Although they’re considered the “home” team as the higher seed, the Los Angeles Lakers won’t be wearing their City Edition uniforms during Thursday night’s In-Season Tournament Semifinal game against the New Orleans Pelicans.
That’s because, according to ESPN’s Dave McMenamin, the NBA doesn’t believe there’s enough contrast between their black uniforms and the design of the red and blue court that will be used in the Semifinals and Finals.
The Lakers are 5-0 in the In-Season Tournament, including 3-0 in their City Edition set. They wore their gold Icon Edition uniforms in the other two games, though, and will do so again tonight against the Pelicans, who will be in their white Association uniforms.
Interestingly, the league had no problems with the Denver Nuggets wearing their black City Edition set on a predominantly dark blue court or any other games where the home team’s uniforms closely resembled the court’s colors.
Furthermore, whoever wins Thursday’s game between the Lakers and Pelicans will face either the Milwaukee Bucks or Indiana Pacers, who also have black City Edition uniforms, in the In-Season Tournament Finals on Saturday night.
The Pacers aren’t facing the same restrictions as the Lakers this evening as the lower seed, but the contrast issues are impacting the Bucks, as well, and they’re being forced to wear their white Association set instead of their blue City Edition uniforms.
Furthermore, if the Pelicans and Pacers win tonight, neither team will be able to wear their black City Edition uniforms in the Finals, making us wonder, what’s the point of promoting those sets during the tournament if they can’t wear them in the championship?