This is the beginning of a beautiful thing. Not beautiful in the classic, Jennifer Anniston sense, but more beautiful in the “Ambiguous sports rankings with considerable bias” sense. My goal for Top 11 is for it to be a reoccurring feature on Seattle Sports & Otherwise, in where I pick a particular category and then rank my personal Top 11 of that category. I chose 11 because I couldn’t pick ten. And it stuck. This particular edition will focus on something very near and dear to my heart, the aesthetics of the NBA. I am a strong proponent of the “Look good, play good” mantra. And I can prove its merit. You will never see the Bobcats win a championship (or ten games this season) when they roll out in these. And yes I do mean players that look like Adam Morrison, who has fully embraced his role of looking like a 1970′s bar owner on the Lakers bench. But no more extraneous introduction is necessary, as the launch of the Top 11 is underway.
11. Early 90′s New Jersey Nets
This choice is one that may be what some would call, ridiculous. However, the fact is that the early 1990′s New Jersey Nets had a very classic jersey, and also happened to have my all-time favorite player, Drazen Petrovic on that same team. I will admit my obsession with Petrovic is recent, stemming from watching the ESPN 30 for 30 documentary on him and Vlade Divac called “Once Brothers”, but also for the fact that Petrovic had an absolutely absurd season in 1991. He averaged 20.6 points a game, while averaging .508 from the field, .444 from the three point line, and .808 from the free throw line, with a positive assist/turnover ratio. You will never see those stats again from anyone not named Kevin Durant or Lebron James and probably not even them. Petrovic was one of the best pure scorers the league has seen, and I happen to “own” his jersey. The reason for the quotations is the fact that I have not received the shipment of the jersey from the borderline illegal Chinese jersey site I got it from. But as for the actual aesthetics of the jersey, they belong on this list trust me. The red, white, and blue card is played perfectly (which I appreciate), and the sleeve striping is classic and represents the simplicity I miss in most NBA uniforms. Solid jersey, legendary player. RIP Drazen.
10. Mid-to-late 1990′s Toronto Raptors
The definition of a novelty jersey, but one that captures the swag of the early years of Vince Carter perfectly. Carter only wore these for one season, his ’98-’99 NBA Rookie of the Year campaign, but my god he made them look cool. Granted, this was my favorite team as a young tyke for the reason that there was a dinosaur on the logo and I watched Jurassic Park 8 times a day and walked around like a T-Rex in my underwear.But that doesn’t have anything to do with the niceness of these jerseys. Both the purple and the white versions exude greatness, with the lightning pinstripes and bizarre logo and number placement supplementing the idea that there is a velociraptor dribbling a basketball on the jersey. That is ballsy, and gives a big middle finger to unoriginal jerseys of the previous era. The 90′s were some crazy times folks and these jerseys capture that idea better than any.