New Era released its 2019 NBA Tip-Off Series collection this week, and, man, those hats are really ... um ...
Well, how exactly do you describe a regular-sized cap that features the team and city names — sometimes in full and sometimes only a portion — four times each, in various sizes and directions, as well as the team logo twice, and the NBA and New Era logos once each?
Beyond bizarre? Hell yeah.
Here’s a quick look at these wonderfully weird creations.
The front two panels have a lot going on. The right side features the city (or borough or district or state nickname, as the case may be) name in as many large letters that can fit horizontally on that panel. In most cases, that’s six letters (one annoying exception is Boston, which could easily fit its whole name on there but inexplicably goes with “BOSTO”).
On the left side, there’s a representation of the team logo on top. Much of the team name can fit below it vertically. That seems to be about five or six letters. This design for the front two panels works well for teams such as the Miami Heat, with names so short that the hats actually look relatively normal from that angle.
It also works for the Minnesota Timberwolves and other teams with super long names, where you can clearly see the effect the hat designers were trying to achieve.
But the design does not work so well for teams with medium-length names, such as the Atlanta Hawks, which ended up with hats that look like someone left a letter off by mistake.
Moving down to the bill, the designers showed remarkable restraint on the left side, with the full-length city name in nice, easy-to-read letters. But then they went absolutely nuts on the right side, slapping on the team name in letters so large that barely any of it can fit on the hat. The Oklahoma City Thunder and Portland Trail Blazers might be the most extreme examples.
Speaking of extreme, let’s move on to the left side panel. Holy cow. Running vertically on the left side is the team name in humongous letters, which don’t come close to fitting into the allotted space.
Next to that, on the right side of the same panel, is the team name again, only this time it’s horizontal and it fits better, but still not completely. Once again, this leaves some teams, like the Lakers, looking like a letter was accidentally dropped at the end of their name.
Oddly enough, teams with short names, like the Utah Jazz, receive the same treatment as the other teams on this portion of the hat, even though there appears to be plenty of room for every letter in its entirety.
The back features the full city name running vertically on the right panel and a small NBA logo in the middle. On the left panel, there’s a humongous representation of the team logo that often doesn’t quite fit into its space. This is easily the coolest portion of these hats.
And finally we head to the peace and tranquility of the right side panel, which features only the New Era logo underneath the full city name, both fitting quite nicely in the space. Ah, just take a moment to soak in the glorious simplicity.
By the way, the Clippers went slightly rogue with their hats. Instead of using the full city name like everyone else, they went with just “LA” in all references, giving their headgear a bit of a distinctive look.
So there you have it. If you’re looking to make a bold fashion statement as the new season begins — or if for some reason you want people to think you root for a team with a name like “WARRI GOLDEN” or “GRIZZ MEMPH” — you might want to snag one of these bad boys.