To celebrate the NBA’s 75th Anniversary, Nike has outfitted each NBA team with four core jerseys for the season: Association, Icon, City and Statement.
While in years past, Christmas Day has featured some iconic looks over the years, with distinctly festive jerseys marking the holidays for each team taking the floor, 2021 will see all ten teams rocking their City Edition uniforms for the holidays.
The league hasn’t seen Christmas Day jerseys since 2016 after Nike took over from Adidas, but there’s something about the one-off uniforms that makes the day extra special. Playing on Christmas Day in a marquee matchup is a big deal.
Ahead of the 2021 Christmas Day action, let’s take a stroll down memory lane and relive some of the best….and worst Christmas Day jerseys over the years.
2012: Full-color uniforms
Clean and simple. The 2012 unis were the first year the NBA brought in the Christmas jerseys and while they didn’t give off too much of a Christmas vibe, more like a clean alternate, they remain one of the best.
2013: Sleeve city!
While the sleeve jerseys were hit and miss during their time in the league, the Christmas day versions were actually fire.
The Heat’s all red jersey stands out, not just as the best look, but the fact LeBron James threw down a pair of monster alley-oops against the Lakers wearing them, etching them into memory forever.
Regardless on where you stand on sleeved basketball jerseys, these were a hit.
2014: The first name jerseys
I can only give these 5 out of 10 — the back with the first name of the player underneath the number in the color block is perfect, but the front of these jerseys lets them down.
Just the logo and player number looks more like a soccer jersey.
These had sky-high potential and I hope they bring them back with some more pop on the front.
2015: Festive font
These aren’t terrible, but they aren’t great either.
I’m a fan of the festive font, but they didn’t take too many risks with these uniforms.
Shouts to the Cavaliers and Warriors versions of these jerseys. I know they’re exactly the same as the other teams, but they popped just a little more than the other teams.
…which brings us to #1.
2016, Festive font, Part II
OK, these aren’t too dissimilar to the 2015 versions, which didn’t quite land, but the 2016 edition is the best Christmas Day jersey there’s been.
The festive font gives you the Christmas vibes and the simplicity of the jersey made every teams version of them a hit, which is something we haven’t been able to say about any other year’s versions, which makes them the pick of the bunch.
Again, iconic moments add to the legend of a jersey and Kyrie irving’s game-winner against the Warriors in the marquee matchup of the day says it all.