Monday, July 26, 2010

Best NBA Home Uniform - My Turn!

A few days ago, BleacherReport.com put out their rankings of (what they thought were) the top home unis in the NBA. Well, I read the list, and, well, I disagreed with pretty much all of it. I'm not saying the person who wrote the list (Mr. Felkey, I'm lookin' at you, kid) has little clue of what he's talking about. I'm just sayin'.

So, I tried my hand at my own list. What I did was pretty frickin' awesome, if I may toot my own vuvuzela for a moment. I paired up each team against each other team, so as to have a complete 29-game round-robin schedule. No RPI and SOS discussions will ruin this masterpiece. What I came up with was quite different from Mr. Felkey's list. And, to be 100% honest and biased, it's a much more scientifically accurate ranking. It just is. I'm a uni guy - I know these things.

Before I begin, I will point out that I moved the Lakers and the Knicks from the 2nd and 15th spots, respectively, to where they are now after the round-robin (scroll down to find out, bucko). I just couldn't keep the Lakers up that high, as the longer I stared at their home unis (the yellow ones, not the actually more impressive white ones) the more I longed for the old-school versions. Also, the Knicks would have fared better with a better collar and the black-less uniforms from years past. But they still have uniforms worthy of the upper echelon in the NBA.

Also, I do have a weak stomach for piping and side panel messes. And I have an affinity for blue. Let's take those Rockets, for instance....enjoy....

30. Houston

When these came out, I was immediately turned off by the frailness of the design. It is a cool logo, but the sides of the jersey make it look like a blouse and there simply is no boldness to it. Had these been blue, they may have gotten a win or two in my round robin.

29. Washington

Take some Bullets and shoot these things, Gilbert. See what I did there?

28. Minnesota

Too much piping and cuteness here. I long for the original Wolves uniforms. The font kills it. Absolutely kills it.

27. Atlanta

Don't get me started on the Hawks' color scheme. Why are they red and blue??? The 3D lettering and piping is disgusting. Bring me back some Human Highlight Film uniforms!


26. Sacramento

They got too cute with this new uniform. It's generic and not so much fun to look at. Not a fan of the off-centered numerals on the front.

25. Utah

Can't wait for the new unis to come out. These are much better than the final years of Stockton and Malone, but they're not too much fun. Piping!!!

24. Milwaukee

What the Buck?!! I used to live in Milwaukee, so I can say that. The green and red are solid, but too shiny. The lettering needs to even out. I hate the big first and last letters. They're corny as hell, which is more appropriate for an Iowa or Nebraska team. Go back to the Moncrief days, please!

23. Dallas

Slightly better than their close relatives from Sac-town, probably cuz of the blue in there.

22. Oklahoma City

Big fan of the plain, old school style, but there's gotta be more to a uniform than this. The entire branding of this team baffles me. Still waiting for the overhaul. Will there be one soon?

21. Phoenix

Sides are too thick. And that floating circle irritates me more and more. Why not just get rid of it? That would be an instant hike 5 spots in these rankings.

20. Detroit

Might be the first big surprise of these rankings. The Pistons had sweeter unis in the 80s, and for some reason they think they've improved on those. The font is bland and weak. It's really a blah uniform.

19. Toronto

It's a sleek design, but it's missing something. Perhaps history, I don't know. I do know the color scheme isn't helping.

18. New Jersey Nets

They could stand to get new jerseys. Get it? I'm on fire, really. "NETS" is too big, but the color scheme gets them to this level of mediocrity from that of the Kings and Mavs.

17. Denver

Felkey loves these. I say the shine is their demise. Powder blue is a great color, but the design is weak. Less would be more in this case. Let the powder blue carry you, is what I always say. Heck, if they went with that shade at home and navy on the road, I'd be in sky blue heaven.

16. Cleveland

Love the template. The wine and gold is played out again. Those "CAVS" alts really should make a comeback. My Decision is final here.

15. Orlando

I like what the Magic have done here, with the bold "Magic" on their chest. The piping and striping still take away from what could be a much better design.

14. Philadelphia 76ers

Oh. So. Close. All the Sixers had to do was completely go back to their 80s design and not continue to tease us. The different colored letters and numbers flat out piss me off. Not to mention whatever weirdness they decided to cloud the sides with. Ugh.

13. Miami

Quite frankly, this is a great design. Bron-Bron will look good in this uniform. It's just missing something to vault it into the top 10. Perhaps it's the color scheme I don't love.

12. Memphis

I immediately think Stanford when I see these. I think this is one of the best color schemes in sports. Also see: L.A. Galaxy. But just as I didn't think Stanford fully grabbed me with their font, so don't these.

11. New Orleans

Number 1? Hardly. If anything, the pinstripes take away from it. "New Orleans" is a pretty busy name to have on your chest as it is. Great colors for a great city that I've never been to. Just a little too busy for my liking.

