Few sports connect to design and style like basketball does. The influence of Michael Jordan's footwear and Michigan's Fab Five on hip-hop dress is undeniable. And, on the flip side, the uniforms worn by professionals offer powerful reminders of the prevailing design trends in each respective era of the league.
No uniform speaks as directly to that idea as the annual All-Star Game kit. From color choices, to graphic sublimation, the uniforms allow a quick peak at what was "hot" from 1951 to today—and a snapshot of the NBA's consideration of player, team, and host city.
The uniforms for the 2013 contest feature an impact camouflage and stencil numbers drawn from fighter planes, and unique personal patches for each player on the warm ups that remind of pilot's bomber jackets.
"For Houston the natural thing it to go back to space and aeronautical," says Travis Blasingame, head of apparel for global basketball at adidas, "We focused on the speed of planes and tying it back into the speed of the game."
Since 2004, the Eastern and Western conference teams have worn newly designed uniforms. There has been an emphasis on location, highlighting the celebratory nature of the event and basketball in each host city, following a period in the late '90s that gave voice to each player's respective teams. The '80s put the NBA at the forefront, the '70s the wild color schemes and graphics of the decade, and reflecting on the '60s uniform sees the league trying to find its identity. In essence, the NBA All-Star uniform is a capsule of basketball's connection to art, culture, design and the marketing of the league's most valuable assets—the players themselves.
On that note, let's step back and revisit the history of the NBA's mid-winter classic through the game's most iconic on-court designs.
The 10 Best NBA All-Star Uniforms of All Time
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