The Sixers are bringing back the 70s with their new Classic Edition uniform for the 2019-20 season, an idea that’s actually been in the works for years.
“We saw the uniform when we were doing research years ago, building the statues that we have in our training complex, both with Billy Cunningham and Hal Greer, and they were so unique without being silly that we all gravitated towards them,” Sixers president Chris Heck said.
And now, that idea has come to life. The uniforms are anything but silly, with a funky, old-school script so sleek, that even I did a double take. In addition to the white base and crew neck, there’s plenty of additional intricacies that make this jersey so distinct.
“Across the front of the uniform has that big S in red, spelled out, with Seventy on the first line and Sixers on the second line, sharing that same S,” Sixers chief marketing officer Katie O’Reilly said. “The shorts, which I think are killer, are also white. They have an awesome belt, which is sometimes my favorite detail on these uniforms. You'll see the trim of the shorts is red, white and blue striping, and then what we did was add a logo on the belt buckle, which is a throwback liberty bell logo with this block lettering.”
And there’s more.
Check out the huge NBA logo on the front of the shorts. Another symbol of the authenticity to the 1970-71 season.
All of the details of the jersey both tell a story and preserve an important time in Sixers history — though some of the exact details about that season are up for debate.
Like, for example, the exact reason why the Sixers only wore this jersey for a limited amount of games that year.
“It's almost like urban legend,” O’Reilly said. “I think that’s kind of the fun with it. I think a lot of it has to do with superstition and what the record was when they decided to stop wearing it.”
But that’s still up for debate.
What’s not up for debate is the impact that Cunningham, who wore this uniform the same season he received All-NBA First Team honors, had on this organization.
“Not only does he have his number retired and won a world championship for Philadelphia, he also coached a world championship,” Heck said. “I don't think we speak enough about Billy Cunningham. He's the best and every chance we get to tip our cap to Billy Cunningham is warranted in our books.”
Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid, featured in the unique uniform photo shoots, also had significant hands in this project.
“They were both really involved and engaged, which was really the fun of this, to have them be a part of the process and be a part of the roll out,” O’Reilly said. “You'll see in the photos that come out. ... We get to tell sort of another story from our past.”
And while the Sixers get to tell a story from the past, they also get to tap into one of Simmons’ passions — his love for cars.
“It's really cool to have these guys engaged and want to tell stories that humanize them," O'Reilly said.
The Sixers could wear the jerseys as early as opening night.
For more, fans can visit Sixers.com/ClassicEdition to enter to win two special Classic Edition prize packages, one including the jersey Simmons wore during the Classic Edition photo shoot and one including the jersey Embiid wore during his. Each package will be complete with two tickets to the first home game the Sixers wear the Classic Edition uniform, courtesy of StubHub.
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