The 50 Best NBA Jerseys of All Time, According to Our Resident NBA Expert

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The NBA has always been known for its flair on and off the court. Electrifying superstars like Michael Jordan have made the association a powerhouse for entertainment. You can’t help but remember some of the most magical moments in the NBA. With those standout moments come the uniforms, and some of the best NBA jerseys to ever grace the floor.

There has been a multitude of different jerseys and uniforms that have come to pass in the NBA, but there can only be a few that really have popped and had a significant impact in NBA history. Like the adage goes in sports, “you look good, you play well.” From the simple but effective looks of the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers to the madness that was the Toronto Raptors, here are my 50 best NBA jerseys of all time.

1. Los Angeles Lakers Home, 1999 - Present

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  • Seasons Worn: 24
  • Notable Players Who Wore Them: Kobe Bryant, Jerry West, Magic Johnson, Shaq

Though they’ve made minor updates, the Lakers have kept the same color scheme for over 50 years. The only team to not wear white uniforms as their regular home uniform, the Lakers always had an aesthetically different vibe from every other team in the league. With the team’s historic winning background and stars like Kobe Bryant, Jerry West, Magic Johnson and Shaquille O’Neal rocking the gold and purple home jersey, this deserves its rightful place as the best NBA jersey.

2. Boston Celtics Icon Edition, 2017 - Present

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  • Seasons Worn: 6
  • Notable Player Who Wore Them: Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Marcus Smart, Al Horford

Besides a few modest changes through the years, the Boston Celtics have largely kept their jersey designs simple. They have the most unostentatious uniform design and I don’t think it will ever change. It’s also a jersey that culturally is significant. Remember Do The Right Thing? Still, I’ll keep in my mind that those gray sleeved Celtics alternates never happened.

3. Denver Nuggets Away, 1985-1993

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  • Seasons Worn: 8
  • Notable Players Who Wore Them: Dikembe Mutombo, Alex English

Placing the idea of a blue jersey with a rainbow skyline seems like a mistake, but it became an all-timer for the Denver Nuggets in the 1980s. Donned during the days of Alex English, coach Doug Moe and uptempo basketball, the away jersey is eye-popping. The franchise has tried to recreate the magic from this idea several times and recently brought back the rainbow with their city edition uniforms.

4. San Francisco Warriors Home, 1966-1971

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  • Seasons Worn: 6
  • Notable Players Who Wore Them: Rick Barry, Nate Thurmond, Bobby Lewis

Originally debuted during the 1966-67 season, the San Francisco Warriors’ “The City” uniforms are one of the best designs. A Warriors home staple when Rick Barry and Nate Thurmond were dominating on the court, the back of the uniform features the jersey number inside of a cable car. It adds the perfect San Francisco touch. I wouldn’t mind if the Warriors added these as a permanent retro that they play in every season.

5. Chicago Bulls Alternate, 1995-1997

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  • Seasons Worn: 2
  • Notable Players Who Wore Them: Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman

Worn near the end of the Jordan era in Chicago, this alternate jersey is a classic. In a time where every team was headed towards garish and cartoon-themed ideas, the Bulls kept it simple and business-like with a black uniform with vertical red pinstripes. This iteration lasted just two years before the Bulls went to a black alternate without pinstripes.

6. Miami Heat City Edition, 2017-Present

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  • Seasons Worn: 6
  • Notable Players Who Wore Them: Jimmy Butler, Udonis Haslem, Bam Adebayo

One of the modern dandies of our era. The Heat have managed to wear a version of these Miami Vice themed jerseys the past three years in Turquoise, Pink, White, and Black. Miami needs to change its current array of colors and make these Vice uniforms permanent. Do that, and they automatically have the best uniforms in the association.

7. Orlando Magic Away, 1994-1998

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  • Seasons Worn: 4
  • Notable Players Who Wore Them: Shaquille O'Neal, Penny Hardaway

The Orlando Magic’s most celebrated run in franchise history occurred during the mid-’90s. Used during the days of Shaquille O’Neal and Penny Hardaway, the Magic blue pinstripe jersey was extremely popular, but the only question at the time was whether you were wearing Penny or Shaq’s number. As a kid, I was rocking the Shaq jersey.