10. Portland

I'll complain about the upper-case "BLAZERS" all night long. All night. All night long. All night. The font is weak. This could be a top-5.

9. Indiana

Reminiscent of the Magic uniforms, but done a little better, in my opinion. You could argue these are underrated. But I won't, cuz it might inspire some schmuck to make his own list.

8. New York Knicks

The black trim kills these unis. Why, why, why? And the collar. What's up with that? Another great uniform gone wrong, but still a top-10 one.

7. Los Angeles Lakers

Great uniforms. Crisp. Bright. Nice cut. I like how they updated them, but the numbers get to me. And as mentioned above, I prefer the white ones. Those are really neat-o.

6. San Antonio Spurs

This is a classic uniform that hasn't been tarnished for the most part. And you can't even say the addition of black has ruined them. Ha! The color scheme works with this blue-collar team, although not one of my all-time faves. Still, the design is awesome and it's a template I wish more teams would use. Talkin' to you, Houston and Minnesota.

5. Golden State Warriors

Now, I'm going out on a slight limb here (a twig?) to say these unis will mostly resemble "The City" uniform from the past. Judging from the jersey, it looks like they will. And those things are beautiful.

4. Los Angeles Clippers

I'm proud of this team for grinding through years of suckitude to make it to the top 5 of these here rankings. Way to hang in there, fellas. Quite frankly, these are great uniforms. I'd tweak the thick side stripes a little thinner. Do that and these contend for the title. The cursive "Clippers". Need I say more?

3. Charlotte Bobcats

In what could be the most surprising in these rankings, the Bobcats have landed in the top 5. Why? The color scheme is wonderful. The crispness of the uniform on the whole. The pinstripes work for these guys. It's not over the top, while pushing the envelope a little bit. It passes the eye test for me with flying colors.

2. Boston Celtics

A true classic. The Lakers and Sixers could have followed suit 100% and been up here with them. These have stood the test of time. Nuff said.

1. Chicago Bulls

What we have here is a work of art. The trim, font, shorts design. It's all here. You simply can't mess these up. Too bad Lebron isn't going to be wearing these. Although an even better player once did. How did that look to you? (Image courtesy of Bleacher Report, ironically enough.)

What are the biggest discrepancies between the two lists, you ask? The Warriors, Pacers, and Sixers jumped up 17, 12, and 10 spots, respectively, in my list. The biggest losers were Dallas (13 spots), Denver (13), Houston (14), and Milwaukee (15). Sorry, guys. Your work is cut out for you.

Comments welcome. Vote in the poll to the right on who has the better list, if you dare! As always, thanks for reading.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Phillies Thoughts

Unless something is done – and fast - it appears this season won’t end up like the last two for the Phillies, with a trip to the playoffs and the World Series. There seems to be a lot of panic with the fans, but can we really blame this team for their performance thus far? Injuries top the list as the major factor for the lack of production. To me, this is as good excuse as any. The bench players have not stepped up. But are they supposed to replace production completely? They’re bench players for a reason. Wilson Valdez is no Jimmy Rollins. Juan Castro is no Chase Utley.

I saw a stat in last night’s broadcast that the Phillies were 39-32 with Chase Utley and 9-12 without him. There’s no better stat than that. Chase is a major contributor on this team. When he’s out, things change drastically.

Take Jimmy Rollins’ absence as well. He has been out for a huge part of this season. I guarantee this team hasn’t performed as well without him either. Not to mention, you take a leader out of the clubhouse and a lot more changes than you and I realize.

With key players out of the lineup, Charlie Manuel has been forced to switch it up - a lot. He’s probably never had the same lineup for an entire week. It’s hard to get into a rhythm that way. These guys are ball players, but they're also human.

So, now, it appears that Jayson Werth is on the trading block. This is another issue. His production has been down in a contract year for him, but there have been bright spots that should force this team and its fans to see beyond this year and into the longer term. He still leads the National League in doubles. Granted, his batting average has dropped by over 100 points since batting something like .349 on May 3, he’s still someone with plenty of skill that can help this team in the future, if not the next few months. Do we really need to get rid of him in the short term? Sure, it appears they can bring up Domonic Brown and potentially replenish the farm system, but I’m not so sure Brown is ready. Is there a way to keep both in this system? Why not bring him up next year and bolster the bench that way?

I’ll also throw in the potential for a trade for Roy Oswalt. Two Roys on the same team would be nice, especially of their caliber, but isn’t Oswalt on the downswing of his career? Someone prove me wrong here. It looks like suddenly this team can’t hold more than one stud pitcher at a time. Let’s not make such a swift move here if we can’t back him up in the coming months with good offensive production. And what's to say we can keep both Roys for next season?

The Phillies might not make the playoffs this year, but I don’t want this rush of success in the past few years and sudden panic to affect what could still be a dominant team for years to come. The injury bug can’t hit us the same way next year, can it? I’d trade in a sub-par year for a promising 2011 and 2012 any day. I’d say most fans would.