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Did the Knicks screw up their uniforms again?

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They can't stop meddling with a classic.

NBA: Milwaukee Bucks at New York Knicks Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

The Governor’s Ball is some kind of music festival featuring a variety of performers. As An Old, I had to Google this, because I’ve reached the dreaded age where I can only consume so much pop culture before chunks of detritus start dripping out of my ears and I’ve forgotten truly important things like the name of my third grade teacher. (Fellow kids, you too will hit this milestone. It’s jarringly unpleasant.)

In any case, the NBA made its presence felt at said festival, setting up a “backstage gifting suite” where they doled out Knicks and Brooklyn Nets gear to the assembled celebrities and VIPs, including the draft night caps. Chris Rock got one! One other such recipient was the singer-songwriter Khalid. Again, I had no idea who this person is, but thankfully, Wikipedia exists.

Alas, in their promotional zeal, the NBA’s marketing wizards may have leaked a change to the Knicks’ blue road dangit, “Icon” jerseys:

As you can see, no longer will the numbers be orange with a white trim. Instead, they’ll be white with an orange trim. And by jeezum crow, I am mad as hell. Before I slice my spleen wide open and send a spigot of bile into your browser, here’s some uni-centric deets, via Conrad Burry, who you should all follow if you’re a manic sports uniform obsessive (like me). The dreaded “Statement” unis will be also returning next year and the fireman-styled “City Edition” threads will be overhauled:

Reached for comment, Burry could not confirm that the jersey Khalid was gifted at would be seen on the court in 2018-19. “I only ‘officially’ know the main colors to be used in their 4 uniforms next season,” he said via email.

Let’s take a deeper dive into that brief clip. For a moment, we catch a glimpse of the inside and hoo boy, someone went with a really slap-dash stitching job. Compare that to the official NBA jersey seen in this fine unboxing video. Each number is sewn directly, using a color fabric that corresponds to the trim. Whereas the garment in Khalid’s swag bag, er, heavily secured steel box, it seems as if they were screen-pressed.

TAke a look, y’all:

image via screenshot

Did someone hurriedly put this jersey together and somehow grab the wrong kind of numbers? It’s unlikely, but a frame-by-frame, Zapruder-like parsing of the video does offer a glimmer of hope: Maybe the Knicks won’t go ahead with this pointless design change? (They probably will.) To be clear, there’s nothing necessarily wrong with using contrasting patterns for the team name and wordmark. The Lakers have gone this route to fine effect, and the Suns, well... not so much.

That said, why? By all that is holy and good, why? There’s no need to keep futzing with a classic look, just like their reported tweaking of their color scheme last year. If they’re going to rework the jerseys altogether, great. Do that! Or if the goal is to eternally doff a cap at the sole championship era in Knicks history, then fix the gosh darned “New York” on the front and stop bringing eternal sartorial shame to Reed, Frazier, DeBusschere, et al.

As I’ve previously written, the 2012 redesign—fattening the letters and straightening out the vertical arc—make it look like a small child’s botched rendering or the product of some slapdash factory overseas cranking out cheaply made replicas. This is fixable, and yet MSG seems determined to do everything any anything but that.

Anyway, once again, there is a historical precedent to be found. In the mid- to late-60s, the Knicks rolled with white numbers and a New York Yankees-esque radially arched “New York.” (Do not believe the blasted lies perpetrated by Chris Creamer. All the lettering and numbers were orange until 1965.)

Going by last year’s timeline, we’ll have to wait until August for the official word, but until then, let’s focus on the important stuff. Namely, a social media update from our beloved Large Adult Son, Kristaps.

As the 18th and 19th century Japanese poet Kobayashi Issa wrote:

“O snail,

Climb Mt. Fuji,

But slowly, slowly!”