You won’t see another game as ugly as the Knicks-Hawks color fest

, on November 20, 2013 , 3:00PM

knicks hawks orange fest


If you caught our Weekend Winners and Losers show from this past Monday, you already know how much we didn’t like the combination of the Knicks wearing their orange alternate jerseys at home while the Hawks were wearing their alternate red jerseys. I believe I described it at the time as “like I had the saturation on my television turned all the way up” and “feeling like you’d just been staring at a fire where the colors are burned in to your eyes,” or something like that, though on further consideration I think it’s more similar to a 1970s animated Thanksgiving special.


But no matter how it’s described, it’s good to know that we won’t ever have to deal with something like that. Because as it turns out, it’s not just us who didn’t like the look — even the NBA thought it was brutal. From the New York Times:


It did not take long on Saturday night for fans and commentators at Madison Square Garden to realize something was amiss between the Knicks and the Atlanta Hawks. Their uniforms looked alike. Too alike.


The Knicks have worn their new orange alternate jerseys four times already this season, but in each previous outing, the other team arrived wearing a contrasting shade. Not the Hawks. The result was a jumble of blood red versus burnt orange that became an exercise in facial recognition, looking twice, squinting, guessing: Which ones are the Hawks?


According to the N.B.A. rule book, the home team is mandated to wear light-colored jerseys, and the visitors dark jerseys, unless otherwise approved. This would explain Atlanta’s uniform choice.


“Neither team was at fault,” Tim Frank, the N.B.A.’s vice president for basketball communications, said. “The Knicks orange has been designated as a light alternate home uniform. Going forward, we’ll ensure that the opponent wears a more distinguishing color uniform when the Knicks wear orange.”


We did it, you guys. We did it. No more literal eyesores from watching two jerseys that look like they’re on fire, which I guess means the Knicks won’t be wearing orange when the Rockets come to town. Or like eight other teams, since that’s the number of franchises in the league that could conceivably wear red jerseys for a showdown at the Garden (though I suppose they could wear red when then Knicks are wearing white, but let’s not ruin a quality zing). Great job by everyone involved.


And hey, maybe the Knicks will even consider dropping their orange jerseys altogether, since they’re currently 0-4 while rocking the greatest color on Earth. Or at the very least, maybe they’ll think about connecting the shoulder stripes that should circle the arms but just stop for some reason. I mean, if we can rectify a mistake like orange vs. red this quickly, maybe we can dream big and finally get those stripes right.

6 Responses to “You won’t see another game as ugly as the Knicks-Hawks color fest”

  1. Bob says:

    This happened a couple years ago too, when Wisconsin paid a visit to Champaign to play Illinois. Wisconsin was in their visiting reds, and Illinois wore orange. It was just as trippy on TV

  2. Dave says:

    Why is basketball’s convention for home teams to wear white/light by default? Football and hockey (i think) have the home team wear their colors, and I would really prefer this for basketball too. Is there any history to this tradition?

    • Tre Dub says:

      Funny you should mention that. I was just having the same conversation with my brother the other day. I would prefer to see the home team in their colors and the visiting in white.

  3. beyne says:

    The best is when Dallas visits OKC..

    Crowd is all blue like the Mavs
    OKC wears the home whites

  4. Nemo says:

    It was cool when the Knicks wore orange and the Bulls wore black for Halloween though.

  5. Phil West says:

    The Suns want in.

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