Who Wore it Best? 9-0

Photo: Dr. Odd

What a long, strange journey it’s been. We started all the way at 99, and have now arrived at our final edition of “Who Wore It Best?” Single digits can be tough, but we’re up for the challenge.

9 – Gordie Howe

Photo: Pinterest

I mean, “Mr. Hockey” has to make the list, right? Howe’s career spanned nearly 40 years, in which he won four Stanley Cups, six Hart Trophies, and appeared in the All-Star game 23 times.

Honorable Mentions: Ted Williams, Drew Brees, Bobby Hull, Mike Modano

8 – Kobe Bryant

Photo: Newsday

Maybe the closest we’ll ever get to MJ. We all know Kobe ended his career rocking 24, but he was great enough to take the eight cake. He spent his entire 20 year career with the Lakers, in which he won five NBA Championships, the 2008 MVP, and made 11 All-NBA First Teams.

Honorable Mentions: Joe Morgan, Carl Yastrzemski, Cal Ripken Jr., Yogi Berra, Steve Young, Troy Aikman, Alexander Ovechkin

7 – John Elway

The greatest player who was a doppelgΓ€nger of their team mascot. But that’s not the only reason Elway makes our list. He held the “couldn’t win the big one” tag his entire career, until he shut everyone up and won back-to-back Super Bowls his last two seasons in the NFL. Even if he wouldn’t have won the two Lombardis, Elway racked up an MVP, nine Pro Bowl selections, and passing title in 1993.

Honorable Mentions: Mickey Mantle, Phil Esposito

6 – Bill Russell

Photo: Photos.com

The man who ran out of fingers for all of his championship rings. Russell won five MVPs, was a four time rebounding champion, and a member of the NBA’s 25th, 35th, and 50th Anniversary Teams.

Honorable Mention: Stan Musial

5 – Albert Pujols

Photo: LA Times

We’ve shown our appreciation for The Machine on this blog before. Pujols’ first 11 years in St. Louis were enough to get the guy in the Hall of Fame. His time with the Angels and Dodgers, while not as great, hasn’t done anything to diminish that. His approximate career numbers have him as a .300 hitter, closing in on 700 home runs, and well over 3,000 hits.

Honorable Mentions: Joe DiMaggio, George Brett, Johnny Bench, Kevin Garnett, Donovan McNabb

4 – Lou Gherig

Next to Babe Ruth, Lou Gherig was the best player on the Yankees during their incredible run in the 20’s and 30’s. Gherig was a part of six World Series championships, was a two time MVP, and won the Triple Crown in 1934.

Honorable Mentions: Brett Favre, Adam Vinatieri, Bobby Orr

3 – Babe Ruth

Keeping it young and fresh with back to back 1920’s Yankees. This one’s a no doubter though; Shohei Ohtaini before Shohei Ohtani. At the plate, The Great Bambino hit 714 home runs, slugged .690, and ended his career with an 1.164 OPS. On the mound, The Colossus of Clout went 94-46, with a 2.28 ERA, and threw 107 complete games.

Honorable Mention: Allen Iverson

2 – Derek Jeter

Christ, enough with the Yankees already. Jeets is an easy choice in a not extremely tough field. The recent Hall of Fame inductee wrapped up an illustrious career with a very succinct five World Series rings, Gold Gloves, and Silver Slugger Awards, as well as 14 All-Star appearances.

Honorable Mention: David Akers, Brian Leetch

1 – Ozzie Smith

Photo: MLB

The best defensive shortstop of all time, and possibly best overall defender ever. Smith won 13 Gold Gloves in 19 seasons. Along the way, he was a part of the 1982 World Series Championship Cardinal team, made 15 All-Star games, and was inducted to the Hall of Fame in 2002.

Honorable Mention: Warren Moon

0 – Russell Westbrook

A nice, easy choice to get us to the finish line; not a whole lot of competition at the zero spot. The 2017 MVP is a nine time All-Star, two time All-NBA First Teamer, and is essentially a walking triple double.

Honorable Mention: N/A

We made it, friends. All the way from 99 down to 0. We laughed, we cried, and made some friends along the way. This was a fun project to complete and remember some names that haven’t been brought up in a while. Hopefully this was as interesting to read as it was to write. Who knows what our next series will be…stay tuned.

A Tradition Unlike Any Other – NBA “City Edition” Jersey Analysis

Look at all those beauts.

