The internet was buzzing Monday with images of the 76ers potentially wearing a gray alternate jersey during the 2018-2019 season.
Those rumblings were confirmed Tuesday and there's quite a story behind them.
The Sixers will, in fact, be wearing a gray "City Edition" jersey on Nov. 9 and it's inspired in part by Philly's most iconic fictional character and his sweatsuit, according to ESPN's Zach Lowe.
Lowe spoke with both the Sixers and Nike about the process behind the new jersey design:
Nike had been toying with the idea of a new uniform in the shade of heather gray, says Wil Green, design director for Nike basketball. They considered heather uniforms for a few teams. When the Sixers objected to multiple "Rocky" looks, both sides wondered if they might find common ground on a singular "Rocky"-inspired jersey that would reference the gray sweatsuit Stallone wore in the training montage from the original film -- perhaps the most famous of all "Rocky" scenes. (Seriously: If you can watch that scene, with Bill Conti's "Gonna Fly Now" surging in the background, without getting goosebumps, I'm not sure we can be friends.)
But here's the best part. Many of the Sixers players donned the final jersey for photo opportunities and the story behind T.J. McConnell wearing it is truly fantastic.
He posed in a meat locker with a gray sweatsuit on and bloody hands between hanging frozen meat. Just like Rocky Balboa did.
McConnell volunteered for meat locker duty. "If we're gonna do this, I want to go all out," he recalls telling team officials. "I want to be in the meat locker."
A true lunch pail kind of guy willing to get his hands dirty among the meat.
The most notable thing about the new "City Edition" uniforms is the lack of text on the jerseys. No "Phila," no "Sixers," nothing. Just the 13 stars logo around the player's number. The images obtained by ESPN also show the Sixers' "Ballin' Ben" logo on the shorts along with some red, white, and blue piping accents.
No press release has been released by the team at the time of this posting, but you can read more about the unis from Lowe.
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