Ranking The Miami Heat’s Best And Worst Jerseys

The Miami Heat use as many, if not more, uniform combinations than any other team in the NBA.

Some are great, some are not. And some I want to see again while others I want retired. This is a completely subjective list of the best and worst of the Heat uniforms. I have taken into account not only aesthetics, but also how it fits the team’s image, how the star players look in them and how the themes can be used to engage the fans at American Airlines Arena.

In general, the Heat have some of the best  jerseys in the Association. Not overly complicated (sometimes too simple, but we’ll get to that) and no frills like armpit stripes or — the worse possible thing you can do to a uniform — checker patterns. The Heat colors: red, black and white — though not entirely original other than the shade of red — compliment each other perfectly. The Heat may have gotten creative over the years, but the team’s standards are high and appreciated.

Never Again

8. Blackouts (black on black) 

This is a cult favorite in Miami. A lot of fans own the LeBron James blackout jersey. I can’t stand it. Given that they look a lot cooler in person, the black on black is an eye-sore on television. The thought behind it is fine, but this trend of contrast with contrast is not something I’m on board with (except for one exception we will get to later). Yeah, it’s supposed to be intimidating and play to the evil-ness that is LeBron James. That was cool in year one. Get rid of these things.

Apr 21, 2013; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Heat small forward LeBron James (6) during game one of the first round of the 2013 NBA Playoffs against the Milwaukee Bucks at American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

7. Whiteouts (white on white)

Almost as bad as the blackout jerseys are the whiteout jerseys. The only reason it gets a slight edge is because of the success the team has in the whiteouts and because it plays to the “white hot” slogan the team uses to create a white out at AAA. However, I really don’t think the whiteout is that cool, and what’s stopping the Heat from still having a fan whiteout but still wearing its regular white home unis? Again, I get the reasoning, but they are just too ugly and an eye-sore. The worst part is the weird black stripe down the side and I can’t shake the idea that the team looks like a hoard of klansmen or a bunch of high school kids going to prom in all-white tuxes. Not to mention the star player, LeBron, looks terrible in all white.

The X-ception

6. Christmas Day (red on red) 

This is the only same-color on same-color jersey I can get behind. Mainly because, unlike the blackout and whiteout jerseys, they are festive and actually use the team’s primary color. It only works because the Heat use a relatively deep shade of red. If the Heat used a firetruck red, this would belong in the “Never Want To See Again” pile. The red numbers with the white outline on top of the red jersey is like a fun crayon-turned basketball jersey (but cooler than that).

Dec. 25, 2012; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Heat small forward LeBron James (left) and shooting guard Dwyane Wade (center) and guard Mario Chalmers (right) during the second half against the Oklahoma City Thunder at American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Can’t Go Wrong

5. Road Uni (white on black)

The Heat’s home uniform is classic, simple and elegant. The white numbering and red outline on the black jersey is the definition color complementation. The numbers stand out strong, getting rid of the eye-sore that the pervious three uniforms present. Chris Bosh looks awesome in this set the Heat apply the “El Heat” branding to these uniforms as well, which is always fun.

The use of the black as the primary road jersey also creates a beautiful television experience. Because NBA teams use its white jersey at home, when the Heat play on the road, you are guaranteed a contract of black and white no matter the team. This creates a game-watching experience in which both teams look good playing each other. No clashing colors, ever.

Jun 13, 2013; San Antonio, TX, USA; Miami Heat center Chris Bosh (1) drives to the basket against San Antonio Spurs shooting guard Danny Green (4) during the first half of game four of the 2013 NBA Finals at the AT

We Want More, We Want More. When You Really Like It, You Want More.

4. Retro (black on red)

When your franchise has a great history and terrific uniforms, you can’t go wrong with bringing back a classic. These retro red jerseys with black numbering and white outlining are slightly more busy than the team’s modern jersey, but they look great. They also bring back memories of Alonzo Mourning in his prime blocking shots and dominating the paint. I would love to see more retro jerseys in the future, maybe replace the black- and white-outs with more throwbacks.

Feb 24, 2013; Miami, FL, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving (left) looks over at Miami Heat small forward LeBron James (right) as Cleveland Cavaliers head coach Byron Scott (center) looks on during the second half at the American Airlines Arena. MIami won 109-105. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

3. The Floridians

I don’t remember the last time the Heat wore the Floridians, but man are they awesome. Like, really awesome. Given extra points because they pay tribute to the old ABA franchise, the flamingo pink stripe and lining capture Florida’s tropical culture and black and pink numbering is just awesome. The pink invokes confidence and every player and person to ever suit up in the Floridian looks like they could go from sipping Mai Tai’s on South Beach to controlling a drug cartel with ease. Bring these babies back!

Photo courtesy of www.bleacherreport.com

2. Alternate Uni (white on red)

This is the only Heat jersey I own and will ever own — Dwyane Wade in red. Why is this jersey so great? Mainly because the Heat use a great red and I like to see more of it. Also, you all voted for D-Wade as the single most important player in Heat history. What is Wade’s nickname? Flash. What does the Flash, the super high-speed superhero, wear? Red! Sooo now we get the Flash (Wade) dressed like the Flash (super hero). Yes.

Jan. 30, 2013; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Miami Heat shooting guard Dwyane Wade (3) dribbles around Brooklyn Nets shooting guard Joe Johnson (7) during the first half at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports

Beauty in Simplicity

1. Home Uni (red on white)

This might be what the Heat wear at most of its home games, but that’s a good thing isn’t it? I mean, look at these. These are among the cleanest jerseys in the league. The red on white gives the team a clean look and everyone knows white shoes look better with shorts than black shoes, giving this uniform an edge over the black- and red-base jerseys (and don’t you think about white shoes and shorts when you think Miami?).

What really puts this jersey over top is how perfectly the yellow stripe compliments the red on the sides. It really gives you a sense of being in the hot sun. The shirts blend into the pants seamlessly and every player looks great in these.

If you’re a fan, you can wear the jersey with pride with anything on any day. Going to a BBQ? Home jersey and shorts. Going to LIV? Home jersey, jeans and a pair of LeBron X “Watermelons.” Going to a wedding? Heck, replace your white oxford with this jersey under your jacket and the groom will let you be his best man. There is nothing like the white home jersey in sports, and this one tops the list of the Heat’s best jerseys.

Dec. 12, 2011; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Heat small forward LeBron James (left) shooting guard Dwyane Wade (center) and power forward Chris Bosh (right) pose for a photographer during media day at American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

 

Topics: Floridians, Jerseys, Miami Heat, Uniforms

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  • Kris Mahmood

    I understand this is purely one man’s opinion, but how about having someone who isn’t colorblind do a post about the jerseys? The black-on-black & white-on-white jerseys look great. The regular home jerseys are boring. That being said, I can agree with you on bringing out the Floridian jerseys some more, specifically the away Floridians. Imho of course.

    • Wes Goldberg

      First of all, I appreciate your concern, but I am not colorblind. However, even if I was I would be able to tell the all black and all white jerseys are atrocious. That said, I understand that I am in the minority with that opinion. I just hope to open up a conversation as we focus on the bigger issue of bringing back the Floridians.

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