Celtics Debut New City Edition Jerseys Honoring Bill Russell

The Boston Celtics officially debuted their 2022-23 City Edition jerseys Tuesday night against the Philadelphia 76ers. As has become tradition since Nike took over as the main jersey provider for the NBA in 2017, every team debuts new sets of jerseys each season.

This season, Boston created their City Edition uniform in honor of late Celtics’ legend Bill Russell. Russell sadly passed away in July at the age of 88. It was reported that Russell had actually helped the team design these new uniforms before his unfortunate passing. This fact obviously makes the uniforms all the more special, knowing that Russell had a direct hand in the concept and design of them.

I’ll be honest and say that when the jerseys were first leaked, I wasn’t the biggest fan of them. To be fair they were leaked by a random twitter user and was not the greatest photo. Once the team publicly released video and images offering us a better look at them, my attitude towards them definitely changed.

I’m not saying they are the best I’ve ever seen, but knowing the significance behind them and their connection to Russell, they have grown on me.

Do they still look like a variation of a Milwaukee Bucks’ uniform? Yes, and I have seen that point serving as a major complaint amongst fans. I think the biggest problem for me is the dark green color, a departure from the typical Celtics green. Besides that though, I think there is nothing else really wrong with these. I love the black and gold color added to the uniforms, especially the eleven gold diamonds going down the sides of the jerseys. These obviously signify the eleven championships Russell won during his time in Boston, for those unfamiliar with Russell’s history.

I’m also a pretty big fan of the script font on the front, which apparently is a reference to Slade’s, a restaurant that was owned by Russell in Boston that was iconic in the 1960’s.

I consider myself to be a “jersey connoisseur,” as I have quite a fascination and appreciation for sports jerseys. It’s actual a personal hobby of mine to collect sports jerseys. Even for someone like myself who loves jersey variations and teams having multiple uniform sets, I’ll admit I’m not the biggest fan of the NBA’s Nike partnership. It turns out there is such a thing as a team having too many jerseys.

With every team being forced to release new uniforms every season, it has lead to some real unimaginative looks. Other teams get a little too carried away with it, to the point their uniforms resemble nothing of the team. There are some nights where I genuinely can’t tell who is playing.

The Celtics have done a pretty good job of not veering too far off with their uniform designs. All of their newly created alternates have featured some variation of green in every jersey. Some are better than others, like their black and green uniform set that they’ve kept for a few years now. Others like their highlighter green uniforms have not stood the test of time. Overall, I’d say these new ones are among the best they’ve created.

When dealing with historic franchises with iconic, simple looks like Boston, it’s difficult to be new and innovative while attempting to stick to the traditional look. I think they’ve done a much better job than others, and that includes this newest edition. They’re simple enough but still elegant, and most importantly honor the life and legacy of the great Bill Russell. I’ll give them a solid 8.2/10.0 rating.

Featured Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

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