When the Cavs decided to wear their black uniforms against the Warriors in the 2016 Finals, their fortunes quickly changed. Cleveland was down 3-1 after the first four games of the series, but something happened when they pulled those black shirts over their heads — something special. As most hoops fans know, Cleveland later went on to claim their first championship in franchise history in an epic come-from-behind fashion. Now, two seasons later, LeBron James says the jerseys will be a staple of the franchise forever.
“It’s probably going to be a staple of this franchise forever,” James told Joe Vardon of cleveland.com after Friday morning’s shoot-around.. “Because we wore our first championship in franchise history in all black so, no matter who is in uniform here throughout the rest of eternity, I feel like the black uniform will probably be incorporated in the grand scheme of things just for the memories.”
The Cavs won’t be wearing the jerseys from that magical run this season, but they will debut their new “Statement Edition” kits from Nike in Friday night’s #BlackOutTheQ game against the Charlotte Hornets. The Statement Edition uniforms, which were inspired by Cleveland’s Game 7 win over the Warriors in the 2016 Finals, are black in color. Notable features include gray pin-striping and outlines of the team’s colors around the neck.
James, now in his 15th season of NBA service with no signs of regression, seems to be excited about Friday night’s event at The Q. He’s imploring patrons to wear black.
“They’re great,” James said of the Cavs’ Statement Edition jerseys.. “Black Friday, it’s going to be nice to see that tonight. Hopefully everybody will wear all black tonight, all our fans and everything, to kind of set the mood. So, they’re great uniforms.”
Avid Cavs fans might remember that black has been a part of their color scheme in the past. In the 1990’s (the days of Terrell Brandon and Shawn Kemp), one of Cleveland’s jerseys was black with accents of orange and powder blue. It was a popular uniform, and James says he’d like to see it make a return.
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“I haven’t had any conversation with the department as of late, but I would love for those uniforms to come back,” he said. “You talking about the black with the powder blue and the orange, the net? Yeah yeah those are crazy. They got em on the video game, on (NBA) 2K. So, I play with them on (NBA) 2K for sure. It’d be great, actually, to wear those things.”
Friday night’s game between the Cavs and Hornets is scheduled to tip at 8:00 p.m. EST. Fox Sports Ohio, Fox Sports Carolinas, and NBA TV will have live broadcast coverage. Let’s see if the new jerseys have an impact.