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Here They Are



Here they are folks.  From the Wolves' press release:

The Timberwolves home uniform's primary color will remain white. The wordmark, which has been modified slightly to provide more clarity, returns to the abbreviated "Wolves" across the chest rather than the previously depicted "Timberwolves." The abbreviated wordmark "Wolves" is a return to the team's original uniform design introduced during the franchise's first season in 1989-90. Also new to the design is an identity appearing on each side of the uniform under the arms and on the side of the shorts in which the primary focus is the traditional Timberwolves trees. Beyond the trees is the night sky that through an element of discovery forms a W on the side of the jersey and an M on the side of the shorts. The tree line remains a core element in the neck trim, but has been removed from shoulders, short waist and short hem. The back neck features the team's Wolf head logo, while the home shorts have the wordmark "Minnesota" on the back.

These uniforms are being released in anticipation of the Wolves' 20th season in the league.  According to Ted Johnson, Sr. Vice President of Communications and Chief Marketing Officer for the squad, they are also a sign that the team (and brand) is "looking forward" after last year's big KG trade.  This is a new team that is building for the future and it required a new look. 

The uniforms themselves are the result of a year and a half long process that coordinated elements from the team, the NBA, and Adidas.  Players were able to get involved in by giving input regarding comfort and manufacturing, i.e. fit testing. 

You may notice that the uniforms are a bit different from the leaked photo of Kevin Love from the rookie photo session. 


As you can see, the lettering on Love's jersey is quite a bit different from the larger font that is on the official uniform.  In another leaked photo, Love's jersey featured a neck line that was not contained in the finished product.  The bottom line here is that Love's leaked jersey was a prototype used for the rookie shoot so that card and video game developers could have as close to up-to-date information as possible.

Random notes:

  • When asked if there was any response to some of the things that were said by fans about the leaked Love photo, the team cited two things: enlarging the word mark and the neck line.  It wasn't clear whether or not these changes were made in response to the Love photo or if they were simply a part of the long process of making a new jersey.  I'll try to find out more on this front. UPDATE: I have been informed by the Wolves that the changes were not in response to the Love leak and that they were simply a normal part of the design process.
  • According to Christopher Arena, NBA VP for Apparel, Sporting Goods & Basketball Partnerships, any similarity between the Wolves' new jersey and recent jersey roll-outs by the Hawks and Mavs is coincidental.  Most modern NBA jerseys try to keep a clean front and this leaves a limited amount of space underneath the arm and on the shorts for graphic design. 
  • Mike Miller has some sweet kicks.
  • Home jerseys will feature "Wolves" rather than "Timberwolves". 
  • Away jerseys will feature "Minnesota" rather than "Timberwolves". 
  • I asked about some of the issues that will face OKC in the design of their new uniforms.  If the Wolves took a year and a half to get the final product, the guys in OKC must be pulling their hair out about now.  Mr. Arena acknowledged that the process for OKC has been truncated but that the ownership group there had a very good idea of what they want.  Normally, the process takes a look at options a, b, and c.  Thankfully, OKC's option a was well thought out and they were able to move ahead on a shortened schedule.  There will be some challenges on the manufacturing side, but we'll see the new jerseys this year. 
  • There will not be a black alternate uniform this year.  It is a league rule that when you introduce new uniforms, you can't wear alternates for a year. It is likely that they will have an alternate uniform within a few years.
  • You will be able to pre-order Wolves apparel at the new site

All in all, I have to say that I really like the uniforms.  The lettering size appears to have been taken care of in regards to the Love leak and I'm really feeling the change to "Wolves" at home and "Minnesota" on the road.  I really like the home whites and to tell you the truth, I really like the neck line on the road blues.  Also, while I know they can't have an alternate for a year, I think the possibilities for a green or black alternate jersey with this set up are outstanding.

What say you?