The 2016-17 NBA season will be here before you know it. In fact, we're just a few days away from the start of training camps. Then preseason games will start, and in just over a month, we'll be back to the sweet joy of the regular season.
That means it's time to start ranking things. We'll start with some light fare before we get into the heavier stuff that will really make you mad next week and into the next month. For now, we're ranking all 30 teams' regular road jerseys -- since most wear white at home. Alternate jerseys didn't factor into these rankings for the most part, except where we noted an exceptional example or two.
Photo: Kevin McGuire / The Comeback / Yardbarker
Los Angeles Clippers
If someone let your grandmother design NBA jerseys using only Clipart and MS Paint, this would be the result. The red is a nice start. Everything else is an utter disaster.
Oklahoma City Thunder
The universe is playing some cruel joke by making someone as fashion-forward as Russell Westbrook wear these monstrosities. We can't blame Kevin Durant for wanting to leave, if only for better threads. Photo: Larry Brown / Larry Brown Sports / Yardbarker
I'm a huge "Legend of Zelda" fan, so I appreciate the Triforce reference with the interlocking triangle pattern. ... wait, that's not a video game easter egg? It's supposed to represent the future of jersey design?
Huh. Photo: Jason Getz
In a vacuum, these are fine, I suppose. But the Suns slide down the rankings for not wearing their old 90s-style jerseys all the time. Why can't we just go back to the Charles Barkley-era jerseys?
Points for the mismatched font colors and the blue/yellow color scheme. Then we deduct those same points because you're the Nuggets, and half the basketball-watching populace forgets that you exist. Photo: J Pat Carter
The all-black look is clean. It's classic. It's ... incredibly boring. But being bland doesn't mean you're the worst jerseys in the league. Then again, if Brooklyn were a solid basketball team, these might come off as kind of intimidating. It's all about context.
Red is a slightly cooler color than black. That's all the Rockets have going for them over the Nets here. Well, that and the fact that they're not wearing ketchup-and-mustard jerseys anymore.
The Mavs' font is pretty solid, as is the choice for the color on the numbering. And anything Dirk Nowitzki wears is awesome by default. We just figured Mark Cuban would have come up with something truly mind-blowing by now. Photo: J Pat Carter / AP
The Kings unveiled new jerseys for next season, and they're a drastic improvement over the past few years. Until Sacramento is ready to embrace the baby blues as their full-time road jerseys, though, the Kings will have to accept a less-than-stellar ranking.
The Jazz actually made minor modifications to this year's road jerseys, adding a splash of color to the side piping. I dig the changes -- and the old-school logo. They're kind of boring beyond that, however. Photo: Nelson Chenault / USA TODAY Sports
The blue-on-blue scheme works; it's a nice allusion to the Grizzlies' blue-collar work ethic. And I, for one, am a huge fan of unintentional ham-fisted metaphors. High-fives for everyone!
The blue and yellow really works here, and the logo on the shorts is a nice complementary touch. I prefer the "PACERS" lettering on the home jerseys to the "INDIANA" across the chest of the road jerseys, though. It's just too busy. Photo: Steve DelVecchio / Larry Brown Sports / Yardbarker
New Orleans Pelicans
The piping on the Pelicans' road jerseys is pretty solid, but these are a disappointingly boring choice for the city that hosts Mardi Gras. The red alternates are a significant improvement; if they were the main road jersey, New Orleans would vault into the top 10.
Did someone forget to put the lettering and numbers on the Raptors jerseys until the night before the game, only to resort to those iron-on stencils you'd use for intramurals? The font ruins an otherwise top-notch jersey. Photo: Justin Ford
It works out nicely that the Wolves are right around the middle of these rankings, because Minnesota's jerseys are the baseline for what new uniforms should be. There's nothing spectacular here -- although I really like the black sleeved alternate. They're just sharp. Photo: Vincent Frank / Sportsnaut / Yardbarker
Speaking of alternate jerseys, all of Cleveland's alts are at least passable. The wine and gold has grown on me over time; winning a championship probably helps with that sort of thing. Photo: Ezra Shaw
Washington's red, white and blue scheme doesn't have a whole lot to do with wizards, but it's a perfect fit for our nation's capital. The one quibble I have with these jerseys is that they look kind of off when viewed from the wrong angle, due to the asymmetric stripe across the chest.
Yes, I know that Dwyane Wade doesn't play for the Heat any longer. Let me look at him in one of those gorgeous Heat jerseys one more time, though, before I say goodbye. I'm not ready to see him in a Bulls jersey for 82 games (give or take) this season. Not yet. Photo: Michael Dixon / Sportsnaut / Yardbarker
We don't need a lot of purple and teal in this world, but just the right amount makes the NBA even better. Bless the Hornets for rocking these bad boys, even if the font looks like something out of a 1990s sci-fi comic book.
They're not quite the pinstriped marvels of the Shaq and Penny years, sure. They're close enough, though, to warrant an above-average ranking on this list -- and, of course, the black alternates are even better. As for this planned alternate jersey for 2016-17? Not a fan. Photo: Rob Foldy
The best jerseys for storied franchises strike a nice balance between modern and traditional, with Detroit standing as the shining example in that category. The only suggestion is to put "MOTOR CITY" across the front of the regular jerseys, not just the alternate.
New York Knicks
One of a number of timeless jerseys in the top 10, the Knicks tinker around the edges of their basic design every now and again without really changing much. In this instance, that's a very good thing. Kristaps Porzingis will look amazing when he hoists the Larry O'Brien trophy while wearing blue and orange.
Portland Trail Blazers
In an age of every team having a solid colored jersey, a complementary color on the sides, and the nickname emblazoned on the front, the Blazers stand out (along with the Wizards) for their asymmetric stripe and '80s feel. The red, black and white combination is perfect.
San Antonio Spurs
As long as the Spurs aren't wearing their camouflage alternates (or anything with a giant logo on the front of it), the incorporation of the spur makes San Antonio a winner. Boring? Maybe. As we noted with the Nets, however, when you win, black is a very intimidating look -- one that suits the all-business Spurs. Photo: Yardbarker
Los Angeles Lakers
The Lakers stay winning with their road purples, which are probably the "worst" jerseys the team has to offer. The home golds are great, the Sunday whites are even better, and the "Hollywood Nights" black jerseys add a recent tough to an old school look. The only problem is that Kobe won't be rocking these anymore. Photo: Noah Graham
Golden State Warriors
I'm a sucker for blue and yellow; more importantly, the Warriors rank this high on the list on the strength of that outstanding bridge-based logo. Putting it front and center on the road jerseys was an inspired choice.
The Celtics are that one relative you know is going to cause a scene at your holiday get-together -- they haven't changed their look since the '60s, they make too big of a deal of past successes, and things will get mildly uncomfortable when Uncle Tommy starts telling stories. It's tough to top the classics.
Like the Celtics, the Bulls should never mess with tradition. They might not be No. 1 here, but any attempts to improve the current product would just result in failure. Be content with No. 3, Chicago.
The perfect blend of modern (with the "PHILA" lettering) and throwback, the Sixers have a set of jerseys fit for a champion. Now, we just need the roster to catch up to the aesthetic. Photo: Yardbarker
The Bucks desperately needed a redesign a few years ago. The result was spectacular -- and made for a surprising No. 1 on this list. The cream-and-green coloring is a combination we didn't know we needed, the piping on the sides is gorgeous, and the alternate jersey with the Bucks-head logo might be the best uniform in the entire NBA. Sometimes, modern touches trump tradition. Just ask Milwaukee. Photo: Rocky W. Widner