Seems like less than two weeks ago that Serge Ibaka and Russell Westbrook were posing for all sorts of Sonics-themed photos. Actually, it was less than two weeks ago. But now that the team has pulled up stakes and moved to Oklahoma City, don't expect to see Ibaka, Westbrook or their teammates wearing Seattle's green and gold again.
All of which bring up the question: What will be the team's new name, colors, logo and uniform? There already has been lots of speculation and polling, but the team needs a new look now, because the NBA's Summer League has started. Though other teams are wearing their, uh, stirring summer attire, the Sonics-no-more have been stuck wearing a generic OKC design (reminiscent of when the Ravens drafted Jonathan Ogden but hadn't yet settled on their colors or logos, so Ogden had to appear with a generic banner and a plain cap). Granted, the plain OKC togs arguably look better than most of the other Summer League gear, but c'mon. Even worse, Westbrook and Ronald Dupree have been wearing Sonics-colored sneakers, providing a painful reminder of the team's current identity crisis.
The NBA no doubt is working on a new design as we speak, but we can't trust them to come up with anything palatable. So Uni Watch is issuing the following challenge to you, this column's faithful readers: Come up with a new name, logo, and uniform set for Oklahoma City's NBA team. And do it fast, before the NBA issues its own crummy design that we end up having to look at for years.
Sharp-memoried readers may recall that Uni Watch held a similar design contest after the 2004 MLB season, when the Montreal Expos were moving to Washington. The results ranged from hand-drawn to cut-and-paste to digital, and from throwback-ish to contemporary, but almost all were more interesting than what the Nationals ended up wearing. Uni Watch is confident the fans can outdo the league this time around, too.
Just as with the previous contest, entries can be created with professional graphics software, scrawled in crayon or anything in between. The only rules are as follows:
• The home uni should be white and the road uni should be colored. (If you want to include a third/alternate uniform, that's fine, but don't feel compelled.)
• In keeping with Uni Watch's long-standing chromata non grata policy, any entry that includes even a hint of purple will be disqualified.
Aside from that, everything is up to you, although it's worth noting that Uni Watch's blue-ribbon judging panel tends to like striped socks, tends to dislike team names that don't end in "S," and thinks the world could always use another animal logo that isn't snarling. But those aren't rules, just utterly subjective biases.
Anyway: Upload your designs to your own Web site or e-mail them here (only JPEGs, GIFs, PNGs, or BMPs, please; no PDFs). The top submissions will be spotlighted in a future Uni Watch column and be forwarded to the team and the NBA for their careful consideration. OK? Get crackin'.
Paul Lukas will miss the Sonics' uniforms. His Uni Watch blog, which is updated daily, is here, his answers to Frequently Asked Questions are here, and his Page 2 archive is here. Want to learn about his Uni Watch membership program, be added to his mailing list so you'll always know when a new column has been posted, or just ask him a question? Contact him here.