When the Trail Blazers unveiled their new “Association” and “Icon” Nike uniforms at the end of July, the most common reaction was that they didn’t look all that much different than the old “home” and “road” uniforms. That was a conscious decision, as the main takeaway after years of conducting focus groups and surveys was that fans, for the most part, weren’t really interested in wholesale changes to the two standard uniform options.
But it was noted at the time that while the “Association” and “Icon” uniforms would remain mostly unchanged from their previous iterations, Portland’s two additional jersey options — the red alternate and sleeved “Rip City” uniform — would feature more dramatic derivations.
Such is the case with Portland’s new Nike-designed, player-inspired “Statement” uniform, which was officially unveiled Friday night at Sony Studios in Culver City, CA.
“I like it, it’s probably one of the best of the new jerseys,” said Trail Blazers forward Maurice Harkless, who modeled Portland’s “Statement” jersey during the unveiling in Los Angeles. “I don’t know why but whenever something is all red, it’s always popular.”
The “Statement” uniform features all of the same minor changes as the “Association” and “Icon” uniforms, such as the use of quicker drying and lighter materials, updated wordmarks and logos, a v-neck as opposed to a more sloping neckline, the addition of “Rip City” on the waistband and moving the pinwheel to the side of the shorts. But while the “Association” and “Icon” uniforms featured more updates than changes, the “Statement” uniform looks significantly different than the previous all-red option.
The most noticeable change is the modernized diagonal sash on the jersey, which features “tone-on-tone stripes” inspired by the pinwheel logo. Previously, the sash was comprised of five stripes of varying widths in silver, black, red and white. The sash on the new iteration is also comprised of five lines, though now those lines, grey on a black field, are all the same width. That continues on the shorts, with the multi-colored bars being replaced with tone-on-tone stripes.
All of the new jerseys, including the “Statement” edition, contain NFC chips that will enable fans to “access real-time team and player content such as pregame arrival footage, highlight packages and top players’ favorite music playlists” via the NikeConnect app. The “Statement” edition jersey goes on sale September 29.
The “Statement” edition, just like the “Associate” and “Icon” versions, can be worn either at home or on the road (the home team now picks what jersey they want to wear for every game, with the road team conforming to that decision), and is expected to be featured in “marquee matchups and rivalry games throughout the season.” There is still one more uniform option, the “Community” editions, which is scheduled to be released later on in 2017.