Nets unveil alternate uniforms inspired by legendary artist Basquiat


Samo as an end to the Nets' usual jerseys.

The team officially revealed new alternate uniforms for the 2020-21 season on Thursday, inspired by the legendary artist and Brooklyn native Jean-Michel Basquiat.

The Basquiat uniforms, black with multi-colored trim and typeface inspired by Basquiat's graffiti-style handwriting, read "BKLYN NETS" across the chest, while the shorts feature a hand-drawn crown, like those that appear in many of his paintings.

The Nets described the unis as a "tribute to a revolutionary" on social media.

Nets CEO John Abbamondi said Basquiat is more relevant than ever.

"We are proud to celebrate Basquiat’s enduring legacy this season,” he said. "Basquiat embodies much of what Brooklyn represents, and his creative spirit and passionate voice can still be felt throughout the borough. Today, more than ever, Basquiat matters."

The so-called City Edition uniforms mark the second year in a row the Nets have honored a local icon. