Fool's Gold (and Black)
February 25, 2008 | Kevin Zdancewicz

Washington Wizards

It’s always interesting when a team tries something different in terms of their uniforms. Last year, the Washington Wizards unveiled the gold and black alternates pictured above and have retained the jerseys as road alternates into this season. The jerseys were not received very well initially, but the Washington organization itself must like them since they’ve kept them around this year. While the uniform is featured on Gilbert Arenas on the cover of NBA Live 08, I think a lot of people still have trouble watching the Wizards when they take the court in gold.

Obviously, the fact that the jerseys and shorts are different colors is the first thing that jumps out at you. While it might seem like a new concept, the color-contrasted road uniform actually has a history in professional basketball. One of the best examples is the Chicago Stags, who rocked the look in the late 1940s in the Basketball Association of America and later the NBA. The reason you might already know about the Stags is the Chicago Bulls paid tribute to them with a recent throwback. In the college ranks, Oakland University tried the mismatched combination to break a losing streak last year and road the style all the way to their conference championship game.

The other interesting thing to notice about the featured jersey is that the Wizards have eliminated their primary color (blue) from their alternate design, something that seems rather odd. It would be one thing to include some blue trim on predominantly gold or black jerseys, but to completely take the color out of the design is really uncommon.

I give Washington points for trying something different, but I don’t think the contrasting jersey and shorts look very good together. When the Wizards wear their alternates, it looks like they’ve forgotten their regular shorts and must resort to wearing black practice shorts instead. I definitely like the gold jersey’s design, especially with the stars and stripes reminiscent of the DC flag. I just think it would look better with matching gold shorts instead of plain black – it might not be as different, but at least it wouldn’t look like a junior high uniform.

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