Aug 20

Trail Blazers At No. 9 In Uni Watch Rankings

By caseyholdahl

Paul Lukas covers any and everything pertaining to sports uniforms, jerseys and kits for and for the Uni Watch blog. He's an indispensable source for those of us interested in such things.

Today, Lukas put out his NBA uniform power rankings, and the Trail Blazers' jersey and short combo comes in at No. 9, one spot better than last season ...
Last season the Blazers gave their red alternate uni a really sharp updating. See how the tapered diagonal stripes now look more like a wagon wheel pattern from the Oregon Trail? Here's hoping they apply that same approach to their home and road designs.
It was a little less than a year ago when the team unveiled their updated alternate red jerseys and the reaction, both locally and nationally, has been overwhelmingly positive. Then again, people have always liked the red alternate jersey, and with good reason. It's a classic, eye-catching look.

I'm not sure I completely agree with Lukas that the diagonal stripes "look more like a wagon wheel pattern" though I didn't really think the new stripes represented "speed and aggressive competition," which is how the press release described the update, either. But one of the great things about fashion is can look like different things to different people and is subject to different interpretations. After all, it is art. 

I've heard nothing of modifying the standard home and away jerseys, as Lukas argues the team should do, but I wouldn't discount the possibility of a tweak here or there.

The Trail Blazers are ranked one spot below Oklahoma City and one spot above the Chicago Bulls.  A bit surprised the Thunder are ranked that high given how plain their jerseys are, but Lukas is right that the orange does "pop" against white and blue and they were rightfully dropped a spot from last year's rankings due to the terrible alternates they debuted in 2012-13. But I'm flabbergasted Chicago is all the way at no. 10. It's probably due to being a child of the 80s, but when I think of an NBA jersey, I think of Chicago's red jersey with black "Bulls" lettering.

And speaking of being underrated, Justin Verrier at has as response to Lukas' rankings in which he argues that Portland's jersey should be ranked higher ...
Underrated -- Portland Trail Blazers (No. 9): The design really isn't much -- just three lines wrapped, rather crudely, around the midsection. But in a league so devoid of pizzazz, it really pops, especially on those new red alternates. Not crazy about the fonts on the home and away versions, and the five stripes on the alt is a bit sleeker than the three on the classic set, but the whole look superbly conveys both tradition and trendy, which is pretty much the ideal.
That's exactly the idea. Portland's alternate red jersey balances retro with the modern, which, in my opinion, is why it has been so well-received.

You can put together your own uniform power rankings over at

Shop all Trail Blazers' jerseys


  1. Definitely agree that the fonts on the home and aways need changing, not a fan of the left-leading serifs and really like the 'Rip City' font we use on those ALT jerseys.

    by DHawes22 on 8/20/2013 9:49 AM
  2. Forgot to mention this, but the Heat are ranked WAY too high. That jersey has always looked hella cheesy to me.

    by caseyholdahl on 8/20/2013 9:51 AM
  3. I love this uni, but hated the way it fit as the season went on. I'm pretty sure the piping on the neck and sleeve was the culprit. It appeared as though the piping stretched and then caused the stretching, wrinkled affect that didn't look comfortable or sharp.

    by Mieke Appel on 8/20/2013 9:55 AM
  4. While the Heat word-mark is gold, I agree they are too high. I'd knock them down due to wearing too many alternates. And those all-white and all-black duds are awful. Really interested in seeing the new Hornets unis, those are going to have to live up to the hype of the teal and purple pinstriped jerseys of the 90's.

    by DHawes22 on 8/20/2013 10:09 AM
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