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What Makes the New Nike NBA Uniforms So Special?

Nike NBA Basketball Jersey 10

You’ve probably heard about the new Nike jerseys that every team in the league will wear this upcoming season. However, you may not know what makes them so special and the science behind them.

For starters, the NBA is a completely different league from what it was twenty years ago. Not just in scope or cultural impact but in the way the players play the game. Today, the game is faster, smaller, more fluid, and a lot more spacious. Gone are the days where a guy like MJ would run into a brick wall made out of defenders.

Along with the evolution of play, the player’s anatomy and body types have evolved; it’s one of the main reasons why Nike put so much time into the development of the new uniforms. Designers and engineers focused on three areas: movement, thermoregulation, and fit.

Nike NBA Basketball Jersey jayson tatum
Jayson Tatum of the Boston Celtics in the new jersey (the league’s slimmest yet) and shorts (which are shorter and more fitted than past silhouettes). Photo via Nike.

According to Nike, the team gathered data on temperature regulation and put in countless hours of testing including including snag and burst testing as well as pilling and wash testing. Atlas maps, a process that uses digital body scans to determine where sweat zones and contact zones are located, were used to design a uniform in three dimensions.

“You’ll see guys constantly trying to pull their jerseys off of their chest — LeBron does it all the time,” said Kurt Parker, Nike VP of Apparel Design, in a statement. “So, we realized that we needed to figure out a way for the jersey to wick the sweat without it being too baggy or too tight.”

The solution to that problem were tiny nodes placed on the jersey to stop it from sticking. And because the jerseys are constructed from an engineered knit fabric Nike designers were able to program an area on the chest that would allow air flow.

The front of the jersey has a dimensional texturized yarn that stands off the skin to help reduce cling and increase breathability. The back of the jersey uses a slightly different open-hole mesh engineered texturized yarn that maximizes breathability and air flow.

Nike upgraded everything from the materials to the way the uniforms are cut to increase range of motion.

“Typically, players would size up to get more range of motion from their uniforms,” explained Parker in a statement. “But thanks to these maps we were able to streamline the fit by tailoring the uniforms to their need, resulting in the lightest uniform in NBA history.

If you wanted more information on every design detail of the new uniforms, head over to Nike Inc.

The Nike NBA Association Edition and Icon Edition uniforms launch September 29 on nike.com/nba while the Statement Edition uniform will drop on November 20.

Nike NBA Basketball pelicans jersey

Nike NBA Basketball Jersey 10
From left: Demar DeRozan of the Toronto Raptors, Paul George of the Oaklahoma City Thunder, Karl-Anthony Towns of the Minnesota Timberwolves. Photo via Nike.



Source: Nike

  1. So true!
    “We put countless hours of research in these jerseys. That’s why we came up with our new fiber type called AweSomeTec™. Kids in sweatshops in Bangladesh can sew these fibers twice as fast, especially since we also installed GuardsWithBayonets™ standing behind them. Now all we need are dumb consumers like you so BUY BUY BUY!”
    And we’re dumb enough to fall for this marketing machinery.

  2. That’s not true at all. Engineered knits allow the designers to make the material function differently for different areas. This technology is fascinating. While it is true that those guys can probably go out there and play in cotton tees, when you’re competing at the highest level, every little bit can make a difference.

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