Are the Charlotte Hornets’ original pinstripes-and-pleats uniforms returning to the Queen City?
The Hornets declined comment Monday on pictures floating around the Internet, portraying the original jerseys with a Jordan Brand logo. That Nike shoe and apparel brand, built around Hornets owner Michael Jordan, will be the advertising patch the team wears as part of a new NBA marketing initiative.
Those original uniforms, created by North Carolina clothier Alexander Julian for the 1988-89 season, were iconic. Julian loved purple and teal, so that became the color scheme. He added pinstripes and pleats – stylish in men’s fashion in the 1980s – to make the look distinctive. Later, teams such as the Orlando Magic and Houston Rockets did pinstripe versions of their uniforms.
Ever since the local NBA franchise acquired the original Hornets name in 2014, after New Orleans switched to the Pelicans, fans have wondered when the original uniforms might come in as an alternate. The Hornets have three versions of their current uniform; white at home, purple on the road and teal as an alternate.
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The NBA is currently changing uniform providers from Adidas to Nike. Might that be a logical opportunity to roll out the retro look Larry Johnson, Alonzo Mourning and Muggsy Bogues showed off on an uptown mural in 1994?
Maybe this season, and if not then, it would be an appropriate touch for the 2018-19 season, the 30th anniversary of the NBA’s debut in Charlotte.
Bonnell: 704-358-5129: @rick_bonnell