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NBA jerseys to feature gold patches for every team that has ever won a championship

Jul 16, 2014, 3:59 PM EDT

The NBA has been interested in tinkering with its jerseys in one form or another in recent seasons, and while some of the plans for the upcoming year aren’t as drastic as they’ve been in the recent past, we can expect some additional tweaks nonetheless.

One of them will be the appearance of gold patches on the backs of jerseys, which is intended to commemorate championship seasons.

It actually seems like a cool idea — until you realize that the plan is to have it in place for every team that has ever won a championship in NBA history.


[Photo via Ben Golliver,]

This is a look at the jersey for the Pistons, which features the Larry O’Brien trophy along with a 3X designation for each the team’s historical titles.

Once it becomes clear that there are more franchises that have won NBA titles than those that have not, however, the idea becomes far less interesting.

A good use of this patch would be to include it on the jerseys of the 15 players who were on the roster of the previous year’s championship team each season, regardless of whether or not they switch teams via trade or free agency the following year. (For example, Mike Miller would have had one on his Memphis Grizzlies jersey last season, thanks to being a part of the Heat’s title team in 2013.)

Simply putting the patch on the jerseys of the reigning champs each year would seem odd for the players who were newcomers, and didn’t contribute to the championship effort of the previous season — like Greg Oden in Miami, for instance.

Either way, a patch like this should commemorate something special and unique. Since it will be displayed by more than half of the teams in the league next season, its overall effect will be minimized.

  1. dondada10 - Jul 16, 2014 at 4:13 PM

    I like the idea of letting the 15 or so previous players wear the patch. It’s kinda like the gold glove winners in baseball–they get to have the label on their glove be stitched in gold. The platinum glove winner (Anderlton Simmons) gets to stitch his label in platinum.

  2. sw19womble - Jul 16, 2014 at 4:16 PM

    What about teams that win championships in one city and then leave?

    The history of the likes of the NewOrleansCharlotteHornetPelicans is complicated enough.

    And as for the rich local history of the OklahomaSonics……

    • loubearkane - Jul 16, 2014 at 4:28 PM

      Don’t think their will be any issues with those teams ever winning.

      • sw19womble - Jul 16, 2014 at 4:43 PM

        Oh wait – the Sonics did win in 1979…. so does that mean Oklahoma get to lord a gold patch?

        Like I said, it could get messy….

    • loubearkane - Jul 16, 2014 at 4:49 PM

      That is a Seattle Championship and Oklahoma City should need their fat greasy sausage fingers off of it

      • loubearkane - Jul 16, 2014 at 4:49 PM

        That is a Seattle Championship and Oklahoma City should keep their fat greasy sausage fingers off of it

      • shadowgamesshades - Jul 16, 2014 at 5:22 PM

        No OKC fan claims that title that came from 1979. Why claim someone else’s when you can get your own?

      • brianjoates - Jul 16, 2014 at 10:44 PM

        The NFL shod adopt that and return records or allow them to stay in a city.

        No city wants anothers history. While it was the Lakers, Minnesota should only claim the Mikan era. Now you run into an issue when you have something like the Nets moving about 20 miles to Brooklyn or the Wizards/ Bullets who moved to Landover, MD and eventually DC with retaining a very large portion of the fan base.

  3. kingperk123 - Jul 16, 2014 at 4:20 PM


  4. agellings - Jul 16, 2014 at 4:22 PM

    What team did Abcabc win a championship with? Was he on the Spurs last year?

    • apkyletexas - Jul 16, 2014 at 4:47 PM

      Patches? Spurs don’t need no stinking patches.

    • philliesblow - Jul 16, 2014 at 6:32 PM

      I guessing that’s actually Phil Collins, maybe Genesis is playing a half time concert during Pistons game this season. Someone just misspelled “Abacab”.

  5. loubearkane - Jul 16, 2014 at 4:26 PM

    I remember Bobby Abcabc on the Bulls first 3-peat

  6. sotehpr - Jul 16, 2014 at 4:29 PM

    This makes no sense….. And giving it to the 15 players makes no sense either…Basketball is a team sport…. The reigning team should wear the patch regardless of who leaves or arrives… The player that leaves has no right to wear the patch…. Since that player is no longer on the nba championship team….

    • eugenesaxe1 - Jul 16, 2014 at 5:16 PM

      So what would you do If MIA had won, then LBJ had been traded instead of going FA? You going to tell the man who won the title for the team no?

  7. asimonetti88 - Jul 16, 2014 at 4:30 PM

    Terrible attempt at ripping off the stars that soccer teams put on their uniforms.

    • jonusb - Jul 16, 2014 at 4:34 PM

      Who cares about soccer? The World Cup is over. Now we can get back to focus on the PROFESSIONAL sports.

      • 00maltliquor - Jul 16, 2014 at 5:31 PM


      • 8to80texansblog - Jul 16, 2014 at 9:04 PM

        I bet you love NASCAR don’t you….

      • 8to80texansblog - Jul 16, 2014 at 9:33 PM

        BTW, Elsewhere on this site you can read an article about how the worlds most valuable PROFESSIONAL sports franchise is a soccer club in Spain. Real Madrid is worth 25% more than the Yankees or Cowboys…

  8. mpa2000 - Jul 16, 2014 at 4:33 PM

    LOL! Silver this is a bad idea. You handled the Sterling thing great, but on this one…

    • sportsfan18 - Jul 16, 2014 at 6:05 PM

      you did hear Silver say that the Sterlings could still own the Clippers at the beginning of this coming season right?

      Had they, or if they still do, vote him out and run the team themselves, then he will no longer own them. Yet while saying he was going to do that early this summer he hasn’t because he wanted the team sold by them.

