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NBA Jersey Week: Best and worst Pistons jerseys

The iconic red, white and blue has been a staple in Detroit for decades

Isiah Thomas

Boring or iconic? Clean or forgettable? Timeless or tiresome. In a sport that always seems to be chasing the next big trend and focus-grouping and market testing just about every stitch, there is something to be said for the consistency of the Detroit Pistons jerseys.

For SB Nations NBA Jersey Week, we are highlighting some of the best (and the worst) each team has to offer. We took an internal poll of every Pistons jersey ever created and asked for votes on the best and the worst.

Shockingly, there hasn’t been much differentiation in Detroit. There is the red, white and blue color scheme with only slight deviations. There is typically some block lettering. There is the simple logo, most closely associated with the Bad Boys. A logo so synonymous with the team, the Pistons are transitioning closer to it with their revamped look entering this season.

There have been deviations, no doubt. But the classic look is associated with three NBA Titles, multiple eras of dominance, the Bad Boys, the Going to Work crew. Hard-nosed professionals at the top of their game.

Frankly, it’s hard to beat — at least if you’re a Detroit fan with a personal connection to the simplicity of the uniforms. If you’re a causal NBA observer, I have no idea what you think about to Detroit, and, frankly, I don’t want to know.

Here is how our voting shook out.

Check out the best (and worst) of Pistons jersey history!

You can't beat the iconic red, white and blue of the Bad Boys era. And that teal ... smh.

Posted by Detroit Bad Boys on Wednesday, October 4, 2017


No. 1: The 1981 Road Jersey (Bad Boy era)

The crisp blue and simple stylings of the Bad Boys worn by Isiah Thomas, Joe Dumars, Dennis Rodman and others define the Pistons more than anything else.

No. 2: The 1981 Home Jersey (Bad Boys era)

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. These jerseys are the standard.

No. 3: The 1997 Alt Jersey (Flaming horse, red jersey)

Perhaps it is the age of our contributors, but there was definitely a soft spot for the flaming horse era of Detroit Basketball that bridged the eras between the Bad Boys and the 2000s Going to Work squad. The red certainly pops.

No. 4: 1978 Road Jersey (Blue lightning bolt)

The mix for the fourth spot was a close one featuring a lot of the 60s and 70s jerseys that are somewhat forgotten in Detroit. The block lettering, the dark and power blues. It’s an interesting collection. The winner, however, was the lightning bolt design and the dark blue road jersey. It’s just so damn bizarre, and I’d wear one right now if I could.

No. 5. 2015 Alt Chrome (RIP)

The final spot featured an actual modern design, though it seems to have already left this mortal coil. The Chrome jerseys are somewhat divisive, but I think we can all agree that the original Chrome jerseys are miles better than the new Nike Statement jerseys that keeps the chrome but adds a bunch of unnecessary coloring.

Worst Jersey

No. 1. 1996 Road (Flaming Horse Teal)

This jersey actually has passionate defenders on both sides. Some people are ready to embrace the bygone era of the teal and others want to burn it, bury it and never speak of it again. I think one thing we can safely say — that’s just not the Detroit Pistons.

If you’re interested in reading up more on the Pistons jerseys, it’s a topic we’ve covered in depth before.

Read our knockdown, drag-out argument about the Teal era

I also wrote an in-depth breakdown of every Pistons jersey and logo ever created way back in 2012. Browse through it and it can help you decide which are truly the best and worst Pistons jerseys.

Finally, please vote, and provide a definitive answer on the Teal jerseys. There can be no nuance in this poll, I’m afraid.


How do you feel about the Teal jerseys of the Detroit Pistons?

This poll is closed

  • 46%
    Love Them!
    (66 votes)
  • 53%
    Hate Them!
    (75 votes)
141 votes total Vote Now