On October 26, the Cavaliers debuted their classic jersey during a home game against the Pacers. A throwback to the year the team returned to downtown Cleveland after 20 years in Richfield, the jersey’s black, orange, and powder blue colors are a contrast to the Cavaliers’ modern wine and gold uniforms.
But the debut got mixed reviews from fans. People either vehemently hate the new throwback look or absolutely love it. Let’s look at these polarizing jerseys.
The inspiration behind the throwback jersey design
In 1994, the Cavs debuted the new look. They had just wrapped up two decades at the Coliseum in Richfield, Ohio when they returned to downtown Cleveland, receiving tremendous support from fans. This year’s classic jerseys are a direct nod to that triumphant return — a modern twist that makes it stand out against the rest of the Cavaliers’ uniforms.
Designed in collaboration with Nike, the front of the jersey is black with a powder blue horizontal stripe through the middle. Each player’s number is in white font offset to the right side.
“CLEVELAND” is embroidered at the top of the jersey in orange, with the Nike Swoosh logo and Goodyear Wingfoot logo in the upper left and right corners, respectively. The jersey’s scoop neckline is the same as it was in the ’90s, and the back of the jersey features the player’s name in orange.
Fan reactions to the Cavaliers’ throwback jerseys
Fans reacted to the new jerseys all over comment sections on the internet. Responding to Cleveland.com, Cavs fans were unanimously against the throwback look of the classic jerseys. It seemed like the website’s audience really hated the design, calling the uniforms ugly, horrible, and outdated. Some even suggested that the jerseys should lit on fire. Yikes.
Elsewhere on the internet, Cavs followers loved the classic jerseys. On Reddit, fans couldn’t stop talking about how much they liked the design’s nod to the ’90s. Fansided called the uniform design incredible. While many things in the NBA are polarizing, we didn’t expect such different reactions about this jersey. However, Cavs fans are known to be passionate.
What seems to be the difference is how long someone has been a fan of the Cavs. If they’ve cheered them on for a long time, then it’s understandably exciting to see a uniform you recognize from 20 years ago. If someone has only been a recent fan, then it makes sense for them to think, “Huh?” Either way, we’re sure they were cheering when the Cavs beat the Pacers the night they debuted this new look.
All about the details
The classic jersey is part of the Cavaliers’ 2019-20 special edition uniform lineup, along with the icon, association, city, and statement uniforms. The jerseys will rotate throughout the season, and this throwback jersey will appear seven more times this season.
Cleveland will even play on a special throwback court each time they wear the classic jersey, with graphics inspired by their court at Gund Arena from 1996 to 2003. Fans can purchase one from the Cavaliers’ Team Shop.