The Wizards New City Edition Jersey is the Ugliest Fit of the Season

The Wizards New City Edition Jersey is the Ugliest Fit of the Season

Ahead of the Celtic’s game a couple weeks back, the Wizards hosted their first ever Style Showcase, an opportunity for players to make an off-court connection with fans by styling their freshest fits. Kuz, Deni, Trezz, and more – not coincidentally some of the first infusions of unique personality in some time to this perennially bland organization (Kelly Oubre Jr. notwithstanding) – walked the runway in the dopest ensembles from their ostensibly large and gaudy walk-in closets. The more personality and swagger dripping from the outfit the better; extra points for taking fashion risks.

Then, only a few days later the same players planted a flag on the polar opposite end of the fashion spectrum by donning what is already assured to be the worst fit of the NBA season: the Wizards new City Edition jerseys.

The new City Edition jerseys are heralded by the team as a “remix” edition, mixing aspects of previous classics and fan favorites. A more apt moniker would be ‘dubstep mix’ edition, because these uni’s are nothing but loud and obnoxious.

The color scheme is a devious one – a mix of a brash royal blue and a blinding red that hardly a soul would fancy wearing by themselves and surely nobody would fathom combining together. In name the colors are right, but in practice they’re way off. It’s as though the design team consigned a four-year old to color in a blank outline of the jersey with red and blue, not realizing the toddler would pick out from the crayon box the brashest hues that caught his eye first. Add to that unfortunate concoction a gold varnish and you’re left with a shirt that the eye can’t quite decipher, at least not past recognizing its ugliness.

These jerseys also fail in their botched attempt to pay tribute to Wes Unseld by resembling the classic Bullets jerseys of his era. Incredibly, the designers misunderstood what made those throwbacks so timeless, namely the red and white stripes that evoke the American flag and the Bullets name with the stick-em-up font. Instead, they’ve given us stripes. Stripes for stripes sake, in a colorway that holds no significance for the organization or city. It’s hard to fathom how they could have overengineered this too death when it could have been so simple: if you want to honor the past, especially the late great Unseld, then give the people what they want and just put the classic Bullets jersey on the court and in the team store.

And for these thread’s last act, they introduce a hideous and altogether unwarranted ‘DMV’ logo. It’s a nice thought to shoutout the fans commuting to Capital One Arena from outside of the city boundaries, but has anyone ever described themselves as being from the DMV? Coming from MD suburbs personally, when I’m travelling I might tell folks I’m from DC, but I’ve never and will never self-associate myself with VA. Those from the area understand that the Wizards fanbase crosses state lines and we’ve reached an unspoken agreement to forget regional rivalries and uniformly ‘Rep the District’. Those not from the area will think the Department of Motor Vehicles is the new team sponsor. Fortunately, this terrible new badge is confined to the shorts.

In introducing the new Shitty Edition jerseys, the Wizards flaunted that it’s all the little details that set this new look apart. They’re right, because it takes the combination of all these individually ill-conceived details to assemble a jersey busy enough to rank near the franchise’s worst ever. All the disparate details make the jersey hard to process at first blush, in sharp contrast to the simple, clean looks of past favorites that could be immediately recognized as fresh. And when fans have finally had ample time to process those details, they’ll realize that when they thought these jerseys were fire, what they really meant was hot garbage.

Reactions to the First Two Weeks of the Wizards Season

Reactions to the First Two Weeks of the Wizards Season

The NBA season always feels like it arrives too soon, like the last day of vacation or white party guests.

Though the scheduled date and time have been on the calendar for months, and despite Wizards headlines and highlights popping up on ESPN and Instagram since late September, opening night still catches us surprised and unprepared. Probably the brain instinctively recognizes the seasonal mismatch in Fall basketball, the way we’d do a double take seeing someone rocking flip-flops on Christmas Day. Frankly, we have enough sports-related stress scouring the waiver wire for a bye week replacement to be sweating transition and three-point defense already.

