It looks like the difference between this season's NBA All-Star uniforms and previous All-Star designs will be as stark as black and white.
For the past 15 years the league has stuck to the traditional format of the Eastern Conference All-Stars wearing blue or blue-trimmed uniforms, and their Western Conference counterparts wearing red. But for this season's All-Star Game, which is scheduled to be played on Feb. 18 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, the league has scrapped the East versus West format in favor of a draft-style system with two team captains choosing the rosters. It appears the new uniforms will feature one team in black and the other in white, with all players wearing black-and-white versions of their regular team logos on their jersey chests.
Although the league has not yet officially released the All-Star designs, photos purported to be leaked images of the uniforms and associated merchandise have been circulating online for nearly two weeks. Conrad Burry of Sportslogos.net, who has a strong track record of ferreting out NBA uniform information before it's officially announced, reported on Monday that he had confirmed the leaks as legitimate.
Guys, I have potentially terrible news. Let's hope to everything sacred that this ISN'T a first look at the NBA All-Star 2018 uniform template, but it appears to be at least a possibility 😟 (via hoopcity_dongdaemun on insta, h/t @Alphasialcool) https://t.co/lAvFvv89ZC pic.twitter.com/ibtbXVrC6T— Conrad Burry 🔴🐐🎨 (@conradburry) January 10, 2018
Some new photos of the two 2018 NBA-All Star uniforms, courtesy of @Triple_Sport's FB and instagram posts. This certainly (and sadly) confirms them both as legit. (h/t @PatyRawlings) pic.twitter.com/WOMm6mSzId— Conrad Burry 🔴🐐🎨 (@conradburry) January 17, 2018
The NBA did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The designs represent a significant departure from previous NBA All-Star uniforms, which have never featured the players' standard team logos on the chest (although players simply wore their regular team uniforms, with no special All-Star design, from 1997 through 2002).
1997-2002: No special NBA All-Star Game unis, as the players just wore their regular team unis. pic.twitter.com/sXkQtwxiMh— Paul Lukas (@UniWatch) February 9, 2016
In addition, the leaked images indicate that the new designs feature the Jordan Brand logo rather than the Nike logo. Twenty-nine of the league's 30 teams are wearing the Nike mark this season; the lone exception is the Charlotte Hornets, who are wearing the Jordan mark as a nod to team owner Michael Jordan. At present it is unclear why the All-Star uniforms are carrying the Jordan logo, although that will presumably be explained when the designs are officially announced.
The All-Star jerseys will also be carrying a Kia advertising patch for the third consecutive year. The Kia patch, which made its All-Star debut in 2016, effectively served as a warm-up for the eventual leaguewide uniform advertising program the NBA unveiled this season. At present, 19 of the 30 teams are wearing advertising patches.