BED-STUY — Following the success of the popular Nike City Edition uniforms the Brooklyn Nets wore during the 2018-2019, which paid homage to the late Christopher Wallace, aka Notorious B.I.G., the franchise is doubling down this season to honor arguably the greatest rapper of all time.
On Thurs., Nov. 21, the team had a countdown to unveil the already popular jerseys at a party at the Brooklyn Bank in Bedford Stuyvesant. The venue was fitting because the neighborhood was where Biggie was born and raised, and it is also the place the Nets will represent when they wear these special jerseys.
Nets center DeAndre Jordan introduced the white jersey with “BED-STUY” emblazoned across the chest.
“I want to thank everybody for coming out to this City Edition launch. Obviously these jerseys are pretty dope,” he told the crowd. “The camo is inspired by Biggie obviously … I can’t wait to wear these joints.”
The BED-STUY font was designed by graphic artist Eric Haze, who also designed the team’s 2019-20 Statement Edition uniform and contributed to last season’s City Edition uniforms, paying tribute to Biggie by also designing a customized *BED-STUY* mark for each player on the bottom of the uniform, which is similar to the lettering displayed across the chest.
Like last year, the new uniforms feature a multi-color “Brooklyn Camo” pattern, which runs down the sides of the jersey and shorts, and along the neck and arm trim. The camo pays tribute to the late rapper.
According to the Nets, the new Nike uniform “represents the neighborhood’s storied history, its lasting impact in music, art and culture, and the icon who put it on the map.”
The night also featured a special performance by rapper and Bed-Stuy native, Joey Bada$$. The Nets unveiled a tribute mural of Biggie by local artist David Hollier. According to the Nets, the 5×7-foot piece features an image of Biggie created with a composite of the lyrics to “Sky’s The Limit.”
In anticipation of the uniforms, the team posted a short video on its Facebook of Biggie’s mother Voletta Wallace.
“To me, Christopher is Brooklyn. St. James Place, Bed-Stuy. I was there for 29 years,” she said. “I remember when my son became an entertainer. I said, ‘whatever you do, you’re going to represent Brooklyn. Give yourself some color. Give yourself some color. Give yourself some pink, some white, some blue. Make yourself Notorious.'”
The Nets will wear the uniform on the court for the first time at noon on Friday, Nov. 29, as they face off against the Boston Celtics. They’ll wear the uniform for 28 games this season.
The initial reaction to the reveal was extremely positive from the press and fans alike.
“Being born and raised in Brooklyn, this jersey means everything to me,” said one fan.
“Great tribute to the legend,” added another.
To honor the lasting legacy of Biggie, the Nets and Nike will revive a music program at Bed-Stuy’s Madiba Prep Middle School of Social Justice and Innovation. The school piloted a band program in 2018, but due to a lack of funding, the program was not able to continue. The investment from the Nets and Nike will reintroduce the music program, which will include 20 weeks of clarinet, trumpet, guitar and percussion classes for 40 sixth grade students. A pep rally to tip off the partnership will be held on Dec. 5.
[…] The top is part of the NBA’s line of “City Editions” jerseys, which are reimagined each year for teams around the league. In 2019, the Nets honored another native, Notorious BIG, with a special jersey calling out his Bed-Stuy neighborhood. […]