The Los Angeles Lakers have enjoyed a successful run with their black “city edition” jerseys this year, but it appears their time wearing the uniforms is coming to an end, at least for the semifinal round of the In-Season Tournament.
The Lakers are 4-0 this season in the black uniforms.
The team sported the jerseys earlier this week during a three-point win over the Suns to advance to the next round of the tournament. Los Angeles takes on the New Orleans Pelicans Thursday night in Las Vegas.
According to a report from ESPN, the NBA cited concerns over the alternate uniform’s potential “visual contrast between the jerseys and the design of the specialized in-season court.”
The uniform schedule posted to the Lakers’ official website showed the team now plans to wear the gold “icon jerseys” for the highly anticipated matchup with the Pelicans.
New Orleans will wear its white uniforms.
On Wednesday, Lakers superstar LeBron James heaped praise on NBA Commissioner Adam Silver for his role in launching the league’s first In-Season Tournament.
“Adam Silver is a genius. It’s that simple. This is gonna work,” James told ESPN’s Tim Bontemps.
At least one member of the Lakers reportedly expressed displeasure shortly after learning the “city edition” uniforms would be nixed for Thursday’s game.
Lakers forward Rui Hachimura wore a black face mask to protect himself following a recent nasal fracture during Tuesday’s win. James, a four-time NBA champion, was spotted wearing an all-black outfit before the game against the Suns.
Over the past few years, the Lakers have racked up a number of wins when they wear alternate jerseys. Los Angeles won the NBA title inside the league’s bubble in 2020, going 4-1 in “Black Mamba” uniforms.
Shortly before the start of the regular season, James cited one of NFL legend and Colorado football coach Deion Sanders’ fashion-related mantras.
“He’s got the old saying of, ‘When you look good, you feel good. When you feel good, you play good. And when you play good, they pay good,'” James told ESPN in October. “I mean, I feel like that’s instilled in me since I was a kid.”
Each player on the team that wins the league’s inaugural NBA Cup will earn $500,000. The title game is scheduled for Saturday. The championship game will not count toward the 82-game regular season standings.