The Charlotte Hornets will have three uniforms this season – primarily white at home, purple for road games and an alternate jersey that will be primarily teal.
The Hornets rolled the uniforms out Thursday morning in their ongoing rebrand from their 10 seasons as the Bobcats. Gone are the pleats and pinstripes from the original Hornets uniforms. Instead the Hornets went with a clean, block-letter design with thicker stripes down the left side of each uniform.
North Carolina-based clothier Alexander Julian designed the original Hornets uniforms in the late 1980s. This time, Jordan Brand – the Nike division built around Hornets owner Michael Jordan’s fame – did the work over the past 13 months.
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The alternate uniforms using primarily teal appear most striking. The chest plate on those will read “Charlotte,” as opposed to “Hornets” on the white and purple versions.
Under NBA rules, the Hornets can wear those teal alternates 16 to 20 games a year. Team officials said those dates will be divided between home and road games.
The Hornets did not have the option of going with the exact uniforms worn in 1988, under NBA rules. The league requires updates.
Fans can start pre-ordering replica jerseys in August, but the team says Adidas won’t be able to provide them until late September. Adidas is the NBA’s official uniform provider, but the Hornets had the choice to go elsewhere for their designs. Hence, Jordan Brand, which came up with the many generations of Air Jordan basketball shoes.
What was Jordan’s input in the process?
“He wanted something high-performance. Something our players would be proud to wear,” said Pete Guelli, the Hornets’ chief marketing officer.
Seth Bennett, the Hornets’ vice president of marketing, entertainment and interactive media, said the priority was a look the team could use for many years.
“We didn’t want to be trendy; we didn’t want to be loud,” Bennett said in a morning media briefing. “I think this connects the two eras.”
The new uniforms will be on display at both the Hornets’ team store at Time Warner Cable Arena and at the Mint Museum Uptown (500 S. Tryon St.) in the atrium, which is an open public space that does not require an admission fee.