San Antonio Spurs: Historic influences for Nike’s new uniforms

NEWARK, NJ - FEBRUARY 11: Tony Parker
NEWARK, NJ - FEBRUARY 11: Tony Parker /

Through their storied history, the San Antonio Spurs exhibited many different uniforms. With the unveiling of their Nike uniforms approaching, it’s time to look back on some of their nicest designs and how they could impact a new wave of jerseys.

Simple and sleek are the two main adjectives that come to mind regarding The San Antonio Spurs’ collection of jerseys. In a true testament to the team’s culture, the Spurs’ uniforms have never been the flashy or outlandish. Most designs throughout the years have focused on the black, white and silver coloring.

Before we unveil our @Nike uniforms later this week, we're throwing it back.

— San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) August 8, 2017

The team’s primary logo has remained mostly untouched through their history, but a new secondary logo was revealed earlier in the summer and will likely play a part in the newly designed uniforms.

Despite sticking to similar general concepts, the Spurs have had some very interesting designs throughout their time. Whether it be the slick styles of the 70’s or the colorful craze of the 90’s, there is a lot for Nike to work with.

So be on alert…told Friday morning, new #Spurs Nike uniforms are scheduled to be unveiled.

— Jabari Young (@JabariJYoung) August 9, 2017

These are the uniforms that Nike’s designers may revisit in 2017 to celebrate the team’s remarkable history.

The Elegant Stylings of the Chaps

Long before Kawhi Leonard and the modern NBA, two major basketball organizations competed for dominance. The Celtics and Lakers of the NBA stole the limelight from the Chaparrals of the emerging ABA (American Basketball Association.)

Believe it or not, the San Antonio Spurs were founding members of the ABA and began their franchise within the city of Dallas.

The Dallas Chaparrals were one of the 11 teams that took part in the ABA’s inaugural season and are one of four remaining organizations from the era. ‘The Chaps’ were sold to a group of investors and moved to San Antonio in 1973, where they became the Spurs.

NEWARK, NJ – FEBRUARY 11: Manu Ginobili
NEWARK, NJ – FEBRUARY 11: Manu Ginobili /

The classic Chaparrals jerseys are one of the most interestingly styled jerseys of the ABA. The coloring and lettering of the jerseys are reminiscent of an old western mystique. In the 2011-2012 NBA season, the Spurs wore throwback ‘Chaps’ jerseys to commemorate the team’s roots.

It’s no secret that the Spurs are changing. As the Duncan Dynasty has come to a close and the Kawhi Era has been ushered in, the organization has come to terms with the modern NBA. With that being said, San Antonio will never seize to acknowledge its history. It wouldn’t be surprising if one of Nike’s new designs gave nod to the elegant stylings of the Chaparrals.

All Black Everything

Some of the greatest players in San Antonio history donned the all-black jerseys of the mid-to-late 70’s. George ‘The Iceman’ Gervin led the team along with All-Time Spurs greats James Silas and Larry Kenon.

LANDOVER, MD – CIRCA 1979: James Silas
LANDOVER, MD – CIRCA 1979: James Silas /

This sleek jersey was a perfect representation for the team’s personnel at the time. ‘The Iceman,’ whose movements and layups were as smooth as could be, still has one of the most iconic jerseys in NBA history.

The black text inside of white outlines is what truly highlights this uniform. The commanding aesthetic of the jersey makes it a solid option for the season’s most important games. This uniform not only looks great but makes a statement to opposing teams that says: “we’re ready for battle.”

SAN ANTONIO, TX – 1980: George Gervin
SAN ANTONIO, TX – 1980: George Gervin /

In 2015, the Spurs released an All-Black alternate as an homage to the team’s jerseys of the past. This uniform is widely considered as one of their most popular in recent history. The likelihood that this All-Black theme will continue with their 2017 Nike Jerseys is extremely high.

The Fiesta Era

Arguably the most exciting era of Spurs logos was the ‘fiesta era.’ Despite the contributions of Gervin and Silas in the 70’s and 80’s, San Antonio’s heightened popularity began to take off with the emergence of David Robinson.

Despite winning just 28 games in the season prior to drafting him, San Antonio’s entire outlook changed with the addition of Robinson. Their win totals skyrocketed to 56 in his rookie year and brought cause for a ‘fiesta’.

The 90’s ‘fiesta’ styled logo brought a slew of new merchandising to the organization. Stylish warm up jackets and colorful caps dominated the wardrobes of Spurs fans and players alike.

@spurs 2017 "Fiesta" uniform concept. Checkout my website for templates, custom work, and more. Link in bio!! #nba #basketball #spurs #sanantoniospurs #fiesta #nbauniform #kawhileonard

A post shared by Jose Guzman (@jg.studios) on

The fiesta colors were never implemented into the jerseys, but certainly left their mark on the team’s history. Now, nearly twenty years since its creation, Nike has the perfect opportunity to capitalize on the logo’s popularity.

Reddit user Dsarg_92 created a fantastic concept jersey just over a year ago utilizing the team’s former colors. If Nike was to implement similar designs, the reception of a ‘fiesta’ jersey could be massive once again.

Awesome concept jersey by Reddit User DSarg_92! #GoSpursGo

— Dylan Hunter Carter (@DylanHCarter) August 10, 2017

Jerseys are one of the most enticing parts of professional basketball for fans. A jersey could represent any number of things: a show of devotion to their team, a commemoration of their favorite player, or a simple fashion statement.

Next: Spurs History: Four times Manu Ginobili shocked the world

With this new opportunity, Nike has a chance to do right by both the fans and organization in San Antonio. The Spurs plan to unveil their new uniforms on Friday morning.