Eric Haze enjoyed two special moments this past Saturday at the Brooklyn Nets’ annual practice at Brooklyn Bridge Park.
The practice marked the debut of the Nets’ new “Statement Edition” uniforms that Haze designed. First, new Nets Chief Executive Officer David Levy went up to Haze and not only congratulated him on the project but also said that the players were happy with it. And second, Haze introduced himself to Kevin Durant and when he told him that he designed the jersey, Durant posed for a photo with him.
“That was the icing on the cake to me this weekend,” said Haze during a recent phone interview with New York Sports Day. “That was music to my ears. I even had a special moment with KD.”
The new jersey is concrete gray with Haze’s hand-drawn “BKLYN” across the chest. There are signature stars that run down the jersey’s left side, a tribute to the Nets’ throwback jersey from their ABA days on Long Island and their initial years in New Jersey. The side piping is a modernized version of the herringbone pattern that has been a part of the home and away jerseys since the team moved to Brooklyn while “NETS” is spelled out down the left side of the shorts and the team’s secondary logo can be found on the right thigh.
Haze, a Brooklyn-based artist who also designed the original *BED-STUY* mark last season on the jock tag of the Nets City Edition uniform, couldn’t have been more satisfied with how the jerseys came out.
“I am 1,000 percent happy with the finished product,” said Haze who has been a contributor to the worlds of contemporary art, graphic design and branding for over four decades. “Both the product itself and everything that has gone into this release start to finish has been really aces by the Barclays (Center) and the Nets organization. It wasn’t a very long and drawn out process because I was pretty clear in my head what I wanted it to look and feel like.”
The Nets will wear these new Statement Edition uniforms for the first time in a game on Friday, November 1st when they host the Houston Rockets at Barclays Center. The new jerseys will be worn a total of 22 times during the 2019-20 season, 13 times at home in Brooklyn and 9 times on the road including a game against the Knicks on November 24th at Madison Square Garden.
Here is a full list of when the Nets will wear their new jerseys:
Fans can start purchasing the new jerseys on Sunday October 20th at midnight at NetsStore.com and then at noon that day at the Swag Shop at Barclays Center.
When Haze set out to work on this project, he had some basic thoughts in mind when designing the uniforms.
“I wanted it to feel professional but not too corporate,” said Haze. “It’s Brooklyn’s team and I wanted it to feel like it was street level and accessible, not amateurish but not unfamiliar to the style and history of what Brooklyn is known for. If there’s one key word or two key words for this kind of project, it’s universal and timeless. That’s the intention in something like this to release something that feels new and fresh yet is not going to feel tired and played out when you look back at it five years from now.”
For many Nets fans, the old red, white, and blue jerseys that they wore at the Nassau Coliseum will always be an iconic look. Haze, who is 58 years old, remembers those days and wanted these new uniforms to honor the jersey that “Dr. J” Julius Erving made famous.
“I certainly remember the red, white and blue Nets and though we stuck our black, white and grey pallet, if you see the custom basketball, the alternating pattern on that was a little nod to the red, white, and blue ball from back in the day,” said Haze.
The Nets new jerseys should be a hit with the fans, especially the younger fans who always like to look cool when wearing the jerseys to games and to school. As I told Haze during our phone conversation, if my sons Bradley (13) and Jared (9) are any indication, he certainly hit a home run with these new uniforms.