Basketball fans initially rejoiced when word leaked that Nike was taking over adidas' reign of NBA uniform terror. (RIP Shirseeys.) The Swoosh was going to bring some much-needed creativity to the hardwood, so the belief went, tapping into its success seen at the amateur level. Halfway through the 2017-18 season, it's clear that aspiration has gone unfulfilled.
The "City" release was a disaster, there were no Christmas Day threads and the damn shirts keep ripping. And yet, there was still hope the jerseys for the NBA All-Star Game, one of the most celebrated weekends of the sports year, could serve as a rejuvenation of sorts, and that the company would figure things out by Year 2.
So much for that.
The jerseys leaked online yesterday, and the reception has not been kind.
Yep, they stole the Space Jame "ToonSquad" template. Dark days.
Admittedly, we assumed this was a hoax. After all, why would Kobe Bryant, a man who's been retired for a few years, be featured? Alas, uni guru Paul Lukas confirmed the shirts, and an Eastbay product page seems to support it as well.
Sadly, Nike signed an eight-year deal with the Association. Here's hoping FILA gets back on its feet by the time the new contract rolls around.