Conspicuously absent through the first few weeks of the season has been the Los Angeles Lakers purple uniforms, traditionally worn for all road games. Of course, with Nike taking over the NBA apparel contract this season, previously set customs and traditions have been thrown out the window.
Rather than be tied to home or road games, Nike designed “Icon,” “Association,” “Classic” and “Statement” editions. For the Lakers, that’s amounted to primarily wearing their yellow uniforms (Icon), with the previously Sunday-only whites (Association) mixed in.
They donned throwback Minneapolis powder blue jerseys (Classic) for a home contest with the Philadelphia 76ers earlier this month. With a slew of road games on the horizon for the Lakers, they soon will begin making a Statement.
Lakers equipment manager Carlos Maples said the anticipation of wearing purple uniforms has the team excited, via Bill Oram of the Southern California News Group:
“Everybody’s dying to wear the purple ones,” Maples said. “They’re probably our prettiest uniform.”
“It’s going to blow everybody’s mind,” Maples said. “Purple on purple, with guys matching shoes and all the accessories. Purple headbands, purple sleeves. It’s going to be very purple.”
The Lakers are first expected to wear their Statement uniforms Monday night when they are the designated road team in a matchup with the Clippers. Their first true road game after that point is Saturday, Dec. 2, against the Denver Nuggets.
While Nike required the Lakers to delay their wearing of the Statement uniforms until after Thanksgiving, it’s not believed that will be the case in years ahead. This season is the first of an eight-year apparel deal that’s believed to be worth nearly $1 billion.
Apparel rights previously lied with Adidas, who began an 11-year deal with NBA in 2006.
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