For the first time since 2002-2003, the Trail Blazers will be donned in, not one, but two new alternate jerseys. The red uniform with blazers written vertically down the side are the throwbacks that will be used throughout the season and seemingly for the retro night at the Memorial Coliseum vs. the Suns. The jerseys were originally worn by the Blazers from 1974 through the championship season of 1977. The only comparable alternate jersey to the new, white Rip City one would be "The City" throwbacks the Golden State Warriors appeared in a couple of years ago, but were originally worn from 1962-1971. Like "The City", Rip City is a phrase synonymously known with each respective franchise. No one knows, yet, just where and when these duds will be sported by the team. Purely speculation, but maybe they could be worn on Sunday home games, just as the Lakers wear their home whites exclusively on Sunday.
In terms of throwbacks, the 75's are much better than the 1970 originals the Blazers wore in 2003 vs. the Cavaliers, but not in the same league as the 1978-1991 jerseys made famous by the early 90's, Drexler-led Blazer squad. It does get points for creativity and originality with the vertical script down the chest, which is unheard of for uniforms. Also, bonus points for the upright pinwheel logo on the shorts. The only flaw I can dock them for are the hideous white and black strips down the side of the top and shorts. Overall Grade: 8.5/10.
I have a few problems with the Rip City alternate. First, there shouldn't be that much silver involved, if any. Rip City was a saying by the Schonz long before any thought of silver being an accent color on the color scheme for the Blazers, especially when Rip City is written in the original font the team adopted back in 1970. I love that Rip City is in orginal font, but then make the pinwheel upright to match the era. The side paneling is very plain as well, not bad for NBA standards, but when the Blazers have the best jerseys in the NBA, my expectations for new alternates are high. Overall Grade. 6/10.
All photos courtesy of the Portland Trail Blazers Twitter page.