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Ranking the top 10 throwback jerseys in NBA history in honor of NBA Jersey Day

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NBA fans are almost spoiled for choice nowadays with teams constantly updating their jerseys.

With several teams sporting new home and away colors, while also giving fans a taste of nostalgia by bringing back some of the most beloved throwback jerseys in the City Edition and Statement Edition jerseys, that got us thinking, which other vintage threads do we want to see back on the court in the NBA?


As the NBA celebrates the third annual #NBAJerseyDay on Dec. 14, here are the top 10 throwback jerseys in NBA history. 

1. Philadelphia 76ers road – 1997-2009

After years without wearing a black uniform, the 76ers’ 2020-21 City Editions brought back the colorway, paying homage to the iconic view of Boathouse Row.

Iverson rocked the black 76ers jersey when he lifted the 2001 Most Valuable Player of the Year trophy, only adding to the nostalgia.

While we’re at it, let’s bring back the home whites and alternate blues in this design as well.

2. Orlando Magic pinstripes

#Penny #Shaq

The Magic’s jerseys have been underwhelming in recent years, while they sit on a gold mine of a throwback in their famous ’90s pinstripes. 

Immediately bringing back the vibes from the Penny Hardaway and Shaquille O’Neal heydays, these pinstripes in white, black, or blue are a must for Magic fans.

3. Chicago Bulls in cursive


Even though the Bulls never won a championship in these uniforms, they maintain iconic status, symbolizing the beginning of the Michael Jordan era in 1984.

Has anyone ever looked cooler than MJ rocking this jersey with two gold chains in the 1985 Slam Dunk Contest? I don’t think so.

They did bring back a version of these in 2021, just as a temporary alternative, but we’d like to see them make it permanent.

4. Toronto Raptors – Dino uniforms

#McGrady #Carter

The Raptors brought these back in 2019-20 to celebrate the team’s 25th anniversary, but let’s go ahead and do it again. 

The butt of plenty of jokes back in the day, these cartoon uniforms have aged gracefully, now becoming a must-have jersey for Raptors fans.

5. Phoenix Suns ’90s threads


The Suns revived these iconic jerseys as their Hardwood Classic Edition uniform this season and they hit just as hard in 2022.

6. Warriors x Run TMC


We’ve already seen the Warriors throw it back to the ‘We Believe’ era, now it’s time to bring back the TMC threads. Steph Curry pulling up from halfcourt at the Chase Center in these unis just makes sense.

They even brought the captain’s “C” on the chest.

7. Detroit Pistons – Motor City


Detroit has leaned into their Motor City moniker on their jerseys in recent years, but nothing beats the original Grant Hill-era uniforms.

These jerseys are fire in white and red, but the teal version takes the cake.

In 2022-23, they brought these back as their Classic Edition uniform, which they’ll wear in 10 games this season. 

8. Atlanta Hawks – The Big Hawk


I’m showing an unreasonable amount of love to the cartoon jerseys of the ’90s, but this is by far the best jersey the Hawks have ever produced.

The Hawks rocked a yellow version of these as their City Edition jerseys last season, but like I said for the Bulls’ cursive jerseys, let’s make it permanent. Especially the black version.

9. San Antonio Spurs – Pay homage to the Iceman


The Spurs have gone in the opposite direction with their City Edition uniforms in recent years, bringing back the bright colours of their Fiesta jerseys.

The simplicity of these 1980s George Gervin-era threads have to make a comeback at some point!

10. Miami Heat – Another 90s throwback


The Miami Heat have had some of the best alternate jerseys in recent years with their ‘Vice City’ colorways, but the 1995-96 retro red alternates could be the only ones in their back catalog that could top them.

11. Cleveland Cavaliers — All Hail the King

LeBron James (Cleveland Cavaliers), Carmelo Anthony (Denver Nuggets)

I know we said Top 10, but this Cavs uni had to make the list as a bonus entry. 

Synonymous with LeBron James’ first stint with the Cleveland Cavaliers, these road jerseys are among the best the Cavs have ever produced.

Not to mention the iconic moments that came with it — none better than his 48-point performance against the Detroit Pistons in Game 5 of the 2007 Eastern Conference Finals.

Imagine Darius Garland, Evan Mobley and co. rocking these while playing against LeBron? Make it happen!


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