A great start to the week for all of us uniform analysts out there. The NBA dropped their 2021-2022 “City Edition” jerseys on Monday. One of our favorite traditions around here is being completely uninformed fashion critics. As we did last season, we are here once again to provide commentary that no one asks for or needs.

Atlanta Hawks – pretty clean. Yellow sucks as a main color but the “Atlanta” font has a nice throwback feel.
Boston Celtics – these looks like a team whose uniform budget ran out of white thread to fill in the letters and numbers.
Brooklyn Nets – always a good idea to throw back to the Jason Kidd/Richard Jefferson/Kenyon Martin era. Turns out the Nets Big 3 in the early aughts might end up being better than their current Big 3.
Charlotte Hornets – if you are privy to migraines, don’t dig too deep into these bad boys.
Chicago Bulls – the throwback font on “Chicago” is cool, but the basic number font doesn’t pair well, be better Bulls.

Cleveland Cavaliers – at time of writing, the Cavs have yet to post about their City Edition jerseys; simply shocking that an organization so well run would miss something like this. If you really want to get an idea, go watch Hoosiers.

Dallas Mavericks – not a bad effort here. Just surprising that the player they chose to model is never healthy enough to wear any of their uniforms.
Denver Nuggets – not only are these fun, but educational! I liked that Denver incorporated the ABA ball, and had no idea before today that their old logo was a miner. Also, the rainbow/mountain look always plays for the Nuggets in the uniform game.

Detroit Pistons – aren’t these pretty much just…their normal uniforms with the colors flipped? Only redeeming quality here is a that hint of Grant Hill era green/turquoise on the shorts.

Golden State Warriors – same vibes as the Pistons here for me. These are basically jerseys we’ve seen before, with one saving grace: the “splash” feature is awesome.
Houston Rockets – these are slick. I always liked the Barkley/Pippen/early Yoa Ming era Rockets jerseys, and it’s a nice touch incorporating that with their current logo on the shorts without it looking dumb.
Indiana Pacers – my answer to the above tweet? That these are only temporary.
Los Angeles Clippers – wowzers these are clean. Nothing crazy, crisp letter & number font, great shade of baby blue. Not many wins for the Clips so far this year, but this is one.
Los Angeles Lakers – “lost” is an appropriate word the Lakers used in the above tweet. I get what they were going for here, but I think it’s a miss. If you’re one of the most storied franchises in NBA history and you City Edition jersey looks like the Charlotte Hornets Starter pullover jacket we all had in the 90’s, you missed.
Memphis Grizzlies – anytime you have the opportunity to lean into some of the greatest uniforms of all time, you need to take it. Opportunity squandered.

Miami Heat – year in and year out, the Heat are at the top of any type of alternate uniform list, and nothing changes here. The ability to pull off all of the neon blues, pinks, etc. puts them at an unfair advantage. Excellent as usual.

Milwaukee Bucks – kind of cool, I guess. The side panel with all of the greens and purple works, but another weird letter/number font combo.
Minnesota Timberwolves – Kevin Garnett would be proud, and so am I. Nice and easy look, the accent trees on the belt and shorts, with the throwback font as a cherry on top.
New Orleans Pelicans – looks like the Pelicans and Pistons share the same design team. This is just their normal jerseys, right?
Oklahoma City Thunder – “Welcome to Create a Team on NBA2K22, this is the first screen where you start designing your team’s uniforms!”
Orlando Magic – one of life’s most intriguing questions; what is with the Orlando Magic’s infatuation with the color orange?

Philadelphia 76ers – nice 70’s ABA vibe here. The multi-colored side panel gives off a little Nuggets/rainbow feature as well.

Phoenix Suns – the Suns haven’t posted about their City Edition jerseys at time of writing. But, it doesn’t appear they changed anything from last year. Those were perfect, so if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

Portland Trailblazers – not a huge stray away from their normal threads, but this still plays. How about the argyle-ish side panel, when was the last time we saw that on an NBA uniform?

Sacramento Kings – the lion logo is above par, the rest is fine. I’m going to use my joke from last year’s review (because it was so hilarious), I can see thousands of bros at Bonnaroo and Lollapalooza rocking these bad boys solely because is has β€œsac” on it, which is approval enough for me.

San Antonio Spurs – all in on these. Bright colors really work when teams try to think outside of the box on uniforms, and the Spurs’ color history works perfect for this.