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8. Phoenix Suns Alternate, 1992-2000

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  • Seasons Worn: 8
  • Notable Players Who Wore Them: Charles Barkley, Kevin Johnson, Thunder

Worn during the time that the Phoenix Suns had MVP Charles Barkley, Kevin Johnson, and a guy named Thunder, Phoenix was dominating the NBA in style. The black alternates must’ve been lucky. Phoenix made the playoffs every season that they wore these jerseys from their Finals appearance in the 1992-93 season up until 2000. Something about a bursting sun across a black background is ideal.

9. Seattle Supersonics Away, 1985-1995

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  • Seasons Worn: 10
  • Notable Players Who Wore Them: Gary Payton, Shawn Kemp

I miss the Seattle Supersonics. It’s not just for the great play of Hall of Famers Gary Payton and Ray Allen. It’s also for the great designs and colors. A vibrant franchise, Seattle’s use of green and gold was always distinctive compared to the rest of the league. Looking at these jerseys makes me automatically think of Payton to Shawn Kemp lobs on automatic. Can the NBA please bring the Sonics back now?

10. Chicago Bulls Away, 1973-1985

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  • Seasons Worn: 12
  • Notable Players Who Wore Them: Michael Jordan, Cliff Pondexter, Tracy Jackson

I instantly think of Michael Jordan rocking the gold chain in the 1985 slam dunk contest. The Chicago lettering inscribed at the center of the uniform in fancy script font is equally dated but unique and representative of the 1980s. Though Jordan didn’t wear the uniform for that long, it will always be remembered as where the birth of the NBA as a powerhouse began.

11. Minnesota Timberwolves Alternate, 1998-2008

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  • Seasons Worn: 10
  • Notable Players Who Wore Them: Kevin Garnett, Stephon Marbury, Al Jefferson

Worn during the peak-Kevin Garnett years of the Minnesota Timberwolves, this alternate uniform was a unique idea. Minnesota hasn’t had many great jersey’s so the bar is pretty low. Still, the jersey just had a perfect color scheme to add some style to a franchise lacking flair for most of its existence. The black jersey built with green trim in the design of trees is one of the best looks in NBA history—don’t at me.

12. Golden State Warriors Away, 2010-Present

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  • Seasons Worn: 13
  • Notable Players Who Wore Them: Steph Curry, Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green

The mid-2010 Golden State Warriors were a dynasty. Led by a great nucleus of players that included MVPs Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant, the Warriors have had one of the best jerseys of the past decade. With the three championships in five seasons, the uniform—that features blue and gold colors with the Golden Gate bridge—will be remembered forever. Getting away from the “lightning bolt” era was one of the smartest moves in franchise history.

13. Indiana Pacers Away, 1990-1997

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  • Seasons Worn: 7
  • Notable Players Who Wore Them: Reggie Miller, Mark Jackson, Dale Davis

Inspired by gold medalist sprinter Florence Griffith Joyner, the Flo Jo design for the Indiana Pacers is a legendary NBA outfit. It was the Flo Jos where Indiana became a household NBA team with Reggie Miller hitting clutch shots and game-winners on a regular basis. Indiana must love it because they keep bringing the jersey back either as a retro iteration or with an updated twist or combination with another theme.

14. Charlotte Hornets Away, 1989-1996

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  • Seasons Worn: 7
  • Notable Players Who Wore Them: Larry Johnson, Alonzo Mourning, Muggsy Bogues

The Hornets craze in the late-1980s brings back nostalgic memories. As a kid, I remember the buzz the team’s road jerseys had back in the day. With stars like Larry Johnson, Alonzo Mourning and Muggsy Bogues, the Hornets rose to fame with a teal road uniform that featured different colored vertical stripes.

