Of the four major pro sports, no league does its All-Star Game better than the NBA. The NFL Pro Bowl stinks, the MLB All-Star Game is a shell of its former self and as much as I love the NHL, that league's new All-Star Game format lacks some serious pop. The same can't be said for the NBA All-Star Game, which always does its job of being entertaining while also being competitive thanks to the players giving some decent effort. Unless they are nursing a hangover like Jimmy Butler apparently was last year.
Unfortunately, the game's jerseys have been crappy at best and burn them all to a crisp at worst in recent years. Sadly, it doesn't appear like that will change in 2019 if these "leaked" jerseys from a Nike retail store in Kuala Lumpur are any indication:
My goodness these are garbage. And we are far from alone in that assessment:
This is now the second straight year that Nike has gotten mixed reactions (that's being kind) over their All-Star Game jersey design. Plain black and white appears to be the move once again, but this time with ... wait for it ... red, white and blue trim! Let's not get too wild now.
Making matters worse is that this "leak" is most definitely the 2019 jersey, at least according to one ESPN report. So it looks like we're stuck with these discount rack monstrosities.
Do the jerseys affect the fans' enjoyment of the game? Probably not, but when looking back on the All-Star jerseys of the '80s and '90s, it's clear that we could do much, MUCH better. Take a look at these red, white and blue classics from 1981:
Fire! And how about these beauties the Association's stars rocked from the late '80s into the early '90s:
Even these from 1992 that incorporated an actual star on the jersey were solid:
And who could forget these GOATs from 1995 and 1996:
Starting in the late '90s and up until 2003, players rocked their own uniforms, which is always a fine option. Then in 2003, they went back to the classics. Great move!
It's been all downhill since, most notably with the shirsey debacle of 2014:
The removal of the East vs. West format in favor of Team LeBron vs. Team Whoever certainly plays a role in the black and white, boring color scheme. But still, Nike can do better. Maybe next year.