Taking stock of the NBA's uniforms – ESPN

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Paul LukasESPN.com

Close Sports journalism’s foremost uniform reporter ESPN.com columnist since 2004 Also blogs at uni-watch.com

The NBA season is now about halfway over, which makes this a good time to take stock of how the league’s bold experiment with uniform formats is playing out on the hardcourt.

In case you’ve forgotten, here’s a quick recap: As of this season, there are no more designated home or road uniforms in the NBA. Instead, each team now has a primary white uniform (cringe-inducingly known as the “association edition”), a primary colored uniform (the “icon edition”), and two alternate uniforms (the “statement” and “city editions,” the vast majority of which are colored), plus eight teams have throwback uniforms. For each game, the home team can wear whichever uniform it wants and the road team has to wear something of sufficient contrast.

The widespread expectation was that this would lead to a drastic reduction in the use of white uniforms and an explosion of color-vs.-color games. But now that we’re halfway through the season, has it actually turned out that way?

Collin Wright, an avid NBA uniform fan and assistant men’s basketball coach at Corning Community College in upstate New York, has been following that question all season long. He’s tracked the frequency of the three possible types of uniform matchups (home team in white, road team in color; home team in color, road team in white; and color vs. color) on a week-by-week basis throughout the season and listed them on the following graph. The numbers are complete through Sunday’s games:

Collin Wright.

As you can see, the traditional protocol of the home team wearing white has been the most common format for most of the season, but its frequency has been declining. And color

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