TOK has been all over jersey coverage this offseason, from showing you the Knicks new alternates, to listing the top threads to own as a fan. It seems that throwbacks never go out of style anymore, so fittingly, this week’s “Throwback” Thursday shows you the history of the New York Knicks uniforms.
Simpler times call for simpler jerseys. The first Knicks uniforms were a bit of a darker blue, and featured almost nothing unique. For quite some time, uniforms consisted of actual belts around their waist, which I couldn’t imagine playing with on the court.
Someone in the Knicks hierarchy decided to get real creative and put orange and blue checkers around the outside as New York entered their second decade as an NBA franchise. These are the same jerseys that the Knicks featured in the early 2000s when throwbacks were all the craze.
The Knicks third set of jerseys resembled their first ones more than anything. You’ll notice alot of mind changing in the organization as you continue to read this. In 1961, they changed the font of “New York” to what we have today while adding an “NY” to the shorts. In 1968, the uniforms featured names on the back of the jersey and elastic waistbands for the first time.
Champions need to dress like champions, which could be why the Knicks changed their getup again in 1968-69. It’s the same style that they would later copy in the 90′s and again currently. In the 1978-79 season, they added the Yankees logo inside of an apple to their shorts, but it would only last the year.
1979-83 was the darkest year in Knicks uniform history. This wasn’t the first time that the Yankees logo made it’s way on to their threads, but it still didn’t make sense. How could the Yanks (Steinbrenner in particular) allow such theft of their beloved insignia? Between the baseball vibes and oversized number on the shorts, these uniforms were an utter monstrosity. And what’s up with having the number above the city name? We’ll just pretend these never happened.
The next set of jerseys brought fans back to the glory days in New York City. The Knicks were equally dominant but could never figure out Michael Jordan and the Bulls. They kept the Yankees logo on the shorts for awhile but eventually got rid of it for good. Unless Dolan wants to pony up some cash for the Steinbrenners, I don’t think they’ll be making a reappearance anytime soon.
Combining the Knicks rugged, physical style with the popular trend of adding black to uniforms in the 90′s and early 2000′s, New York debuted a new look in 1998. Besides the ridiculously thick piping, I think it was a cool look. Every NBA team was changing to it, and the Knicks couldn’t be left behind.
There were only some slight alterations to the Knicks previous uniforms in 2002, but I think it cleaned up the prior set quite nicely. This era was also the debut of the Knicks Subway Token NYK logo and the hideous Saint Patrick’s Day green set.
The Knicks newest set went back to the championship style of the 70′s and 90′s, but will it lead to a title? Only time will tell. The Christmas day orange jerseys they wore last year may have led to the orange alternate jerseys that New York will wear this upcoming season.