In tandem with Nike taking over as the league’s sporting apparel company and refreshing each team’s uniforms, SB Nation NBA is rolling out a special jersey-themed week in partnership with its team sites.
For our part, we here at Indy Cornrows submitted our five favorite uniforms in the team’s history as well as the one we deemed as the absolute worst via the collective crowd-sourced preferences of our fan community.
Here’s the results:
Check out the best (and worst) of Pacers jersey history!
Check out the best (and worst) of Pacers jersey history!Posted by Indy Cornrows on Wednesday, 4 October 2017
2. Royal Blue Chest Stripe (1984/85 - 1989/90)
3. Pinstripes (1997/98 - 2004/05)
4. ABA Racing Stripes (1973 ABA Championship)
5. V-Neck (2005/06 - 2016/17)
1. Pinstripes (1997/98 - 2004/05)
Since the colorways were not subdivided, the biggest takeaway from this exercise is arguably how much the differing eras of team history and iconic moments wherein seemed to factor into and inform on the community’s choices, even if not intentionally.
Notice, for instance, the oddity of the early-aughts Pinstripes somehow simultaneously landing among the best while also being singled out as the worst. Granted, it’s possible that this dichotomy might have something to do with the gaudiness of the gold alternates, but those uniforms also tellingly represent the franchise’s NBA-era peak as well as its pit. The Pacers proudly wore the Pinstripes when they advanced to the 2000 NBA Finals and pushed the Los Angeles Lakers to six games, and the Pinstripes sadly hung stretched out around the necks of some of the Pacers following the goings-on of The Brawl.
Still, as much as the Pinstripes were polarizing at the polls, the Hickory jerseys along with the recently released farm-inspired garb were forgettable. Perhaps this was because the new uniforms have yet to write their history whereas the history of the cardinal red and gold satin throwbacks largely belongs to a Milan-inspired film version of the state’s history, notwithstanding the emergence of Blonde George Hill.
If so, it might have been more worth it for the Pacers to simply revisit the rich legacy of the fan favorite Flo Jo’s or ABA Racing Stripes for the upcoming season’s additional alternate uniforms over opting for what Reddit rumors will be the more unassuming maroon accented white jersey-white shorts combination which the character Ollie can be seen wearing in the movie Hoosiers when he sinks his free throws underhanded.
Although certain aspects of the team’s past are better off left in the past, Reggie Miller’s iconic battles with the Knicks (Flo Jo), the back-to-back championships won by Indiana’s now Hall of Fame-enshrined front line (ABA Racing Stripes), and Paul George’s emergence as a four-time All-Star (V-Neck) are the threads making up the historical fabric of the Pacers and that appears to matter more than the literal fibers, cut or style of any jersey.