Nike’s new jerseys spawn a love/hate reaction

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See these jerseys? Chances are you either love them or hate them.

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And chances are you knew Nike was behind them.

The company’s latest apparel splash in college hoops seems to have the same effect on people as the floor that bears the name of its owner’s son. It’s either love or hate, no in-between.

The Hyper Elite Platinum jersey will be worn by nine former national champions – Arizona, Duke, Florida, Kentucky, North Carlolina, Syracuse, the Baylor women and both UConn teams – in the next month or so, starting with UConn for its Sunday game against Notre Dame. They’ll wear ‘em once, then be done with ‘em.

Nike basketball’s global creative director, Tracy Teague, spun the new jerseys as sharp (“It creates a great canvas to then come in and embellish things”) and cutting edge (“We don’t push [new styles] fast enough”) for today’s kids.

Despite some irritated fans, Teague may have a point. The players don’t mind the new look. From the AP:

“We definitely get excited about it. I think players care about the way they look,” North Carolina point guard Kendall Marshall said. “I know if I played football, Oregon would be in my top five no matter who I was.”

Syracuse players had split opinions on their uniforms. Guard Dion Waiters is already a fan of bright colors, the only player on the team to wear orange socks.

“It’s different. I like the ‘CUSE’ (on the front) and I like the big S on the back,” he said. “It’s kind of hot, the orange and the gray.”

Forward Kris Joseph had only seen them on the Internet but didn’t like his first impression.

“It’s a different type of gray, but everyone went gray on us,” he said. “I guess it’s something new. I would rather wear the navy blue.”

Maybe I’m trying to skew younger, but I like ‘em. Everyone’s gone gray lately, but the uniforms do look sharp, especially with the elbow sleeves.

Now I just wonder how they’d look on Oregon’s court or any of these…

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