Toronto Raptors – the Raptors kind of have a Magic/orange obsession with gold; very random. But you have to give some points here for the old school logo. A dinosaur dribbling a basketball, how absurd.

Utah Jazz – no social media post, and based on the picture above it doesn’t look like the Jazz put too much effort into their City Edition jerseys this year, sad!

Washington Wizards – ending with a winner here. Fairly basic design, love the font from the Washington B*llets days. Well done in our nation’s capital.

Another year, another mediocre City Edition jersey review. This is a fun thing the NBA does every year, and while I’m sure they love the conversation and extra dollars that come with it, the misses are almost always as good as the hits.

An Ode to Joakim Noah

Photo: NBA.com

Joakim Noah, the Bulls newest ambassador and one of the NBA’s most interesting men on and off the court, will be properly honored Thursday night in Chicago. The son of a professional tennis player and Miss Universe contestant will get his due at The United Center for his efforts and contributions during his 13 years in the NBA. The Knicks come to town to play the Bulls in a matchup of two of Noah’s former teams for “Joakim Noah Night.”

The Bulls put together a great (long) thank you video outlining what Noah meant during and after his time with the organization.

For anyone who appreciated the Noah/Rose/Boozer/Thibodeau era of Chicago basketball, this whole week has been a nostalgic blur. The Bulls Twitter account has been full of content and pictures that will bring any fan back to an incredible time.

Here at UDS, we would like to join the party in heaping praise on Joakim. Some of his greatest career highlights (in our opinion) are below.

Draft Day

One of the GOAT pictures in NBA, if not all of history.

Where do we even start?

Every single aspect of this picture brings joy. The tan pinstripe suit, the draft day hat barely containing the glorious hair, the gap-toothed infectious smile, the oversized bow tie.

The overall complete contrast next to David Stern makes Noah’s draft day picture one of the greatest of all time.

It’s so perfect.

Photo: Pinterest

Too Lit

After his time in Chicago, Noah signed with the Knicks in 2016.

An unfortunately unsuccessful tenure that only lasted three injury-filled seasons.

In an interview with Chris Vernon, Noah admitted: β€œI can look back at it and say I was ready for New York City…[b]ut I wasn’t. Not just the pressure. I remember after the first game I had 60 people in my house. I’m too lit to play in New York City.”

The blunt honesty is something so rare we get as fans, and Noah should be applauded for being so sincere on such a public failure.

Photo: Celebs First

Celebrations

That guy on the left looks like someone who loves to celebrate, no?

Joakim always showed his emotions, and was never scared to acknowledge a dunk, basket, or defensive play.

From his college days at Florida, to random intramural soccer matches, Noah is here to enjoy his time.

We miss him, and we love him for it.

Photo: Pixels

So Jo, Sticks, Mr. Noah, Stickity, and any other loving name we can use, thank you. Your energy, openness, and general vibe made you one of the most entertaining players the NBA has had in its history.

Steal and Score: 18 NBA Players Caught In Healthcare Scam

Photo: 1000 Logos

Eighteen former NBA players were charged and brought into custody Thursday after authorities discovered an insurance fraud plan aimed at the league’s Health and Welfare Benefit Plan.

The charges allege that the group of retired players attempted to defraud the plan of approximately $4 million dollars in awards. The plan allegedly involved submitting fake invoices for medical services or equipment needed by players after their service in the NBA had ended.

Pretty serious shit. The list of all 18 players can be found in the link above. The three biggest names in the list of fraudsters was Tony Allen, Glen “Big Baby” Davis, and Darius Miles. Allen played 14 seasons between the Celtics, Grizzlies, and Pelicans. Davis was in the league for nine years with the Celtics, Magic, and Clippers. Miles was an eight year veteran with the Clippers, Cavs, Trail Blazers, and Grizzlies.

This had to have been the biggest steal in all three of these guys’ careers, right? According to basketball reference, Allen averaged 1.4 steals/game in his career, Davis 0.7, and Miles a shade under a full steal per game at 0.9.

No individual stats were immediately available on how much each of these three received from the scam before being caught. But, if we’re going by pre-retirement compared to post-retirement careers, all three are right around their playing days’ stealing average.

After today, all three of their post-retirement numbers sit at 1.0 steals/retirement. Compared to their on court careers, Allen dips a bit, but marked improvement by both David and Miles.

