The Timberwolves introduced two new uniforms (with two more to come) Thursday, continuing an evolution of appearances spanning nearly three decades as an organization.
Their web site suggests this new look is the fifth different style the Wolves have had since they joined the NBA in 1989. There were the originals worn until 1996; there was a re-brand in 1996 to capitalize on the dawn of the Kevin Garnett era; there was a switch in 2008, then a tweak in 2010, and now Thursday’s Nike reveal.
My contention is there are really only four distinct looks because 1) The uniforms they wore for two seasons starting in 2008 were so hideous that we should never be forced to look or talk about them and 2) the Wolves quickly realized this and revamped those duds in 2010 with a similar but much better effort.
So after the new releases Thursday, there were two burning questions that needed answering: 1) What did folks think of the new jerseys? 2) If they had to rank the four (defined by me) eras of Wolves jerseys 1-4, what would be their order?
None of the responses truly shocked me. Instead, they only served to reinforce two ideas: People love to have STRONG opinions about the clothing athletes wear, and those opinions are quite diverse. (When the Lynx unveil a new logo Friday during halftime of their game, it will give everyone a chance to have new opinions).
On the subject of the two new Wolves uniforms, there seemed to be a predictably even split between love and hate. I really like the clean lines, simple look and color scheme (and I’m not just saying that because Glen Taylor owns the Timberwolves and this newspaper). Others on Twitter agreed with sentiments such as, “They look great!” while others said the stripes were “hideous” or compared the jerseys to those a team might use for practice.
The greater controversy (such as it is) seemed to emerge, though, when attempting to rank the four eras of Wolves jerseys. My order puts the original uniforms on top, with the new uniforms second, the ones they just replaced third and the Garnett-in-his-prime era jerseys last.
There was plenty of support for the contention that the original jerseys — and the logo of the wonderful, almost smiling Timberwolf — are the best. There are those among us who remember having a baseball cap with that logo that was so stained with sweat by the time it was tossed out that the smell couldn’t even be eradicated by a run through the dishwasher.
As it turns out, nostalgia and green trees are a powerful combination for plenty of other folks who said they like the 1996-2007 Wolves jerseys the best. To be fair, the Timberwolves have never made the playoffs wearing any other clothes, and those jerseys did span almost the entire original Garnett era (though KG conveniently wore each of the first three styles, as pictured above).
Some of us just don’t like the trees or the font. That’s OK!
Some people really didn’t like the jerseys the Wolves just replaced, but others of us were just fine (if not overly inspired) by them. At least we could all agree that the jerseys worn briefly in the late 2000s were terrible.
“I mean, these actually weren’t terrible. I appreciated the green elements” one Twitter reply stated.
With uniforms as in so many aspects of life these days, perhaps the only thing we can agree on is to disagree.