The Cleveland Cavaliers were in need of an upgrade.
No, not an upgrade in terms of players or coaches.
Not a front office shakeup.
The Cavs needed an upgrade on the uniform front.
Red, Gold, and Black
The Cavs announced the trio of jerseys on their twitter page Monday morning:
Be the first to own the new @cavs jerseys!
— Cavs Team Shop (@CavsTeamShop) July 18, 2022
The white jersey is officially named “Association,” the wine-colored jersey titled “Icon,” and the noir black jersey aptly titled “Statement.”
The new jerseys come on the heels of an updated logo collection and identity rebrand in June.
Artist Daniel Arsham was tabbed as the creative director for the new jerseys and expressed his admiration for the finished product:
“We wanted to put our players in a uniform that would make them feel strong, confident and proud to represent this new chapter of Cavaliers basketball. It’s a very clean, reductive, modern design that pays homage to all of the players and fans that have been a part of our team’s remarkable journey in becoming who we are today.”
Arsham was a natural pick for the job; in addition to being an internationally celebrated artist, he was born in Cleveland.
Despite Arsham’s praise for the jerseys, the unveiling resulted in mixed reviews from fans:
I didn’t even know the Cleveland Cavaliers are getting new uniforms 🥴
— Waynevolutionary (@w_96_c) July 16, 2022
A more clear look at the Cavs' new uniforms. Definitely simple. The shorts are pretty sweet, IMO. pic.twitter.com/eOciyd9L72
— Ben Axelrod (@BenAxelrod) July 18, 2022
— The void. (@christen_salem) July 18, 2022
Anybody got a #Cavs mock up jersey that’s better than this current one?
— Mike Jones (@MikeJonesESPN) July 18, 2022
I love the simplicity of these. Focus on basketball not glamour. The colored Cliffs logo on the white one is distracting. Good for the sponsorship, but for the jersey not so much.
— SpaceBooger3030 (@spacebooger) July 18, 2022
The Jumpman logo on the black is a dealbreaker. It’s like putting an Elway logo on the Browns jerseys.
— Casey Yandek (@cyandek) July 18, 2022
— Nicole (@nic041mccoy) July 18, 2022
Tbh, kind of disappointed with the new Cavs jerseys. Thought there would be more bling with the new gold but kind of boring.
— CLE Sports Twist (@CleSportsTwist) July 18, 2022
Surprised by all the folks that don't like the #Cavs new jerseys.
MORE gold, yes.
But man, they're definitely fresh. Surprised by the backlash
— Across The (Mobley) Cavs (@AcrossCavs) July 18, 2022
— Jason Herron (@jasonherron23) July 18, 2022
The 2022-23 threads are the team’s newest since 2017.
Back in 2017, the club revealed new jerseys, with a similar trio of base colors.
But those jerseys also harken back to a time when LeBron James suited up for the Cavaliers for the last time before promptly leaving for Los Angeles.
Further, the old jerseys were a reminder of the initially dark days following James’ move.
It was a time when the Cavs had little hope for the future; Darius Garland, Evan Mobley, and Jarrett Allen were still several years away from landing in Cleveland.
That said, it makes sense the Cavs are looking for a fresh start.
And sometimes, a new jersey and logo are exactly what a franchise needs.
The club will also likely get a new City Edition jersey, a special that the NBA has run for five years now.
Fans might also take notice of the “Cliffs” patch on the left collar of the jerseys.
Cleveland-Cliffs is the largest flat-rolled steel producer in North America and has had a marketing deal with the Cavaliers for some time.
This offseason, the deal was expanded to include their logo on the Cavs’ jerseys this season.
Senior VP Chris Kaiser excitedly shared the news:
“There is also a great deal of pride to have Cleveland-Cliffs represented on the new uniforms and part of the literal ‘fabric’ of our team. The threads of this partnership are real and natural, and we know that organic hometown connection will shine brightly on a national and international stage each time our players step on the court.”
As for Garland, he kept his praise of the new jerseys brief:
“Gold is cold.”