      The Donald has thrown a monkey wrench into that and if Silver and the owners meet and vote him out then he no longer owns the team.

      Why aren’t they doing that?

      I miss a lot and I must be missing something here because I fail to see why the board of governors hasn’t voted him out yet.

      • elcaminobilly - Jul 16, 2014 at 8:19 PM

        Donald and Shelly Sterling are fighting over who actually owns the team in court, the NBA is waiting to see how that plays out before they vote. (If the courts rule Shelly as the owner, they don’t need to do anything because she’s got a buyer lined up already)

      • sportsfan18 - Jul 17, 2014 at 8:52 AM

        I understand that.

        What I don’t understand is why they are waiting when they don’t have to.

        They, the NBA, could simply vote him out of their club and poof, he’s GONE.

        If the commish scheduled a vote soon, he’d be able to say the Clippers will NOT be owned by the Sterlings this fall.

        If the NBA does not want them to own the club, they MAY DO something about it, like vote them out in a board of governors meeting.

        We all have read and know that the league is allowed to, it’s a franchise, it’s like a club and they are allowed to vote out a member if they want to.

        But they are NOT voting him out. They had a vote scheduled long ago and then cancelled it and now this circus is playing out around them and the commish just said they might still own the team when the coming season begins.

        It’s within the control of the commish to vote them OUT as owners and to do it well before the coming season starts.

        WHY aren’t they scheduling a vote? To me, it isn’t the court case you referred to. There’s something or some reason(s) the league wants him gone this way vs. having to vote him out on their own.

        They’re dragging their feet on voting him out and HOPING the Sterlings remove themselves by selling.

        So the league WANTS them out but it waiting and hoping the Sterling’s sell vs. having to vote them out themselves.

        So vote them out as owners already and be done with it is my point. That they aren’t doing this tells me there is more going on.

  9. antistratfordian - Jul 16, 2014 at 4:37 PM

    Eh. Whatever.

  10. azarkhan - Jul 16, 2014 at 4:52 PM

    Of course if would be better if only the current champions wore the gold patch, but it wouldn’t be politically correct. And in spineless 21st century America, political correctness if everything.

  11. phillyguyindc - Jul 16, 2014 at 4:52 PM

    Don’t really like it, seems kind of silly. The people who are currently on the sixers didn’t have anything to do with those. Just another reason for people to buy new merchandise for the team that wins

  12. pdub923 - Jul 16, 2014 at 4:54 PM

    What about a player-by-player basis. Duncan gets 5, Parker gets 4, Leonard gets 1, Robert Horry would have had 17. See on an individual level who’s getting it done. Why should the Bucks get to wear one for something that happened 40 years ago?

    • jerze2387 - Jul 16, 2014 at 5:14 PM

      This would be interesting. I was also thinking they should get a gold patch for each title. Duncan would have 5 around the back of his neck, and so on

  13. eugenesaxe1 - Jul 16, 2014 at 5:20 PM

    But then you’re making the teams that have never won a title look bad, we don’t want to hurt any feelings.
    Maybe give those teams a patch for “participation”?

  14. 00maltliquor - Jul 16, 2014 at 5:38 PM

    This is a neat, fun idea. I’m on board. Only thing though, that random square patch on the back of the neck doesn’t look like a great spot to have it. Maybe if they only made the Jerry West silhouette gold, with a gold border around the red and blue box, might be a better idea.

  15. greatmiamisportsmind - Jul 16, 2014 at 5:38 PM

    So the TIMBERWOLVES get the gold patches for the previous Minnesota’s team glory?? Whaaaaaaaat?!?!?!

  16. mogogo1 - Jul 16, 2014 at 5:54 PM

    Not opposed to the idea but that patch is almost unreadable in a close-up stationary photo. It’ll be impossible to see on the court. Even in the photo it looks like 13x when it’s actually a picture of the trophy.

    • sportsfan18 - Jul 16, 2014 at 6:06 PM

      they can’t take away space that will soon be used for ads you know.

  17. Nofoolnodrool - Jul 16, 2014 at 6:30 PM

    Who cares about soccer? The World Cup is over. Now we can get back to focus on the PROFESSIONAL sports.

    As a narrow minded American who probably hasn’t ventured outside of your hometown your response is ignorant and uninformed. Soccer is followed in more countries than American basketball, but as an ugly American your too dumb to know it….pathetic.

  18. chiadam - Jul 16, 2014 at 8:10 PM

    The Knicks’ little Jerry West should have an afro and bellbottoms since they haven’t won a title since 1973.

  19. mackcarrington - Jul 16, 2014 at 8:21 PM

    And Sacramento can wear a patch because the franchise won one while it was in Rochester 60 years ago.

  20. elcaminobilly - Jul 16, 2014 at 8:25 PM

    I really like this idea. The NBA does not really do enough to honor it’s history, but this is a nice touch. I agree with the comments that it is hard to read, however. Hopefully that will be addressed.

  21. campcouch - Jul 16, 2014 at 9:26 PM

    So this will be the next free agent draw. “See this shows you our commitment to titles. This represents the title we won in 1958 as the St. Louis Hawks!”

  22. loungefly74 - Jul 17, 2014 at 8:37 AM

    i like it. not a big deal. in fact, i would be just fine with sponsor emblems on the jerseys as well…

  23. arrondior - Jul 17, 2014 at 10:34 AM

    I think they should only allow teams to use the patch if the championship has been won in the last decade. Makes it actually mean something. Otherwise they should do something like the WC with stars. Have a golden basketball on the jersey for each championship won in team history with the year it was one inside of it.

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