The City Edition uniform is (almost always) a one-year-only style that is meant to be a little off-the-wall. NBA teams are encouraged to go a little outside their comfort zone to pay tribute to their city, their fans, their home market… and we can certainly see some good examples of that coming up in 2022-23.
Cleveland’s “The Land,” Golden State’s Oakland Tree, the Sixers wearing “The City of Brotherly Love,” Phoenix wearing the colours of their local indigenous tribes, and the Trail Blazers with their “PDX” airport carpet design are good examples of turning towards the city or market rather than the traditions of the team itself. Not sure what the Wizards are paying tribute to with their pink uniform; perhaps someone with better knowledge of the DC area might know? Maybe for the Cherry Blossoms?
The Brooklyn Nets and Miami Heat retain their “Mixtape” style City Edition uniform from 2021-23, just changing the base colour from black to white.The “Statement” Edition uniform is what we would have previously referred to as an alternate uniform; it’s worn a few dozen times per season and must remain for at least three seasons. The Statement Edition uniform is the only league-wide NBA style of jersey that features Nike’s “Air Jordan” branding rather than their familiar “Swoosh” logo.
It’s a little tricky to see what’s going on in great detail here; the Clippers look to be reaching back to their past by incorporating the sails of the classic San Diego Clippers logo onto their uniforms, the Lakers are bringing back their old black infused alternate purple uniforms (note, as a ‘Statement’ uniform, this would mean it’s replacing their extremely classic purple and golds… unless I’m completely overlooking something). Utah is Utah. Why they’d move away from their sunrise set for this is beyond me — we’ll have to wait for the official release to get an explanation.“Classic Edition” uniforms (or what we normies would call a “throwback”) are the only time NBA clubs are permitted to bring back an old design precisely as it once appeared, they can only be worn for one season and that one season must be a significantly numbered (essentially anything divisible by 5) anniversary of the founding or relocation of the team and/or a past team championship.
For 2022-23 we’re getting *at least* nine such throwbacks, the Nets wearing the old 1980s New Jersey set, the Pistons in their 1990s teals, Golden State also back to the ’90s. Los Angeles is going back to their Minneapolis days in the powder and gold back in the 1950s, Miami’s expansion look from 1989, the Bucks in ’90s purple as are the Suns. San Antonio is in their black-on-black from their time in the ABA back in the ’70s (yes, they did silly unreadable numbers 50 years ago too), and finally, the Washington Wizards, like the Pistons, are reaching back to their teal/light blue design of the late 1990s.
While NBA uniforms leak routinely, I don’t think we’ve ever seen such a haul of leaked uniforms in one day, and certainly not this early! The 2021-22 season is still only halfway through! We likely won’t see these released officially until the Summer, with the “City Edition” set probably locked away until closer to the opening tipoff in October… a baby conceived today might make it out in time to see these released officially; what a thought!