Last week a sporting goods store in the east coast, Modell’s leaked a photo of what could potentially be the new Los Angeles Lakers jerseys, more specifically, Lebron James’ No. 23 jersey.
Rumor has it that it was an accident and that’s likely as stores like Modell’s get organized beforehand to prepare merchandise for customers. They sold themselves out with a tweet that was then quickly deleted once Modell’s realized they were more than a few days early.
It’s also been said that the jerseys were scheduled to be unveiled on July 30, but that was pushed back a day so James could open his new public school, I Promise, in his hometown of Akron without distraction.
Once Tuesday rolled around, the Lakers confirmed what previously leaked images and renderings suggested — the team was bringing back an element of the 1980s Showtime era.
The new Nike jerseys feature updated numbers, which use a vertical drop shadow, along with a rounded neckline. The new font effect reminds fans of the past while also positioning a fresh direction for the franchise.
The collar and armholes got a few minor updates. Last season, the Lakers wore a wishbone-style collar, this year they’ve gone back to a traditional scoop collar. They’ve also changed to the piping on the collar and armholes to something close to the old-school Showtime style.
Meanwhile, the side panels, if you remember from in the Showtime days, the Lakers had contrast-colored side panels on their shorts. In 1999, they added matching side panels to their jerseys. Now they’ve eliminated the panels on the jersey — except for their purple jersey which has a black side panel. Which, if we’re being honest, probably wasn’t necessary.
The jerseys also stick with Nike’s new order of business of ditching the traditional home and away jerseys in favor of a more dynamic approach. For the Lakers, they’re outfitted with three options: Icon (yellow), Statement (purple) and Association (white).