You often hear that even though professional athletes bodies may break down during their playing careers, their competitive drives never leave. Props to these three for continuing working on their stealing ability post-career.

Who Wore it Best? 99-90

Photo: Dr. Odd

We’re kicking off a new series; and we’re going by the numbers. This countdown is dedicated to the best players of all-time by each jersey number. No concrete formula here, just career stats, impact on the game, and some good old fashion opinion. Let’s hop right in.

99 – Wayne Gretzky

Photo: LA Biz

He’s called “The Great One” for a reason. Hard to pick a favorite stat to demonstrate Gretzky’s dominance, but one of my favorites is that if he never scored a goal, he still would have had 11 straight 100-point seasons and won four scoring titles.

Honorable Mentions: Manny Ramirez, George Mikan, Warren Sapp

98 – Casey Hampton

Not a widely popular number, so not our largest name on the list. Appropriately nicknamed “Big Snacks,” Hampton made five Pro Bowls as the Steelers nose tackle in the early aughts.

Honorable Mentions: Jason Collins

97 – Jeremy Roenick

Maybe not the best guy, but a pretty good hockey player. The eighth overall pick in the 1988 NHL draft scored 1,216 points in 1,363 games played.

Honorable Mentions: Bryant Young, Cam Heyward

96 – Cortez Kennedy

Kennedy recorded 58 sacks in his 11 seasons for the Seahawks. He recorded 569 tackles and 11 forced fumbles.

Honorable Mentions: Metta World Peace, Tomas Holmstrom

95 – Richard Dent

A bonafide Hall of Famer who was a part of one of the greatest defenses of all time, the ’85 Bears. What more can you ask for?

Honorable Mentions: N/A

94 – Charles Haley

The defensive centerpiece of two all-time franchises in the Cowboys and 49ers.

Honorable Mention: Demarcus Ware

93 – John Randle

Anyone who goes undrafted in their respective sport and go on to become a Hall of Famer is good enough for this list. Randle made seven Pro Bowls and was a six time first team All-Pro selection en route to Canton.

Honorable Mentions: Pat Neshak, Metta World Peace

92 – Reggie White

Photo: Quotes Gram

“The Minister of Defense” was one of the greatest free agent signings of all time, when he left the Philadelphia Eagles in 1992 and signed with the Green Bay Packers. He finished his career with 198 sacks, two NFL defensive player of the year awards, and a Super Bowl ring.

Honorable Mentions: DeShawn Stevenson, Gabriel Landeskog

91 – Dennis Rodman

An obvious answer for a surprisingly strong number. But Rodman’s five rings, seven NBA All-Defensive first selections, and nearly 12,000 career rebounds puts him on our list.

Honorable Mentions: Kevin Greene, Sergei Fedorov

90 – Ndamukong Suh

Suh has had a late-career number change to 93, but he donned 90 early in his career for the Lions when he was arguable at his best. During his time rocking the big 9-0, Suh was the NFL Rookie of the Year, made four Pro Bowls, and was a three time NFL First Team All-Pro.

Honorable Mention: Ryan O’Reilly

High numbers, a lot of hockey players and defensive lineman, to be expected. Will we have some different sports and positions represented in our next set of jersey numbers, 89-80? Only time will tell.

The NBA Dropped the 2020-2021 “City Edition” Jerseys Today and We are Now Fashion Critics

The NBA is the the best in the big four sports at a lot of things. They by far and away have the best commissioner in Adam Silver, they lead the charge in the “bubble” phenomenon while getting their sport back on track during the pandemic, and have been for the most part the league least afraid to take stands on both social and political issues.

They also are not afraid to get weird with it when it comes to uniforms, which I respect. Don’t get me wrong, I love the traditional uniforms of Alabama football, Yankee baseball, etc. But getting out of your comfort zone is always a good thing, both in uniforms and in life. In recent years, the NBA has begun creating new uniforms for teams, calling them “City Edition” jerseys that are meant to show “team history and unique city stories.” The 2021 versions were fully released today, and boy are they something.