15. Milwaukee Bucks Away, 2015-Present

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  • Seasons Worn: 8
  • Notable Players Who Wore Them: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Brook Lopez, Jrue Holiday

The Bucks’ primary has changed a lot over the past 30 years. There was the purple era with Ray Allen and Glenn “Big Dog” Robinson. The red era that featured Brandon Jennings and Andrew Bogut was not a very color-savvy time. The Bucks finally found their look in 2015 when the franchise went through a complete rebranding. Adding cream to a forest-green was genius. And now with the team winning games at a high clip, it will be remembered for some time.

16. Washington Bullets Away, 1974-1987

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  • Seasons Worn: 13
  • Notable Players Who Wore Them: Wes Unseld, Dennis Stewart, John Tresvant

Featuring stars and horizontal stripes, the Washington Bullets had one of the best uniforms and designs of the 1970s. Led by Wes Unseld during that time, the Bullets had their most success, winning a championship and making the postseason 11 times in these jerseys. That jump ball logo is also a perfect topper to a colorful jersey.

17. Dallas Mavericks Away, 1981-1992

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  • Seasons Worn: 11
  • Notable Players Who Wore Them: Mark Aguirre, Rolando Blackman, Derek Harper

Back in the days of the wild, wild, west of the NBA, the Dallas Mavericks had a talented young team. With Mark Aguirre, Rolando Blackman and Derek Harper, the team was fitted in a green road jersey. This design makes me feel like I’m in a great western movie with the small script lettering at the center of this uniform.

18. Atlanta Hawks Away, 1982-1992

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  • Seasons Worn: 8
  • Notable Players Who Wore Them: Dominique Wilkins, Spud Webb

Synonymous with highflyer Dominique Wilkins as well as 5’8” dunk contest champion Spud Webb, the Pac Man Hawks jersey is very memorable. The logo might be the best of all-time in NBA history. The uniform is the icing on the cake with a horizontal line at the top as well as the Pac Man logo on the shorts.

19. Los Angeles Lakers Away, 1960-1966

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  • Seasons Worn: 6
  • Notable Players Who Wore Them: Jerry West, Elgin Baylor

A forgotten hue in Los Angeles, the blue jersey was used by the Lakers after they moved from Minneapolis in 1960. Built with a dark blue color and white and blue piping along the neck and shoulders, the jersey had a script lettering of “Los Angeles.” The team, led by Elgin Baylor and Jerry West used these for six years before shifting to the gold and purple look that the team has kept to this day.

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20. New Jersey Nets Away, 1977-1990

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  • Seasons Worn: 13
  • Notable Players Who Wore Them: Julius Erving, Buck Williams

Honestly, I might have to think about buying the ABA version of the Julius Erving New York Nets uniform. It’s nearly the same as the Nets’ jersey when they first moved to the NBA and New Jersey. The red, white and blue color palette is a solid one and side vertical stripes stood out in the 1970s.

21. Utah Jazz Away, 1984-1996

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  • Seasons Worn: 12
  • Notable Players Who Wore Them: Karl Malone, John Stockton, Mark Eaton

Though the music note has long made no sense in the state of Utah—the Jazz played in New Orleans, hence the name Jazz—they’ve always gotten the uniform design down to a tee. It’s simple but effective. The purple jersey with the logo in a yellowish gold always made for a nice look.

22. Toronto Raptors Away, 1995-1999

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  • Seasons Worn: 4
  • Notable Players Who Wore Them: Tracy McGrady, Vince Carter, Damon Stoudamire, Doug Christie

There was a day where NBA logos and mascots were out of the box. One standout in the ‘90s was the Toronto Raptors’ inaugural jersey. When the franchise debuted in 1995, they used a purple and red color combination. On top of that, the team had vertical stripes and a red dinosaur as the team’s mascot and logo. It would be wild to see a team use this idea now, but it still makes for the quintessential throwback.

23. Utah Jazz City Edition, 2017-Present

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  • Utah Jazz City Edition: 6
  • Notable Players Who Wore Them: Lauri Markkanen, Jordan Clarkson

Inspired by the redrocks of southern Utah, the Jazz’ city uniform features 13 gradients of color. It’s completely different from the team’s classic music note-related look that has been used and abused for years. Though the design can be a little bit too bright and colorful, it’s perfect to me. For me, the design is such a good change of pace for a franchise that has been built on consistency and tradition.

