DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN — The Nets are making a statement with their new jerseys.
Brooklyn artist Eric Haze designed the team’s 2019-20 statement edition uniform by Nike in concrete gray which features hand-drawn letters spelling “BKLYN” across the chest, as well as Haze’s signature stars running down the jersey’s left side, as a contemporary twist on one of the team’s most iconic throwback looks.
Haze also played a role in the creation of last year’s popular Nets statement jersey, which paid tribute to the Notorious B.I.G. via a customized *BED-STUY* mark for each player on the bottom of the uniform.
Haze, who has been an artist for 40 years, told this paper how he got involved in the organization.
“The professional working relationship started last year when the Nets and NBA commissioned me to do a spot graphic on the Biggie Small homage city jersey from last season,” he said. “Then, about a week after delivering that work, they circled back to me and said they were really happy with that initial graphic and that they wanted to take it to the next level and have me actually work on an on-court jersey, which of course was an opportunity of a lifetime for me.”
The design process was an exciting and organic one for Haze.
“It was a perfect marriage of black, white and gray,” said Haze, who also has a history as a graffiti artist. “Those are the team’s colors, and if anyone follows me, they know that those have been my signature colors for decades as well.”
He stressed that the design was created organically by hand.
“I’ve heard people refer to it as the new font,” he explained. “It is decidedly not a font. It is based on my actual handstyle but it was important to find that balance where it looks done by hand but clean, crisp and universal enough that it read as professional and crisp.”
The jerseys were officially unveiled at the team’s Practice in the Park in Brooklyn Bridge Park on Saturday, Oct. 5 where all the players donned the new threads in front of their fans while they provided a public team practice. Thus far, the response has been very positive, said Haze.
“The energy and response with the event on Saturday was phenomenal,” he said. “The real icing on the cake for me on Saturday was having the new president of Barclays Center come up to me and tell me not only was he happy with the design, but he asked the team candidly what the players thought and they all thought it was great.”
Since Nike took over creating NBA jerseys in 2017, each team has been provided with a statement jersey, which according to Nike.com, “sets the tone for big games or rivalries and is inspired by the team’s desire to make a bold statement every time they step on the court. For each team, the aesthetic expresses the specific spirit of the current roster.”
The Nets will wear the jerseys during 22 games this season. They will debut officially on Nov. 1.