To spare everyone the fanfare, here are the best basketball jerseys from the best sports town.
No. 5 – 1976 Black Sixers
Full disclosure, until I was putting this together, I don’t know that I had ever seen this jersey. This jersey is awesome and I think it only works on a black base. Some of the die-hards won’t even talk about our jerseys if they are not a red, white or blue base. This is wrong and these individuals will be proven wrong again as this list progresses.
SIXERS is displayed loudly and the numbers are oversized as well. The blue text with red trim is to be expected here, but where is the white? Keep looking and you still won’t find it. Even the stars in the side paneling are red. High risk, high reward. I would love to see this in rotation at some point. Since it’s not at this time, that’s the primary reason it rings in at only #5
No. 4 – 1996 Red Sixers
On the whole, their red jerseys have never landed with me, but this one glides in for a safe landing. SIXERS is written in just enough of a weird font and the numbers have a little funk to them as well. This font package walks right up to the edge of the cliff in Comic Sans land, but it calmly holds its ground.
While there is a lot of red to soak in, white is used splendidly throughout the design. This includes generous width and scope to the trim and the size of SIXERS holds its own against the size of the numbers on the front. Blue brings it home, with the body of the numbers and a dash on the side. A bit on the nose with the red, white and blue.
No. 3 – Black Iverson-led days
This is probably “the” preferred jersey for fans aged 25-40. It immediately makes you recall the Iverson glory days and is objectively one of the best league-wide jerseys from circa 2000. The logo is great of course and it’s one of the rare Sixers jerseys to feature the logo prominently.
The font of the number is memorable and particularly looks good as a ‘3’ – or maybe it’s just that all things Iverson are unapologetically awesome. The placement of the number down the right works well, in motion with the ball flowing across the front. The star on the column makes for a nice touch. Blue does not make much of an appearance, but it’s not needed as the red is a perfect pairing to the black.
No. 2 – 1976 Blue Sixers
There has to be at least one blue jersey in the list and this is the one. No doubt about it. This is essentially what they are going for in the current-day blue primary jersey, but SIXERS does the job much better than Phila is able to do. This print just screams ‘Cradle of Liberty.’
The text in the front is compact and it works, partly because the numbering font runs in a bit of contrast to the ho-hum wording font. Two things that this jersey does better than the current-day version: 1) the neck trim is a simple white/red, as opposed to the white/red/white now. Secondly, the side paneling has a more natural angling and blends in better to the arm trim.
No. 1 – 2021 Black Boathouse Row
I can guarantee you that I am an upstanding citizen and not a prisoner of the moment. I loved this jersey the second that I saw it. While we are suffering from fatigue with what seems like a never-ending barrage of new jerseys (we’ll save that for another day), this one was rightfully added to the collection. I am somewhat shocked that they have been rolling with this one to start the playoffs, but when life hands you lemons, take a big ol’ bite.
Where to start? Boathouse Row could have come off cliché here, especially since it’s shown several times on EVERY national broadcast. But it doesn’t come off as pandering, if for no other reason than the hidden TTP. The reflection is phenomenal, including how it runs a little below the text line of PHILADELPHIA. Speaking of civic pride, the subtle Philadelphia, USA at the bottom is a nice touch. I really like the number at the top on both sides, with the blue shadowing casually breaking up what is otherwise a black and white print. The final touches of blue and red trim (sandwiched around a thin black line) rounds out the color package. As the jersey collection has been oversaturated in recent years, it’s inevitable that one of them would hit the mark. And like a Simmons 3, enjoy this one because you may never see it again.