Raptors ‘City’ jersey alternate leaks

I dig it. Your thoughts?

There’s little point trying to keep it hidden at this point. Sometime in the next couple of weeks, the Toronto Raptors will officially unveil their fourth jersey for the season, the “City” alternate every team has under the new deal with Nike.

The jerseys for 28 teams leaked in an NBA 2K update a while back, but the Raptors managed to avoid it, leaving speculation to a few unofficial leaks. SportsLogos.net had a mock-up based on what they’d heard that looks pretty close to what it’s turned out to be, a few shots had made their way to Instagram without much way of *officially* verifying them (it was hard to keep my mouth shut, honestly), and Twitter user TheRaptorsKing posted what turned out to be the proper jersey in early November (I believe he would be the first one who had it, then).

Well, the NBA has now blown any deniability off for the Raptors, as the new jerseys and shirts are actually up for sale on the NBA Europe store (I assume they’ll be taken down shortly). (Thanks to Kevin for the heads up.)

There’s little sense trying to hide it at this point, though the Raptors were hoping they could buck the trend and be one of only two teams keeping theirs under wraps until an official unveiling. The Raptors will maintain the black-and-gold OVO color scheme, opting for NORTH across the front rather than Toronto or Raptors, and they’ll use the chevron bumper that’s begun to pop up in their marketing and even their eSports logos. It’s clear it’s a primary design element for them this year, and while it may take some getting used to, the bet here is that it looks pretty sharp in-game.

I tweeted my thoughts on the jerseys a few weeks back, as I’d managed to sneak a look at them. My guess is that people will initially dislike them because the bumper is new and uncommon, and because the bar has been set really high with the Huskies, OVO, and Chinese New Year alternates in recent years (not to mention the purple throwbacks). In general, I’m a fan of a minimalistic look, and I think these jerseys will play up better as more versatile casual wear for fans than some of the more fun-but-garish jerseys out there. Obviously, as with all jerseys, mileage will vary by person and by taste.

It’s unclear when the Raptors will first wear the jerseys, though Jan. 10 was a rough date that had been rumored for the league to begin officially rolling the City alternates out around the NBA. The Raptors host Cleveland and Golden State on Jan. 11 and 13, respectively, and one of those would seem a decent debut night for the jersey, though the team may hold it off for Drake Night, given the obvious OVO elements at play here. (Jan. 28 against the Lakers might make sense as a Drake Night, and the season ticket color is gold for that game.)

UPDATE: Almost all of the jerseys are now up on Nike.com, but the Raptors remain a holdout there.

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