NBA

Inside the Houston Rockets Fresh New Uniforms

This past June, the Houston Rockets revealed their new uniforms for the 2019–2020 season. Since the NBA no longer requires home and away jerseys, teams have more options for jersey designs. This season, Houston will have five different uniform designs.

The Houston Rockets’ new uniforms

So far, three new uniforms have been announced to join the existing popular black uniforms, used since the 2016–2017 season. Following Nike naming conventions, “Icon” is red, “Association” is white, “Classic” is red and yellow, and “Statement” is black.

A fourth new uniform, called “City,” will replace their Chinese-language uniform, and this one will be revealed in November. So far, it’s only known that the “City” uniforms will be “out of this world.”

In celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Houston Rockets’ NBA title win, the uniforms worn in the 1994–1995 season by the NBA champions are returning as the “Classic” design. This one is nicknamed the “ketchup and mustard” uniform, because it’s red with yellow accents. These uniforms will only be worn during this anniversary year.

Design inspirations

The new designs were influenced by owner Tilman Fertitta’s family as well as players’ desires to have more black in the uniforms. The new designs keep the color red but increase the amount of black in the palate. Black now replaces grey on the uniforms. The “Icon” and “Association” designs both have black around the armholes and on the sides of the shorts.

The sides of the jerseys now have just a solid bar rather than the large chevrons that were previously there. The jersey side panels visually join with bars on the sides of the shorts, which flare out to give the suggestion of rocket propulsion trails along the bottom of the shorts.

The design is cleaner, and the font has also been simplified. The old font, which had a gothic and Asian look, couldn’t be curved above the uniform number, while the new sans serif font can be. Players had previously approved the font, which was already in use on their black uniforms.

In an interview with the Houston Chronicle, Ken Sheirr, the Rockets’ senior director of marketing, said that it took two years to finalize the new designs and “tons of tweaks” since they were working with the NBA, the Fertittas, players, and Nike.

Design history

When the team was in San Diego, they wore green and gold uniforms. After they moved to Houston in 1971, they went to the ketchup and mustard designs. In 1995, the team changed to navy blue and silver pinstripe uniforms, which some people thought looked like kids’ pajamas.

The team returned to red in 2003, with its gothic font. The new designs are the first major change in appearance for the Rocket’s primary uniforms since 2003.

It’s a new season for the Houston Rockets

In July, the Houston Rockets traded Chris Paul to Oklahoma City and brought in Russell Westbrook. In an off-season of many trades, this one helps put Houston in the discussion to possibly be 2019–2020 NBA Champions.

The team should have a good year if Westbrook and James Harden have good chemistry and are able to share the spotlight. Westbrook and Harden are both All-Stars. They used to be teammates with the Oklahoma City Thunder and have been friends since they were kids. Together they should have one of the best offenses this year.

The rest of the team doesn’t have the size to measure up to some of the other NBA teams, but they are part of a deep roster. Also, they still have Mike D’Antoni as coach. The team has had strong seasons the past three years under his guidance. We’ll see if the new uniforms provide the needed extra edge for the new season.