Atlanta Hawks – while the MLK tribute is awesome, this looks like a jersey from a low budget, late 90’s Disney movie about a team full of scrubs who pulled out all of the right tricks, and had juuuust the right amount of luck to upset the far superiorly talented rivals from across town.
Boston Celtics – an ode to the 17 championship banners hanging in TD Garden, this jersey is the aforementioned far superiorly talented rivals from across town that the Atlanta Hawks beat in the low budget late 90’s Disney movie.
Brooklyn Nets – this jersey has the “Friends” font; and we all know how we feel about Friends around here.
Charlotte Hornets – this jersey looks like mint chocolate ice cream, and it makes me mad because I don’t have any right now.
Chicago Bulls – the Bulls slogan is “Touch the Clouds,” which is ironic because they haven’t touched anywhere higher than eighth place in the Eastern Conference in the past five years.
Cleveland Cavaliers – the font on the Cavs jerseys is as unbalanced and messy as the organization itself.
Dallas Mavericks – hard to find much wrong with these, besides the fact that one of the NBA’s best players, Luka DončiΔ‡, wears number 77. Get the hell out of here and give the man a real number.
Denver Nuggets – bold move by the Nuggets here to trot themselves out there wearing the Russian National Team’s uniforms.
Detroit Pistons – very fitting slogan here, “Tough Together,” Pistons fans have had to watch some tough looking basketball together for the last decade or so.
Golden State Warriors – hard to argue with this one, paying tribute to Oakland after moving into their new arena in San Francisco. Like most things The Warriors have done since they drafted Steph Curry, this was done right.
Houston Rockets – so we’re just copy and pasting the alternate Thunder jerseys here? Cool, cool.
Indiana Pacers – a nice throwback here that reminds me of one of my favorite players of all time, Rik Smits.
Los Angeles Clippers – these are pretty much identical to the Clippers 2019-2020 “City Edition” jerseys, so bonus points for fresh creativity. Bonus points for making me want to play Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas when I see the font.
Los Angeles Lakers – a throwback to the old Minneapolis Laker uniforms. Nice mix of old current uniforms with the updated Lakers font up top.
Memphis Grizzlies – these are solid, but I wish they would’ve just went for it with the old Vancouver Grizzlies uniforms, which are just gorgeous and remind me of another one of my favorite old players, Bryant “Big Country” Reeves.
Miami Heat – this is the perfect city/team for something like “City Edition” jerseys. Miami can do anything with any neon pink, blue, orange, etc. and make it look great. A very solid, wavy effort here.
Milwaukee Bucks – does anyone really associate Milwaukee with the Great Lakes? I don’t, but can only assume this is what Giannis Antetokounmpo wanted, and The Bucks continue to do whatever they can to keep him happy and in Milwaukee.
Minnesota Timberwolves – this is just generally boring. Also the slogan “The North Star That Guides & Unites” is pretty great for a organization that has seemingly no direction at this point.
New Orleans Pelicans – an ambitious stab here, although I think it came out looking more like what I would have came up with for uniforms of my “Create A Team” in NBA Live 2002. You know, the one with Steve Francis on the cover.
Oklahoma City Thunder – there is A LOT going on here. But the Love’s Truck Stop patch is always good for a chuckle.
Orlando Magic – Orlando has messed around with incorporating orange into their uniforms in last years “City Edition,” and I just don’t get it. They have a great color scheme, and should use it here.
Philadelphia 76ers – a lot of horizontal action happening here. This jersey looks like it belongs on an AAU team from Philly.
Phoenix Suns – these I can get into. The mountain formation of the classic Suns colors. Great look for Devin Booker and his new BFF Chris Paul.
Portland Trailblazers – fun fact: these jerseys are a tribute to a never-before released alternate jersey of the Flint Tropics.
Sacramento Kings – I can see thousands of bros at Bonnaroo and Lollapalooza rocking these bad boys solely because is has “sac” on it, which is approval enough for me.
San Antonio Spurs – very smooth. Slick font, crisp lines across the chest. I’m all in here.
Toronto Raptors – from a team that’s going to be playing in Tampa Bay next year, missed opportunity to double up on your sales by throwing “Tampa Bay” and “Toronto” across the chest. Those friendly Canadians are too nice to make people pay twice though, eh?
Utah Jazz – cool idea, but why stop the color scheme at the top of “Utah?” Let those warm colors keep rolling in cold ass Salt Lake City.
Washington Wizards – ending our recap here with a banger. These are great, from the throwback logo to the flag pattern moving down the sides. This is the best thing the Wizards franchise has done in a while.

Even though it seems like the NBA season ended last week, it will be back on Christmas Day. Bring on The Association and all of the great, and not so great, “City Edition” jerseys that come with it.