Portland Trail Blazers fans were invited to wear their best flannel and Dr. Jack Ramsay's inspired plaid while the team donned their new Nike-designed "City" edition uniforms Wednesday night against the Chicago Bulls.
The Blazers' "City" edition uniforms pay homage to the past and to the northwest culture.
"From lumberjacks to the grunge movement to the hipsters today here in Portland. We basically, here in the northwest, invented plaid-flannel shirts, right?" said Ryan Flaherty, Trail Blazers Vice President of Brand Strategy. "The inspiration came from Dr. Jack, first and foremost."
The Blazers tone-on-tone black and gray plaid uniforms aren't as loud as some of the slacks and jackets the old coach used to sport in Rip City, but they are championship contenders in Nike's batch of new designs.
"Ours is paying homage to something that is significant to Portland so I think that’s cool. Everybody's is but some of them are just wild, off the wall. I think ours is clever. It’s paying respect. It’s probably our best-looking jersey," said Blazers guard Damian Lillard.
Many have to see it, and wear it, to believe it.
"I got to see it once I put 'em on, man. I like the Rip City on the front though," said Blazers forward Ed Davis. "It's Nike, man. You are going to get the best quality, the best of everything."
"We're really lucky out of the 30 teams, we have Nike right in our backyard and to work with them, they already know the culture, the fans, the city here," said Flaherty.
Even a rookie knows about the plaid.
"I wore some plaid, not as much as I see here, not even in the jerseys, but I see a lot around Portland so plaid is a big deal," said Blazers center Zach Collins.
The uniforms are also Oregon inspired. The Portland flag was placed on the waistband of the shorts.
"When I first got here, the Rip City jerseys were my favorite ones, so just seeing that evolve has been pretty cool" said Lillard. "From the first one we had to the sleeves to these, I think it's a great way to pay homage to Dr. Jack."
If fans don't dig the plaid, Nike and the Blazers will have a new "City" design for next season, as this it the first round in an eight-year contract with Nike.
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