At the sprawling Paisley Park estate — in the very room, in fact, where Prince held a private concert three years ago where Lynx players celebrated their 2015 WNBA title — the Timberwolves showed off Thursday their new City Edition uniforms that pay tribute to the Minneapolis music icon who died in 2016.
The Wolves will wear the uniforms eight times this year — including five times at home, with the first of those coming Nov. 16 against Portland at Target Center. They will go on sale to the public on Nov. 8 at 11 p.m. — with the Wolves, the NBA and Nike hoping they will be a local, national and even international hit.
The base color for the jerseys is dark purple, and there are references to Prince throughout the look. The most distinctive might be a pattern on the right shoulder honoring Prince’s jacket from “Purple Rain” and the 1980s-esque font used for the lettering.
Prince was a big Timberwolves fan and could often be seen courtside at Target Center. Developing the jerseys in collaboration with Nike, representatives of Prince’s estate and Wolves players has been a project more than a year in the making, said Timberwolves CEO Ethan Casson.
In the introduction to a promotional video for the jerseys, Wolves star Karl-Anthony Towns is shown riding on the same motorcycle Prince used in Purple Rain.
“(Players) were blown away,” Casson said. “I mean, they’re all fans. … They all know what he meant to the world and music industry. Walking into the locker room and giving them a sense of what we were planning … every time we went in and had conversations with each of them, their eyes just lit up.”
Prince’s half-brother Omarr Baker and his wife Virginia Baker were there for the unveiling as representatives of the estate.
“I love it,” Virginia Baker said. “I’m blown away. It’s tasteful and it has a lot of meaning.”