floor with the lane/paint in blue not the orange it is now.

  8. Can’t disagree with a shakeup to what have to be the worst uniforms of any NY sports team right now. Maybe, maybe the Isles jerseys are worse, but not by much.

    I know this has probably already been touched upon, but Isola’s “article” about the Windhorst column – pathetic. Can’t believe the Daily News still employs him.

  9. Little surprised D’Antoni didn’t get Lee back into the game towards the end. He deserved to get a little love from the Garden crowd- the chant was nice but maybe a long standing ovation would have knocked a couple of million off of his asking price!

  10. Hey– game #82 could actually have some meaning. A win could deny the Raptors a playoff spot, which in turn could ensure Bosh’s departure, or at the very least get him to announce his intention to opt in or out sooner rather than later to give us something substantial to speculate on…. Nice to be playing for something!

  11. one last thing: we need to stay away from calderon.

    I watch toronto a lot, and believe me, he’s no steve nash.

    he doesn’t have dribble penetration. most of his assist came from his teammate’s jumpshooting. he doesn’t create for others.

    not only is not that good as player (for his price)…he is a bad fit for dantoni’s style.

    he is a decent shooter but that’s all he can bring.

  12. Also, Z, I would rather have the Bulls play the Cavs in the 1st round than the Raps. Neither has a chance to win the series, but the Bulls would make it tougher on LeBron and Co., maybe like they did last year to the Celts. I think the Raps would roll over.

  13. with or without bosh?

    the raptors took one game against cleveland this year (thanks to the bargnani-shaq missmatch) and stayed in the game closely for 2 other games.

    the bulls had boen gordon on fire last year…this year they have not…

  14. I was at last night’s game – I had the pick between that one and the Celtics one (company seats) and I chose the Wizards, figuring it would be a win.

    So after the Celtics win and the sloppy beginning to the game, it sure didn’t look good (and the people who got us the tickets were giving me guff).

    Thank goodness for Gallo!

    And the “extras” were cool, too, since it was fan appreciation night (T-Shirt, mini-insulated lunch bag, we got to see a Red Panda Acrobat, who was pretty awesome, etc.).

  15. Just watched a bit of the Knicks in 60. It seemed like every time I looked up Lee was canning a jumpshot. I am glad that he had a good game in possibly his final outing at the Garden and it was cool to hear the crowd chanting his name. Crazy to think Lee probably won’t be a Knick next year, he’s basically the only reason I have watched these past four years. I remember arguing about him here back in 06. He has come a long way, unfortunately the Knicks haven’t…

    I hope something good happens this offseason, the Garden fans definitely deserve a winner…

  16. It seems like from recent posts that the public opinion on this board is the we are rooting for Lebron to NOT win a championship this season.

    However, I think we should be rooting for the opposite. He publicly stated the following:

    “I got a goal, and it’s a huge goal, and that’s to bring an NBA championship here to Cleveland,” James said. “And I won’t stop until I get it.”

    IMO , the best chance for us landing LBJ is him feeling accomplished in Cleveland , feeling no remorse for his upcoming departure to our Knicks…


  17. ‘I hope something good happens this offseason, the Garden fans definitely deserve a winner…”

    Every time I watch the 4th quarter of a meaningless home game and hear the fans chanting “Defense!” and going nuts for meaningless 4th quarter rallies, I just shake my head. I really don’t think you can name another NBA franchise that would have that kind of crowd passion and a record of 29-52. In fact, some winning franchises’ crowds aren’t that loud.

    Regarding Garson’s point about how we should be rooting for the Cavs to get a championship, we’ve had this discussion here before, and I really don’t think he would leave after winning a title. More likely he would look for multiples a la Kobe and Jordan. Best case IMO is for a crappy flameout in the 2nd round and having his supporting cast come up small. Which means I have to root for the Celtics – ugh…

  18. Good stuff Robert. I would love to see a tweak to the unis (hate the v-neck, overlap thing going on) but would probably hate a color change even more. Those colors are uniquely the Knicks’ (if you dont count the thunder’s attempt). The flagships need their own color scheme – no one is running around in forum blue and gold but the lakers. No one wears celtic green but the celts. If we change to blue silver and black or whatever, who’s going to be able to tell us apart from utah, dallas, memphis, etc etc. That would be terrible. One correction, the Mets colors did NOT come from the flag — they took one color from each of the baseball clubs that had left NY. Royal blue from the brooklyn dodgers and orange from the ny giants. The more you know…

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