5 Best Retro Uniforms in NBA History That Will Take You Down Memory Lane

silhouette photo of basketball hoop during golden hour
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The 2022/23 NBA season has reached its apex, and the playoffs are currently well underway. There have been some almighty shocks already, such as the Miami Heat thumping the Eastern Conference top-seed Milwaukee Bucks by four games to one in the very first round. Elsewhere, there have been wins for the New York Knicks, Philadelphia 76ers, Boston Celtics, Denver Nuggets, and Phoenix Suns.

In the Western Conference, two first-round ties are currently on a knife edge. The reigning champion Golden State Warriors currently lead their rival Sacramento Kings by three games to two, with LeBron James’ Los Angeles Lakers leading the Memphis Grizzlies by the same scoreline. Following the elimination of Giannis Antetokounmpo’s Bucks, the latest NBA odds now make the Celtics the +225 favorites for the Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy this season.

The news this year hasn’t only been about basketball, though. This season, there have been some great uniforms on show. The blacked-out Warriors jersey, the black-and-orange Knicks ensemble, and the classic blue Mavericks uniform quickly come to mind.  And Dallas’ attire in particular has got us thinking.

Over the past few decades, countless styles have come and gone. As the Mavs have done, we chose to honor retro uniforms from the past in this article and look at five of our all-time favorite retro outfits. These vintage patterns will not only transport you back in time but also show you how jerseys have changed with time.

Toronto Raptors Purple Jersey (1995-1999)

Basketball fans in the 1990s were drawn to the Toronto Raptors’ purple uniform because it was so striking and distinctive. It showed the Toronto skyline in the background as a cartoon dinosaur dribbled a basketball. This jersey was a great hit in the NBA, and it continues to be among the most recognizable in the league’s history almost three decades later. The fact that this shirt has been selling so well comes as no surprise; it is just spectacular.

Chicago Bulls Black Pinstripe Jersey (1995-1996)

The black pinstripe jersey of the Chicago Bulls became an instant classic back in 1995 when Michael Jordan and his team wore it on the court. This jersey featured bold red pinstripes on a black background with a red bull on the shorts, making it one of the most instantly recognizable retro jerseys in American sports history. Its popularity was unprecedented and to this day, it remains as popular as ever.

Pinstripes must have a special place in the heart of champions, with the New York Yankees also famously wearing them for over a century. Their pinstripes are white instead of the black featured on this classic Bulls jersey, however, they are the most successful franchise in the history of baseball, just as the Bulls were the dominant force in basketball when MJ was at the peak of his powers in the 90s.

Miami Heat Vice Jersey (2017-2018)

The Vice jersey worn by the Miami Heat in the 2017/18 campaign is a more recent addition to this list. The jersey debuted as an alternate kit and took inspiration from NBC’s critically acclaimed TV show Miami Vice. The strip features a bright pink and blue color scheme with a unique font that reads “Miami,” in true retro style.

The Heat’s current “mashup” uniform is similarly eye-catching, and it showcases the Miami city name in bright and colorful fashion, front and center.

Seattle SuperSonics Green and Yellow Jersey (1995-2002)

One of the greatest vintage jerseys of all time is the green and yellow one worn by the Seattle Supersonics. The jersey has a stylized basketball in the center of an S-shaped graphic in green and yellow. Basketball enthusiasts can still be seen wearing this vintage uniform even if the Seattle Supersonics have changed their name to the Oklahoma City Thunder because it is so recognizable.

Charlotte Hornets Teal Jersey (1995-2002)

The teal jersey worn by the Charlotte Hornets was popular with 90s basketball fans. We liked it since it’s one of those color combinations that people either love or detest. The shorts have the traditional hornet insignia, and the jersey has purple pinstripes. This jersey quickly established itself as a classic and continues to rank among the most popular throwback jerseys ever sold.


Every NBA fan will enjoy reliving their youth while wearing one of these top 5 retro uniforms, which range from the Toronto Raptors’ purple dinosaur suit to the Bulls’ all-black pinstripe jersey. These jerseys, which honor some of the most notable incidents in the game, have remained popular over time. This is the power of a fantastic uniform: it’s surprising how a small change in color, style, or even just a logo can have such an impact on fans.

These jerseys are a reminder of a simpler time in basketball, where the game was pure and so were the uniforms. Which of these top 5 retro jerseys brings back the most memories for you?

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