Instead of covering typical NBA and Cleveland Cavaliers topics, why not look at jerseys? Nearly every sports fan cares about their favorite team’s uniforms. Typically fandoms have opinions on jerseys and we have ones we absolutely love or hate. Today, NBA teams seem to have numerous alternate jerseys each season. New NBA jerseys are constantly introduced on a year-to-year basis to increase merchandise sales and make fans happy.
In particular, the Cleveland Cavaliers had plenty of different uniforms over the past decade. From the 2010-11 season to the current 2020-21 season, the Cavs had 22 different uniforms. Some of the Cleveland uniforms were pretty awesome and some were not so great. Over five articles, all 22 uniforms will be ranked from worst to best. Uniforms will be ranked mostly on looks and aesthetics, but some ideas like lazy designs will be mentioned.
22. 2017-18 City
Apart of the 2017-18 “earned” collection, perhaps the worst Cavs jersey in the last decade is the “The Land” uniform. Playoff teams from the previous season get these “earned” uniforms.
All around, this uniform just seemed odd. The phrase “The Land” represents the city of Cleveland and goes along with the Cavs’ mantra “Defend the Land”. The backstory is a nice touch, but it doesn’t overrule the overall look of the jersey. In addition, this was the first and only time Cleveland has wore a gray jersey. The Cavaliers in a gray uniform simply was different to see, and not in a good way. This design would have looked a lot better in the traditional Cavaliers’ wine and gold.
21. 2015-17 Pride
Next, Cleveland wore a short sleeve alternate from 2015 to 2017. The obvious critique here is the short sleeve design, it looks like a t-shirt. Sleeved basketball jerseys are too hard to get used to. Also, LeBron James may have not been a big fan of the short sleeve design. During the 2015-16 season, James became frustrated with the sleeves and essentially tore them so they would be less snug. On the other hand, these jerseys do bring fond memories for Cleveland fans since they were worn during the 2016 NBA Finals.
Overall, the black uniforms look fine, but the short sleeves just look too odd. For a short time, there was a trend in the NBA of short sleeved jerseys. Thankfully, that trend seems to have ended.
20. 2010-11 CavFanatic
The 2010-11 CavFanatic uniform is one rarely mentioned. The uniform was worn to pay tribute to Cleveland fans and to NBA fans in general. On January 5th of 2011, the uniform made its first and only debut. Overall, the design of the uniform was just plain lazy. The jersey combined the alternate worn from 2005 to 2010 with the Cavaliers’ 1990s color scheme.
While the 2005-2010 navy alternate is perhaps one of Cleveland’s best jerseys ever, this CavFanatic design is just too lazy. After they were worn only once, the jersey becomes even less appealing.
19. 2014 Christmas Day
Landing at 19th, the uniform worn on Christmas day in 2014. The NBA recently had the tradition of giving new alternates to each team playing on Christmas. Since Nike took over NBA uniforms, the Christmas uniform tradition has ended. Compared to future Christmas jerseys, the 2014 design was pretty boring. Nothing here shouts Christmas or alludes these are Christmas themed.
The Cavs logo on the chest of the jersey seems to be too small. In addition, the name plate was placed under the number instead of on top. The nameplate had the first name of players rather than the last. The idea of placing a first name was cool for players like James or Kyrie Irving, but for someone like Kevin Love it just seemed strange. On top of this, the rectangle nameplate design did not look great.
The next Cleveland uniform article will rank the next five Cavalier uniforms. Be sure to check out the remaining Cleveland uniform ranking articles!