The Indiana Pacers became the latest team to unveil previews of their new uniforms on Friday, sharing images of the “Association Edition” (White) and “Icon Edition” (Blue) jerseys. The “Athletes Mindset” (likely Hickory-themed) and the “Community Edition” (perhaps IMS-themed) will most likely be released at a later date.
Nike is ditching traditional ‘home’ and ‘away’ jerseys as part of them becoming the new sporting apparel company of the NBA next season, so the Pacers —- freshly adorned with the recognizable swoosh on the upper right side of their chest — will be free to choose what color they want to wear on a game-by-game basis as long as it contrasts with their opponent’s selection when on the road.
Something that further distinguishes the Pacers from most of the league is that their team name and city/state name appear curved on the front of the jerseys providing balance and support around the player’s number.
It’s simple, but it’s also clean and at least it doesn’t feature the more busy “We Grow Basketball Here” seal that coincidentally bears loose resemblance to our logo here at Indy Cornrows.
Doing so would’ve paid homage to the state’s long-standing tradition of Hoosiers Hysteria, but farming would’ve left an equal impression. That’s alright for fan gear and other merchandise, but it’s sort of an odd pivot for a team that should more intuitively be inspired by racing. The radiating lines along the sides of the new jerseys, however, do subtly convey the “sun rising” on the horizon of “Indiana farmland” and are intended to be a “physical representation of growth.”
The symbolism, here, appears to be timely: A new post-Paul George era focused on developing young, homegrown talent is dawning.
On a slightly more sour note, the “How the States Got Their Shapes” secondary logo is located on the belt of the shorts, and could still end up making a more central appearance on one of the alternate jerseys.
It’s understandable that the Pacers want to emphasize that this is Indiana’s team playing Indiana’s game, but the jagged, misshapen outline makes it appear like it belongs in the original 8-bit version of Pong (for better jokes of this variety, head over to 8 points, 9 seconds).
On the other hand, at least the Pacers won’t become the 11th team in the league to announce a jersey-ad sponsor for next season. Instead, the upper right quadrant of the jersey remains free and clear, for now.
A deal that does still have the potential to continue for the foreseeable future, though, is Indiana’s with MGM Studios, which allows the Pacers to wear Hoosiers inspired uniforms in select regular season games. Over at Reddit, rumor has it that the cardinal red and gold colorway will be exchanged in favor of the more unassuming white jersey-white shorts combination that the character Ollie can be seen wearing in the iconic film when he sinks his free throws underhanded.
If accurate, that would mean that the popular Flo-Jo’s, Classic Pinstripes, and ABA throwbacks likely will not be revisited next season, which may cause eyes to wander longingly back at Brian Begley’s design concepts.
Taken as a whole, despite mildly confused farming-racing branding and the potential for ignored favorites, the new uniforms are less drab than their predecessors and definitely reflect (rural) Indiana.