“I’ve been around the NBA now 25 years, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen both teams come out with their home [white] uniforms on,” said a stunned Brevin Knight at the opening of the Bally Sports broadcast of the Thunder-Grizzlies game tonight. Given Knight played with nine teams over 12 years in the NBA, that’s saying something.
As both teams stood at mid-court looking at each other and around for someone to resolve the situation, Grizzlies superstar Ja Morant got a laugh out of the dilemma.
Eventually, the referees determined that the Grizzlies, as visitors in OKC, would have to go back to the locker room and change their uniforms.
“Just when you thought you had seen everything,” said Knight’s broadcast partner Pete Pranica.
OKC came out wearing white jerseys.
Memphis came out wearing white jerseys.
…only one team can wear white jerseys. (🎥 @GrizzOnBally) pic.twitter.com/FoBXqH6NIj
— NBC Sports (@NBCSports) March 14, 2022
In recent years, the NBA has experimented with a variety of uniforms for each team. Until the 2017–18 season, the league mandated the away team wear dark colored jerseys and the home team light colored jerseys.
Since that season, however, the home team is allowed to decide to wear white or colored jerseys. The visiting team then must wear a jersey of sufficient contrast, either white or another color, that players (and viewers) will be able to tell them apart. And teams today have more colors than ever.
A club like the Los Angeles Lakers now has a color palette includes not only yellow for home games and purple for away games, but also a white jersey honoring the team’s legendary broadcaster Chick Hearn and various throwback iterations of the team’s gear, including dark and light blue uniforms. Confused yet?
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