24. Orlando Magic Away, 1999-2003

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  • Seasons Worn: 4
  • Notable Players Who Wore Them: Tracy McGrady, Mike Miller, Bo Outlaw

Emblazoned with stars, this Orlando Magic jersey stood out because of one player. Tracy McGrady was dominant in his time with the Magic, winning two consecutive scoring championships and dragging a Magic team without Grant Hill. I hate to sound like an Instagram basketball highlight reel caption, but Prime T-Mac was a problem.

25. Sacramento Kings Away, 1985-1990

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  • Seasons Worn: 5
  • Notable Players Who Wore Them: Reggie Theus, Otis Thorpe

When the Kings moved from Kansas City to Sacramento in 1985, the team came in with some flair, adding baby blue as their primary color. Put on during the days of Reggie Theus and Otis Thorpe, you don’t see a lot of baby blue in the NBA today, besides when the Kings bring the uniform back for retro night.

26. Buffalo Braves Home, 1971-1973

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  • Seasons Worn: 2
  • Notable Players Who Wore Them: Bob McAdoo, Bob Kauffman

With a team that featured former MVP Bob McAdoo, the Buffalo Braves can be forgotten sometimes in NBA history. The orange road uniform was a little too colorful, but the home whites feature the perfect mesh of white, orange and black. The Clippers brought these retros back this season, and they still are a keeper.

27. Milwaukee Bucks Alternate, 1995-1999

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  • Seasons Worn: 4
  • Notable Players Who Wore Them: Glenn Robinson, Paul Grant, Sam Cassell

A green alternative for the Milwaukee Bucks in the late-’90s, this jersey is one of the more interesting alternate uniforms of all-time. Though the purple and green era of the Milwaukee Bucks was not very aesthetically pleasing, one victory that came out of that period is this uniform. Who doesn’t want a green uniform with a big purple deer dab smack in the middle?

28. Vancouver Grizzlies Away, 1995-2000

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  • Seasons Worn: 5
  • Notable Players Who Wore Them: Shareef Abdur-Rahim, Bryant “Big Country” Reeves

It’s hard to remember, but NBA basketball was played in Vancouver at one point in time. With players like Shareef Abdur-Rahim and Bryant “Big Country” Reeves, the expansion Vancouver Grizzlies didn’t win many games, but they lost in style. A jersey that featured a bear armed with a ball in claw deserves to be on this list. The jersey made a comeback with the Memphis Grizzlies bringing back the retros in honor of the team’s 25-year anniversary.

29. New York Knicks Away, 2012-Present

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  • Seasons Worn: 9
  • Notable Players Who Wore Them: Derrick Rose, Carmelo Anthony, Steve Novak, Pablo Prigioni

If this was a contest about the highest win percentage uniforms, this modern design of the New York Knicks would be a loser. New York started rocking these uniforms back in 2012. In the first year, the Knicks won 54 games and made the playoffs (shout out to Steve Novak and Pablo Prigioni). Since that year, the Knicks have yet to make the playoffs or win more than 37 games in a season. Now the orange alternate version of this jersey? You can burn those.

30. Houston Rockets Away, 1995-2003

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  • Seasons Worn: 8
  • Notable Players Who Wore Them: Charles Barkley, Clyde Drexler, Hakeem Olajuwon

During the 1990s, every team wanted to add some kind of cartoonish mascot. The Houston Rockets had one of the most interesting designs. Featuring an unpleasant Rocket circling a basketball in the center and vertical stripes, these navy blue road duds scream the ‘90s. I’m surprised the Rockets haven’t brought it back as a retro uniform in any of their recent seasons.

