We already knew that the NBA had too many uniforms, but the Thunder took things to a new level on Friday night against the Hawks, wearing different uniforms in each half of their game against Atlanta.
There was a good reason for the change, namely that the NBA has too many damn uniforms. The Hawks showed up on the court in Oklahoma City wearing their (checks notes) Icon Jerseys, while the Thunder donned their (checks notes again) Statement Jerseys.
The result was an incredibly stupid matchup of red against orange.
Incredibly, the Thunder — the home team, with the ability to wear any uniform they could muster — tried to blame the fiasco on the Hawks “wearing the incorrect uniform color for the game.”
Apparently, the Hawks only brought red uniforms on their road trip, almost as if they thought they might be able to get away with such a zany concept as “road uniforms.” The Thunder might have been incredulous at this, but did graciously switch at halftime to white uniforms — no, sorry, (checks notes one more time) Association Jerseys.
The Thunder outscored the Hawks, 63-55, in orange, and edged Atlanta, 55-54, in white, for a 118-109 final.
The worst part of this is that it wasn’t just a freak occurrence. The uniform choices were made in advance and the situation was entirely avoidable.
In 2013, the Hawks-Knicks clash of red and orange was a much more understandable mistake. New York was wearing its orange alternates for just the fourth time, and NBA rules at the time required the home team to, get this, “wear light colored jerseys, and the visitors dark jerseys, unless otherwise approved.”
The orange had been designated as a light-colored alternate jersey, and NBA vice president Tim Frank declared, “Going forward, we’ll ensure that the opponent wears a more distinguishing color when the Knicks wear orange.”
He didn’t say anything about the Thunder wearing orange, though.
Sorry, not orange. “Sunset.” Is this a basketball league or an L.L. Bean catalog?