Many people probably saw the Bucks new jersey reveal last week and remarked, “Wow, those look pretty much like the old ones.” And those people would be very right! Yes, Nike taking over may not have given the Bucks a complete overhaul, but there was little likelihood of any change considering they just relaunched two years ago to a decent amount of fanfare. Plus they still have several new jerseys to reveal, the next of which is coming sometime this month.
In the meantime though, there are jersey fanatics out there who peeked these new jerseys and went Highlights magazine on them spotting the differences. While minimal, I think they actually improve subtly on the old design without modifying it too drastically. Let’s point a few of those minute changes out for anyone with the untrained eye or who had far better things to do with their time than pore over jersey comparison shots.
The “M” Swap
Probably the most notable changes comes with the location of the “M” secondary logo. The prior models featured that childish, minor league looking logo prominently on their necklines where the jersey fell beneath their chin. It always felt a little too on the nose, not to mention the thick cream material that marred what was otherwise a very clean jersey collar. That was particularly the case with the white jerseys that had green collar trim. I’ve always found that “M” logo to be my least favorite part of the entire redesign, and think it looks a little silly to have two parallel crests on the collar with that creamy “M” in front and the golden NBA championship signifier on the back.
Nike’s relegated it instead to the front of their shorts, basically the belt buckle position. It stands out like a belt buckle too, which feels a little too superhero or Power Rangers for my taste. However, the “M” is more subtle, particularly on the Green jerseys where the “M” blends in completely. Even the cream “M” on the white shorts though feels better masked, particularly when player’s jerseys start to become untucked or hang low. Overall, I think it’s a smart improvement sending the gaudy logo to a more concealed position and cleans up the look of the top. Thumbs up.
Fear The Deer Text
On the old jerseys, the 2009-10 rallying cry Milwaukee’s new owners were smitten with was written on a small cream patch at the bottom left edge of the jersey top. Not only did that not blend seamlessly into the solid colored jersey, it was so darn tiny it was basically impossible to see. I remember the rationale being it’s this sort of secret motto that teams could include for them to recall during games, but I don’t think it really ever fit or felt well integrated.
Now, the text is right above the Nike patch on the bottom left, printed directly on the jersey in just one single off color (green on the white jerseys, cream on the green jerseys). It’s subtler, feels more a piece with the entire package and creates a classier look. Once again, a small change, but a significant one when they were able to cut down on the color palette that marred smaller edges of the original design, particularly important considering they already have plenty of color with the Irish Rainbow tributes adorning the sides.
If you look very closely at the legs of the shorts, you can see there’s a slight slit right in front of the Bucks logo on bottom. It’s presumably a Nike design element rather than a Bucks-centric design element, but it does allow for a full box of cream to extend on those edges of the short. Previously, there was a small arrowhead-sized slit directly down the edge of the short that pointed upwards and mirrored nicely with the edge of the Bucks main logo.
This is one change that I actually don’t prefer, since I think there was a nice symmetry and balance with that smaller slit beforehand and the angled downward trajectory of the Bucks logo. Here, it’s creating a bit too much of a boxy look for my taste and the front edge isn’t symmetrical with the cleanly angled back edge. It looks like a wonky banana. Plus, it feels a little weird to have one edge cut off while the other connects neatly with that cream trim on the back. I could’ve done without this one.
I also might be wrong, but I think the shorts transition from full cloth to a holy mesh material near the bottom, which I don’t think was the case before. This I actually like and think the gradient as it changes to the holey material looks pretty natural.
That Weird Back Thing
This is my least favorite element of this new redesign. If you look at the backs of the jerseys, the cloth past their shoulders basically cuts off and a new cut extends angled from their neck to the sides of their body. It almost looks like they’re wearing the start of a wingsuit or some peculiarly shaped backpack. Not only does it look like junk and feels like a completely different cloth jutting out of nowhere, it obscures the back trim of their arm holes.
I’m sure Nike has some hyper-researched conclusion about how this will add extra air time to Giannis’ jump or something, but sometimes it’s gotta be fashion over function Mr. Knight. This was probably the biggest misstep of the entire redesign. Blech.
Oh Harley, My Harley
I’m glad the Bucks were able to sync up with yet another local sponsor for their jersey patch deal. Harley-Davidson is a Milwaukee staple and I was just chatting with two Harley enthusiasts who live in South Carolina. They’re a great company with loyal followers. I even like when Bango rides that darn bike out onto the court and uses that cheesy “Rev Up” sign!
The thing I don’t like, is how that orange clashes with almost every single part of these Bucks jerseys. I get that these sponsorship deals are going to start popping up everywhere and clash horribly with plenty of jerseys across the league, but there’s not a lot of great ways to make orange look well integrated. Just as nothing rhymes with the word, very little matches with the color either, particularly Harley’s iconic burnt orange look. I’m glad they’re doing it, but I wish there was some compromise they could’ve reached.
So that’s it for my takes, but I’m sure there are a few items I missed on there. I was never very good at those Highlights spot the difference pages anyway. I believe these are an overall better jersey, but let us know in the comments what you think!