31. Los Angeles Lakers Hollywood Nights, 2013-2017

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  • Seasons Worn: 4
  • Notable Players Who Wore Them: Kobe Bryant, Paul Gasol

While some may have found the Lakers' Hollywood Nights Jerseys to be slightly bothersome, the fact remains that it is an important part of LA's jersey history. Introduced during the 2013-2014 season, the jerseys were inspired by the beautiful nightlife culture in the City of LA with an all-black color, and a purple and gold trim to boot.

32. Philadelphia 76ers Red Alternate, 1997-2000

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  • Seasons Worn: 3
  • Notable Players Who Wore Them: Allen Iverson, Jerry Stackhouse, Derrick Coleman

As the Philadelphia 76ers were rising through the tail end of the 1990s, they sometimes wore these red alternate jerseys also known as "Red Sixers." Worn for roughly three years, these were introduced during the first couple of seasons of Allen Iverson being on the roster, and are fondly associated with the mid to late 1990s.

33. Cleveland Cavaliers Alternate Jerseys, 2005-2010

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  • Seasons Worn: 7
  • Notable Players Who Wore Them: LeBron James, Anderson Varejao, Zydrunas Illgauskas

Aka the jersey LeBron wore when he torched the Detroit Pistons in Game 5 of the 2007 Eastern Conference Finals. Also commonly referred to as the "48 point game." There's a lot of history in these 2000s Cleveland Cavaliers away jerseys thanks to LBJ.

34. Denver Nuggets Blue Away Jersey, 2003-2008

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  • Seasons Worn: 5
  • Notable Players Who Wore Them: Carmelo Anthony, Kenyon Martin, Allen Iverson

Remember in the mid-2000s when Carmelo Anthony, Allen Iverson, and Kenyon Martin were all on the Denver Nuggets together? Good times.

35. Atlanta Hawks Retro, 1970-1972

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  • Seasons Worn: 2
  • Notable Players Who Wore Them: Pistol Pete Maravich, Lou Hudson

We largely associate the Hawks with their red and white colors nowadays, but back in the 1970s they did have a stint where they rocked the blue with a couple of green stripes. Honestly, these jerseys were kind of fire. Not sure if you can do a complete switch up from the red, white, and black colors that are largely the team colors now, but definitely wouldn't mind seeing them make a comeback.

36. Brooklyn Nets City Edition, 2021-2022

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  • Seasons Worn: 1
  • Notable Players Who Wore Them: Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant

You can't deny these City Edition BK jerseys from a couple years back weren't sick.

37. Cleveland Cavaliers Retro Jersey, 1988-1989

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  • Seasons Worn: 1
  • Notable Players Who Wore Them: Mark Price, Craig Ehlo

At first glance these actually look like Knicks jerseys. It's kind of funny how certain teams are no longer associated with their colors of yesteryear. Indeed the Cavs did wear blue and orange threads, as shown by this Mark Price jersey from the 1988-1989 season.

38. Atlanta Hawks Blue and Red, 1966-1970

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  • Seasons Worn: 4
  • Notable Players Who Wore Them: Zelmo Beaty, Lou Hudson, Lenny Wilkens

Once upon time in the A, the Atlanta Hawks rocked these blue and red jerseys. Again, it's so far away from their current threads, but so interesting to see. These jerseys were worn by the likes of Hawks greats Zelmo Beaty, Lou Hudson, and Lenny Wilkens.

39. Toronto Raptor OVO Jersey, 2018 - Present

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  • Seasons Worn: 5
  • Notable Players Who Have Worn Them: Kawhi Leonard, Pascal Siakam, Fred VanVleet

You can't deny the impact of OVO as Drake has taken the Toronto Raptors jerseys and given them a freshness and cool factor that only he can. Speaking of Drake, every year the Toronto Raptors hold "Drake Night," which is essentially a fan appreciation event for the artist

40. Minnesota Purple Rain Jerseys, 2018-2019

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  • Seasons Worn: 1
  • Notable Players Who Wore Them: Andrew Wiggins, Karl-Anthony Towns, Jeff Teague

In case you didn't know, the legendary Prince was born and raised in Minneapolis, which he heavily repped throughout the course of his life and career. Two years after his untimely passing, the Minnesota Timberwolves paid tribute to the icon with the special edition "Purple Rain" jerseys, which we of course loved.