But ready or not (Lauryn Hill croon), the NBA season is upon us, already two weeks deep and quickly kicking into high gear. Montrezl Harrell is hyped and trash talking everybody not Wiz-affiliated, from the refs, to fans on the road, to Drake. Cap One is rocking. Key players are already being forced to sit out games (thankfully not for COVID related reasons). Drew Gooden has already worn multiple horrific pinstripe suits. And the Wiz are 5-2 with several signature wins.

So, assuming that you, like I, avoided preseason like it was displaying COVID symptoms, here are some initial reactions to the first couple weeks of the season:

We Won’t Be Missing Russ: As polarizing of a player as late-Wizard-new-Laker Russell Westbrook is, there are a couple facets of his game that everyone can agree on. For example, no one will deny that he brings unmatched intensity every single game. But also, we can unanimously agree that his game is not particularly fun to watch play for your team.

There’s just not any aesthetically pleasing aspects of watching a guy alternate between charging to the rim with his head down and chucking up clunkers, even when the shots happen to roll around and go in. It’s exhausting, it’s frustrating, it’s just ugly. Debate if you want whether the swap for Russ gives DC a better chance to win, but the verdict is already final on the fact that the trade makes the Wiz a more watchable team.

Other Russ things we won’t miss: RW triple-double watch and headlines, fans clamoring near the bench after games to get a size 14 of his ugly shoes.

It’s Nice Having Actual Competent NBA Players: One similarity between this year’s team and last season’s is the expansive list of guys that are getting time in the rotation. The difference is that last season the guys at the end of the rotation were fringe NBA players at best, while this year we have a roster of guys who actually belong in the league.

Isaac Bonga, Mo Wagner, Jerome Robinson, Garrison Matthews, Chandler Hutchinson. These are real names – some no longer on NBA rosters – that we legitimately relied on for long stretches to hold the for down when Brad needed a rest. Every game there would be series of such ineptitude and poor execution that we’d pull out our hair and yell at the TV, ‘Why is that guy in the game?!’ And then the target of ire would be replaced by someone else on that list at the top of the paragraph and we’d have our answer.

This year we’ve replaced those scrubs with names that carry real weight in the league, some that have even won awards or proven their championship pedigree. Kuzma, Caldwell-Pope, Harrell, Holiday. In all honestly, it’s refreshing. It’s nice not having to count the minutes until Brad will be ready to reenter the game. It’s nice having players on the roster to make legit fake trade proposals with. It’s nice just having guys who can catch the ball and lay it up without dribbling it off their foot! It turns out that having NBA caliber players is conducive to winning in the NBA.

We’re 2-3 Players Too Deep: Unlike last year’s squad, this team has depth. Last year, if Brad had a bad night, it was an automatic L, and if one or two starters were out, it was most likely a blowout. This season, we’ve already seen on a few occasions that injuries to key players hasn’t hampered success thanks to having a talented next man up. One of our strengths is depth.

However, on the flip side of that coin, as the team gets nearer to full strength with the upcoming returns of Rui and Thomas Bryant, the Wizards might find that they’re actually too deep. With so many players rightfully clamoring for time to shine, and with others needing valuable minutes to develop, concocting a rotation that appeases everyone without messing up the team’s flow will be a chemistry experiment for Coach Unseld. Someone is going to find themselves on the outside looking in, or perhaps traded. My inkling would be one of Bertans or Deni.

Montrezl is a Game Changer, and Maybe This Team’s Leader: The first part of this is obvious; more to come on the second point.

There are plenty more nuances than these to dig into with this newish look Washington Wizards team. Just a few that will be worth paying attention to include Brad’s modified role, Coach Unseld’s imprint on the team’s culture, trade speculation – will we be buyers or sellers, and who’s got the freshest fit. It will be interesting to see how those and other unfold over the course of the season.

However, two weeks into the season, we already have one major conclusion: this is not last year’s team and the biggest change is that this squad is a thrill to watch and root for. Cheers to a great season!