Paul George Is Hyped For OKC’s New Nike Jerseys

words & interview // Nick DePaula:

As four-time NBA All-Star Paul George plans to embark on his eighth pro season, he’ll be donning not only just a new franchise’s jersey for the first time in his career, but also Nike’s newly launched and overhauled take on the traditional NBA uniform.

In advance of his debut season with the Oklahoma City Thunder, the two-way forward and Nike signature athlete has been a constant in the Swoosh’s roll out of the new jerseys. For George and several other NBA stars, the 2016 Olympic Games served as a first testing ground for Nike’s eventual revamped jersey design concepts.

“Being a part of Team USA, I was getting accustomed to how light, really comfortable and stretchy the jersey is,” describes George. “The biggest key was just – not to knock the adidas jerseys – but they were kind of heavy and you’d really sweat them out. Comfort is a really big factor, and it feels good.”

Since announcing this season’s expected league takeover during the spring of 2015 for all game uniforms, warmup apparel and even the referee’s tops — a massive 8-year, $ 1 Billion deal – Nike has been working to alter, adjust and innovate atop all thirty teams’ tanks.

Nike last provided league uniforms for just ten teams, twenty years ago at the start of the ’97-98 NBA season, with Champion and Puma dividing the remaining franchises between themselves. Reebok then overtook the entire league at the start of the 2004 season, with its new parent company adidas absorbing the deal and beginning an 11-year manufacturer run with the NBA in 2006. Since that time, the silhouettes, fit and style across the league has drastically shifted.

“From how the athletes move, to the positions they play — even their body types are completely different today than they were five to 10 years ago,” explains Kurt Parker, Nike VP of Apparel Design. “That’s why we wanted to dramatically evolve both the performance and look of the uniforms.”

“They’re two different jerseys,” George says of the league’s recent unis and this season’s update. “These feel sleeker, and we can move better in them. If you dress well, you’ll play well.”

In addition to the modernized looks — there’s a distraction-free aimed arm hole without a fully wrapped band, along with the short’s slit opening moved up for more range of motion — fans and players alike are most looking forward to the new designs and themes to be expected across the league.

Gone are the standard home and road designated jerseys, as teams will be able to select a new primary look for home games. Nike will also launch two additional alternates heavy on brandspeak — a hyperlocalized “Community” jersey and the “Athlete’s Mindset” look that remains to be seen.

Just today, the league announced they’ll be doing away with the historical East vs. West designations for the annual All-Star Game, leading people to already wonder what the brand will have in store for the league’s 67th annual player showcase in Los Angeles this February.

“It’s going to allow us to be more creative out there,” beams George. “We’ve seen what Nike has done with the NFL with the ‘Color Rush.’”

While the looks will be tinkered with and the template may have been adjusted, there’s also a tech element to the uniform with the brand’s “Nike Connect” app that’s entirely new that players are most looking forward. For fans that purchase a jersey, they’ll be able to hover their mobile phone over the size tag, instantly accessing stats, highlights and — for Nike and Jordan-endorsed players — exclusive shoe launches.

For players, they’ll be able to view data about their fans from all over the world, that might even go on to influence where their next summer promo tour takes place. “I think it’s dope. It’s a direct stream from the fans to the athletes,” continues George. “That’s something new, and I think it will be something that fans will get involved with. It’s cool, ’cause it’s a way to bring a fan that much closer to you.”

While Nike will be providing each team with four jerseys throughout the season — plus a fifth retro-inspired uniform that eight teams will have — players will also have more accessories at their disposal, with linking compression leggings, sleeves and armbands on deck.

As PG13 explains, his on- and off-court style is simply derived from what he’s become most comfortable in. “It comes down to what makes you comfortable,” he outlines. “Our fashion and style comes from what’s most comfortable. Whatever you’re comfortable in – skinny jeans, flannels or a kangaroo hat – everyone should feel creative and comfortable.”

With new jerseys and signature shoes to be showcased all year long, along with a revamped and retooled Thunder roster aiming to compete amongst a deep Western Conference, George is already looking forward to the season ahead with his new franchise, and the expected style competition among teammates.

“We’re going to have fun with it. I know Russ is the ‘fashion king.’ I’m more than fine with that,” smiles George. “I’m the ‘fashion prince.’”

Info via: Paul George Is Hyped For OKC’s New Nike Jerseys

You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Leave a Reply


Get Adobe Flash playerPlugin by wordpress themes
Powered by WordPress | Designed by: Free WordPress Themes Online | Thanks to Premium Themes, Download Free WordPress Themes and Best Free WordPress Themes