41. Los Angeles Lakers Alternate White, 2002-2018

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  • Seasons Worn: 16
  • Notable Players Who Wore Them: Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O'Neal, Pau Gasol

The Los Angeles Lakers without a doubt had numerous legends come and play in these specific jerseys, but there's just something about these White unis the team wore from 2002 to 2018 that reminds of Kobe. So many games. So many memories. This jersey just represents Kobe to the fullest.

42. Toronto Raptors Black and Purple, 1999-2003

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  • Seasons Worn: 4
  • Notable Players Who Wore Them: Vince Carter, Alvin Williams

Y'all remember when Vince Carter jumped over that 7 footer? That was during the Olympics and he was wearing the Team USA jersey, but we just wanted to find a way to slide that into this article. Vince Carter did wear this black and purple jersey, however, during his time with the Toronto Raptors.

43. Detroit Pistons, 1981-1996

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  • Seasons Worn: 15
  • Notable Players Who Wore Them: Isiah Thomas, Joe Dumars, Daryll Dawkins

Whoo buddy. These jerseys represented a lot. The Championships. The "Bad Boys Era." The fierce battles with Michael Jordan and the Bulls. Walking off the court without shaking hands when Chicago finally defeated them, and plenty of other memorable moments, a good percentage of which took place in these jerseys. Fifteen years of iconic NBA moments.

44. Portland Trail Blazers Uppercase Blazers, 1991-2002

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  • Seasons Worn: 9
  • Notable Players Who Wore Them: Rasheed Wallace, Clyde Drexler, Arvydas Sabonis

The good ole "Jail Blazer" days for Portland. We don't have team names like this anymore really. Nicknames like these to make a comeback in the NBA.

45. Miami Heat Jerseys, 1988-1999

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  • Seasons Worn: 11
  • Notable Players Who Wore Them: Tim Hardaway, Alonzo Mourning, PJ Brown

Worn from 1988 to 1999, these jerseys hold a special place in the hearts of Heat fans. Especially as 1996 was the year the Miami Heat had a great run, nearly reaching the finals. That team was led by Tim Hardaway, Alonzo Mourning, and PJ Brown in what was overall a great season for the Heat squad.

46. San Antonio Spurs, 1990 - Present

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  • Seasons Worn: 34
  • Notable Players Who Have Worn Them: Tim Duncan, David Robinson, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili, Kawhi Leonard

The San Antonio Spurs are known for one thing—never changing it up. They stick to the basics—their basics, and it works for them. You know what they say—if it ain't broke don't fix it.

47. Sacramento Kings 2000s, 1999-2004

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  • Seasons Worn: 5
  • Notable Players Who Wore Them: Chris Webber, Jason Williams, Mike Bibby

The Sacramento Kings of the 2000s were a good team that was dealt an unfair hand and unfair scenarios during their run. They certainly were a championship caliber squad with many all time greats such as Chris Webber, Jason Williams, and Mike Bibby, as these jerseys are a testament to that.

48. Charlotte Hornets, 1988-2001

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  • Seasons Worn: 13
  • Notable Players Who Wore Them: Muggsy Bogues, Larry Johnson, Alonzo Mourning

The archival Charlotte Hornets jerseys don't vary too much from the ones we see in 2023. The modern ones are just that—more modern. Once again, if it ain't broke don't fix it.

49. Chicago Bulls Black Pinstriped, 1995-1996

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  • Seasons Worn: 1
  • Notable Players Who Wore Them: Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman

We only got one year out of these, but that's what makes them so special. Oh, and this was a championship year as well, which makes the jerseys even more special.

50. Miami Heat Black Jerseys, 2012-2014

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  • Seasons Worn: 1
  • Notable Players Who Wore Them: LeBron James, Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade, Ray Allen

Love them or hate them, the 2010 to 2014 Miami Heat team aka The Big 3, were a historic moment in NBA history. We'll never experience something quite like that ever again.

This story was updated in April of 2023 by Jael Rucker.

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