In My Opinion

Charlotte Hornets’ teal uniforms are the choice here

sfowler@charlotteobserver.comJune 19, 2014 

Can the Charlotte Hornets make their alternate uniforms their primary home uniforms?

Unfortunately, they cannot, because those alternate uniforms -- primarily teal in color -- are the ones that I like the best of the new trio of uniforms they unveiled Thursday.

The Hornets will wear those teal uniforms 16-20 times a year, they say -- possibly more at home than on the road. Of the three, the teal uniforms are the only ones that say "Charlotte" on the chest plate. The other two both say "Hornets."

None of the three uniforms have the characteristic pinstripes coming down the front of the jersey that the originals had. I believe that is a lost opportunity. I wish the pinstripes had been inserted at least into the alternate uniforms.

On the other hand, I think the lettering looks good. And the overall look is crisp and uncluttered.

After attending the Hornets’ uniform unveiling Thursday, here’s my quick look at each of the Hornets' three uniforms for 2014-15:

1) White home uniforms. The NBA mandates that a light-colored uniform must be an NBA team's home uniform. None of the Hornets’ new uniforms are bad by any means, but to me these are the weakest of the three. I like purple and teal to be the primary colors, not white.

Also, while the word "Charlotte" is actually on this uniform, it is in very small print and extremely hard to read on the bottom right leg of the shorts. The Hornets' brass say this is a "discoverable" element -- it should have been made easier to discover. The purple numbers are cool, though.

There is striping on the left side of the uniform only, which the Hornets are insisting are "pinstripes." To me, a pinstripe is thin. These stripes are very thick. They use purple, teal and light blue like the original Hornets, but they also add a new color in gray.

2) Purple road uniforms. These are the second-best of the new uniforms. The purple is vibrant. This is basically the home uniform with a lot more color to it.

Like the home uniform, the chest plate says "Hornets" and not "Charlotte." Team officials said this was in large part due to their research, which said fans wanted the word "Hornets" very prominently displayed since it was so hard to get the old nickname back.

3) Teal alternate uniforms. These will be worn in about a quarter of the Hornets' games. I wish it was more like 90 percent. These uniforms are the ones I predict will sell the most (fans can pre-order all of the new uniforms, but not until August, and they won't arrive until September).

These also have "Charlotte" on the chest plate, and I like that too. The purple numbers on the teal jersey looks a lot like the iconic Alexander Julian design that originally made so many millions of dollars for the Hornets ( Julian wanted to design these new uniforms for free, but the Hornets instead had a team of designers from Nike do that. The uniforms themselves will be produced by adidas).

The teal is a bit darker than the original teal, by the way. It looks fantastic.

All in all, it's wonderful to see actual Hornets' uniforms again -- ones that will be worn, not just nostalgically remembered.

And while I am nitpicking some here, what is most important ultimately is how well the Hornets will play in these uniforms. With or without pinstripes, a 50-win season in the 2014-15 season would look awfully good and a 30-win one equally as bad.

Fowler: sfowler@charlotteobserver.com; Twitter: @scott_fowler

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