A look behind the City Edition 2022-23 kit design

The 2022-23 Nike NBA City Edition uniforms.

In western Detroit, a red brick building masquerading as a chapel houses a basketball court where Detroit basketball legends earn their stripes.

“You had Jalen [Rose]you had earl [Cureton]you had zeke [Isiah Thomas] — you had all the Detroit All-Stars playing here. This was that place,” Big Sean said. [rapper whose songs are often inspired by his childhood in Detroit] in the promotional video for the team’s City Edition uniform.

The gym is better known as Saint Cecelia’s or “The Saint,” and served as the inspiration for the Pistons’ 2022-23 Nike City Edition kit. Designed in collaboration with Big Sean, the Pistons’ jersey is green to match the gym’s historic logo and the shorts are embellished with a stained glass replica of “El Santo.” The uniform even features the same quote inscribed on the gymnasium court in the anthem: “where stars are made, they are not born.”

Details of Piston’s 2022-23 City Edition kits.

The City Edition 2022-23 uniforms released on November 10, and what makes this collection special is the unique detailed narration of each franchise brought to life in the designs.

“The storytelling was on point this year. Our goal was to find which teams resonate with locally, but globally they also resonate given the depth of each story and the compelling nature of the designs,” said Nadia Roohparvar, Team Brand and Uniform Product Lead at NBA.

In order to provide unique uniforms for each NBA franchise, Nike’s design team worked closely with each team, a process that began in July 2020. The collaboration was aimed at refining the link between the court, the community and culture.

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“We take our time working with the teams so we can really dig into the inspiration and components of each story,” said Jesse Alvarez, Global Product Director of Men’s Basketball Sportswear at Nike. “Every organization knows its fan base best. They listen to their fans, and at the end of the day, we’re trying to give their fans what they want through the lens of team stories.”

With the release of the City Edition six years ago, the NBA became unique in having uniforms that deviate from the main brand. Each year, these uniforms allow the league and its fans to celebrate and engage with what makes their franchises so special.

Portland City Edition 2022-23 uniform inspired by the iconic PDX airport carpet.

“Take the Hawks for example: You have your white, red and black core. But once a year you get a peach-inspired uniform, because you’re the ‘Peach State,’ and there’s Peachtree Street,” Roohparvar said. “A uniform like this is fun and loved by fans for its significance.”

The Grizzlies 2022-23 City Edition uniform is inspired by Memphis hip-hop.

Some other notables include the Chicago uniform, in which the city’s municipal “Y” symbol is woven through the printed pattern on the jersey and intersects with the “C” for Chicago on the belt buckle. The Municipal “Y” is a symbol of unity for the city and represents the three branches of the Chicago River that meet at Wolf Point in the heart of the city.

The Grizzlies design was inspired by local hip-hop album art highlighted by its chrome accents and diamond textures. Above the jersey tag, a “Grizz grill” along with “For The M” are inscribed for the pride Memphisians take in their city, culture and music.

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“Every organization is on a different journey. Looking at the Knicks uniform, he has a New York swoosh that only the Knicks can have due to his association with Kith. Or for the Celtics to celebrate the story of Bill Russell and his 17 NBA titles, only his team can tell that story,” Alvarez said.

The designers hope these uniforms will not only resonate with today’s fans, but with the next generation of fans to come.

“These uniforms represent things that are important to each city. We hope that the next generation can be inspired by the creativity in them and also use them as a vehicle to educate every team in every city,” said Roohparvar.

Shop the City Edition 2022-23 collection here.

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