As NBA teams across the league roll out the red carpet for their City jerseys from purple-hued Prince tributes to Vice Nights, the Milwaukee Bucks are throwing their hat into the ring. Behold, the Mecca-inspired city jerseys:
Inspired by the bold colors of their renowned MECCA era that represented Milwaukee to the world and defined a generation of success. https://t.co/mx1FyCZ6Fa— Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) November 5, 2018
Yes, Robert Indiana’s beautiful court that defied all traditional sports expectations has been adapted into jersey form. Translating such an iconic piece of franchise history undoubtedly comes with potential for immense pratfalls. In this case, it seems like they didn’t go far enough with it in my opinion.
One of their marketing lines swirls around the “risk-taking” that this uniform celebrates. Assuredly, it was a risk going with this color palette and the criss-crossed blocks of colors that adorn the top. Still, it seems to lack a bit of the cheeky flavor Indiana’s court possessed. From the hidden M’s etched on the court to the entrancing circular “Mecca” at midcourt paying homage to the ball that tips in its center.
Instead, this jersey just feels like a mishmashed collection of the colors without the playful substance behind it. Maybe I’m missing something, but it doesn’t feel quite like a completed piece. More like a couple puzzle pieces who’ve been bent to fit together. I do quite enjoy the green and blue trim on the shorts though, which feel far more stripped directly from the court than the top of the jersey. Also the slight neon trim outlining the “Bucks” on them is choice.
For what it’s worth, I asked my graphic designer colleague and friend her thoughts from her professional perspective. Beyond “I wish the triangles/hard angles were more apparent” and preferring the back to the front, her final piece of feedback seemed most relevant:
“It’d be cool if Robert Indiana wasn’t dead and he could design the clothes too.”