The Brooklyn Nets have always been praised for their uniforms and overall artistic flair. A far cry from the red, white and blue of their ABA days or the garish silvery greys of the Jason Kidd era, the Nets have operated with a fairly minimalist artistic sensibility since moving to Brooklyn. Their uniforms, logos and courts have been a simple black and white. The more individualized components of those designs have largely been pushed off center stage, including the popular subway tile lettering under the baskets that was scrapped last season.
It is coming back this season, but as part of a bigger overhaul. While the Nets are keeping their uniforms and overall aesthetic in place, they’ve taken a bold step in redesigning their court. Rather than the traditional brown of a typical hardwood, the Nets will use a two-toned grey court at Barclays Center this season.
The grey court will be a first in NBA history. “There was some impetus to refresh things but also some hesitation,” Jeff Gamble, the team’s vice president of content and creative, told Zach Lowe of ESPN. “We were nervous about messing it up. We have seen court designs that have fallen on their face.” Lowe’s reporting revealed that a different team had previously considering trying a black court, but was denied by the NBA over fears of how it would look on television. The league fully supported this idea by the Nets.
Though the color scheme is going to get the bulk of the attention, there are some other minor changes in play here as well. Gone from the old center-court logo are the words “Brooklyn” and “New York.” The baseline signage has also been pushed into the corners rather, whereas the old design had it centered underneath the basket.
The new features combine to give the Nets a court unlike any currently in the NBA. Should fans receive it warmly, it opens the door for plenty of innovation in terms of court design for other teams to consider. Plenty of college football teams have used colored turf for years. Now, the Nets are opening the door to colored hardwood.