NBA all-star jerseys salute Canadian basketball history
Toronto hosting Feb. 13-14 festivities
This season's NBA all-stars will play in jerseys that both pay homage to Toronto's NBA history, and celebrate the game's first appearance in Canada.
The NBA and Adidas unveiled the jerseys on Wednesday, for all-star weekend Feb. 13-14 in Toronto. Among the unique design elements, the font for the jersey's name and number is identical to that worn in 1946, when the Toronto Huskies hosted the New York Knickerbockers in the league's inaugural game.
Presenting the 2016 <a href="https://twitter.com/adidasHoops">@adidasHoops</a> Eastern Conference <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NBAAllStarTO?src=hash">#NBAAllStarTO</a> uniforms! <a href="https://t.co/Zl2bIWdbmR">pic.twitter.com/Zl2bIWdbmR</a>—@NBAAllStar
Presenting the 2016 <a href="https://twitter.com/adidasHoops">@adidasHoops</a> Western Conference <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NBAAllStarTO?src=hash">#NBAAllStarTO</a> uniforms! <a href="https://t.co/8gi2Iqd2sM">pic.twitter.com/8gi2Iqd2sM</a>—@NBAAllStar
"This is the first NBA all-star game to be played outside the United States, and it is a very exciting time for basketball in Canada," said Chris Grancio, global basketball manager for Adidas.
"To honour this global celebration and pay tribute to Toronto — the site of the NBA's first game — we've incorporated design elements that are inspired by the city's basketball history, sports culture and unique fashion scene."
The all-star game also celebrates the 125th anniversary of the invention of the game by James Naismith.
The jerseys have a subtle maple leaf created by dots on the front of the jersey, and the Toronto cityscape is represented in a colour contrast on the back.
The host Raptors have a presence in the dinosaur claw on the black-and-gold jersey tag.
The inside neck of the jerseys and the draw string on the shorts is a mosaic of colours — a nod to the international growth of the game.
"In addition to the game being in Canada, it's also outside of the U.S., so the NBA is very cognizant of how basketball and the NBA has become a very global game," said David Cho, the NBA partnership director, for Adidas' basketball marketing.
"The league is very proud of that fact, so they wanted to incorporate that story into all of the colours of all the flags of the players represented in the all-star game."
The all-star game balloting begins Dec. 10.