The Los Angeles Lakers are the biggest NBA franchise. A historically successful and exciting team, based in a giant City, with global appeal. Is there a Basketball fan alive that hasn’t owned a Lakers jersey at some point? The classic Purple and Gold colourway looks good on anyone.
What is the Lakers City Edition Jersey? The NBA in conjunction with Nike debuted the “City Edition” Jerseys for the 2017/18 season. The Lakers decided to celebrate the superstars of their past. Working in collaboration with them to create the “Lore Series”. Kobe Bryant was first up, with a black and gold colourway that featured his signature black mamba print. The 2018/19 season saw this followed with a Magic Johnson inspired and designed Jersey. A throwback to the showtime era, the Purple and Gold pinstripes captured the imagination of fans across the world. A new jersey is planned for each season moving forward.
While the 2019/20 Lakers City Edition Jersey hasn’t been announced yet, a recent leak from new signing Danny Green have given us some clues. Black. But which of the Pantheon of Lakers Superstars would have helped design and inspire it?
Lakers City Edition Jersey – The Lore Series
The Lakers City Edition, “Lore Series” was created by the Los Angeles Lakers in conjunction with Nike as the ongoing theme for their annual City Edition Jerseys. The Lakers have a ridiculous number of Superstars that have played and won championships with them. To illustrate this, just see any of the social media or fan site posts from the Summer of 2018 after Lebron signed. That’s right, legitimate debate about whether Lebron James makes the Lakers all-time starting 5. They, like the City of LA are a franchise built on stardom. Given this, what better way to honour the City that they call home than by teaming up with some of the greats from theirs and the NBA’s past to create iconic Jersey’s that will become instant collectors items?
Lakers City Edition Jersey 2017/18
This Kobe Bryant inspired Jersey got things started. The nuts and bolts can be found on the official press release on Nike.com.
The uniform features a signature Black Mamba print and LA/24 on the belt buckle. The organization’s winning tradition is referenced by the inclusion of 16 stars on the uniform’s side panels to represent every NBA Championship the Lakers have won.
You’ll notice that they aren’t shying away from the 5 titles they won in Minneapolis before their 1960 move to LA, I wonder what they make of that over in Boston?
The Lakers “City” edition uniform. Kobe Bryant is the first Laker to inspire the design. The uniform features a signature Black Mamba print and LA/24 on the belt buckle. There are 16 stars on the uniform's side panels to represent every NBA Championship the Lakers have won. pic.twitter.com/JiDZtH2NLy— Arash Markazi (@ArashMarkazi) December 27, 2017
The Jersey was received very well. Black always goes down well, especially when paired with the iconic gold trim. However, since the Lakers haven’t made the playoffs since a rather tame 1st round exit in 2013, the teams 35 wins didn’t really do the Jersey justice. It will be remembered for its association with Kobe, more than any iconic moments that happened while a player was wearing it.
Lakers City Edition Jersey 2018/19
Version number two launched for the 2018-19 season. The chosen Superstar was then Lakers President of Basketball Operations, Magic Johnson. He chose Purple to highlight his association with the Showtime Lakers, perhaps the most beloved incarnation of the franchise. The purple pin striped uniform has “Los Angeles Lakers” in black, gold edged letters across the chest with black trim rounding out the look. The Jersey name and numbers also feature the black letters with gold edging. The pinstripes themselves are made from small repeating text that reads, “3x5xSHOWTIME” which represents the five championships the showtime Lakers won with Magic at the helm and his three
individual MVP Awards. Like Kobe’s the year before, Magic’s playing number, 32 and an ‘M’ is featured on the waistband of the shorts.
It was no coincidence that this Showtime inspired Jersey arrived at the same time as Lebron James. A player often compared to the great Michael Jordan in terms of domination and competitiveness. He is much closer to Magic Johnson in his style of play. The hope was that Lebron would spark a return to the success of the Showtime days and even dish a few passes that would invoke the spirit of Magic along the way. Although Magic wouldn’t finish the season in his role, he will always be a legend in LA.
Lakers City Edition Jersey 2019/20
The 2019/20 Lakers City Edition Jersey hasn’t been officially announced yet. Although a recent interview with brand new Laker and 3-point flame thrower Danny Green may have provided us a potential clue. When asked if he has got used to his new Lakers colours yet, after his season winning a title in Toronto last year. He replied that his favourite Lakers Jersey hasn’t been worn by the team yet, mentioning a black colour scheme. Rumours are rife that this years has been designed by Shaquille “The Big Diesel” O’Neil himself. While he’s not one that would ever want to be seen copying Kobe Bryant, he’s definitely one to take something Kobe did and try to knock it out the park. Here’s hoping the Big Aristotle can design clothes as well as he tore down rims in his prime.