The 2021 WNBA season will tip off next month, and to commemorate the league’s 25th anniversary, each team dropped three new Nike jerseys for upcoming year.
The Sparks have their trademark purple jerseys with the classic palm tree logo as the Explorer Edition. The Heroine Edition brings back white jerseys, which have been out of the WNBA for the last few seasons, also featuring the same palm tree look with the outlines of the leaves running down the side of the uniform.
The WNBA also introduced the Rebel Edition, akin to the City Jerseys in the WNBA, and the Sparks certainly took their inspiration from Los Angeles being a city of stars. The black uniform has starry accents on the sides and is already Nneka Ogwumike’s favorite jersey, as she shared on Instagram earlier today.
There’s a lot to love in these new duds, so we polled the Silver Screen & Roll and SB Nation staff (and alums) to figure out what works best.
What’s your favorite element in the new Sparks jerseys?
Grant Goldberg: The jerseys look like a direct refresh of the Sparks’ classic look, which I love. The callback to the palm tree in the wordmark looks great, as well as the new side panels. The new black jersey is clean, simple, and bold. I think what I liked most is that Nike and the WNBA didn’t try to do too much.
Brady Klopfer: Los Angeles is arguably the most romanticized city in the country. Every celebrity lives here or has a home here. Almost every movie and TV show is made here, and half of them take place here, too. Tourists flock here to soak up the sun, watch the ocean, and walk underneath the palm trees.
Yet no other professional sports team addresses this with their jerseys or logos. How? It’s a city that sells itself, and no one thought to play into that with their jerseys? Except the Sparks, who have a sunlit palm tree taking over the front of the jersey, which is proudly donned with the words “Los Angeles,” instead of the team name.
It’s all about the city.
Sabreena Merchant: I love the purple jersey so very much. The color is beautiful, especially with the gold (not yellow!) piping, and a nod to the third original Sparks color, teal, in the swoosh. It’s classic and exceptionally well done.
My favorite thing about these jerseys actually applies to the league as a whole, though. Instead of just having the logos in the front, the name of the team is back, along with the jersey numbers, which makes for an infinitely better viewing experience. This may sound cheesy, but I’m also obsessed with the patch at the bottom of the jerseys that says “Engineered to the exact specifications of championship athletes” and the 1/144, a reference to the total number of players in the WNBA. So often, women’s jerseys are just a knock-off of what the men are wearing rather than being geared to women’s bodies specifically. These aren’t. They’re designed for women with input from the players themselves.
Christian Rivas: The palm tree in the Sparks’ wordmark is classic and should have never been taken out. The closer we get to a full-fledged 90s renaissance in the WNBA, the better, although I think we can all agree that the material of Nike’s uniforms are better than the old Reebok jerseys. Seriously: who thought satin was a good idea?
Sydney Umeri: At first glance, the Explorer Edition jersey reminded me of the old-school Sparks jerseys from 2000. As someone who was beginning my basketball career around that time, seeing the palm tree on their jerseys reminds me of the days I would sit in front of the TV in my Lisa Leslie Sparks jersey as they played. While this jersey isn’t the same, the palm tree is a nice nod to it.
For the Rebel Edition jersey, my favorite part is the font. If you miss the star detailing on the side at first glance, the font lets you know exactly what they were going for when designing this masterpiece. The font, colors, stars and everything in between make this such a cohesive piece, and very easy on the eyes.
How do you feel about these new jerseys? Let us know in the comments below!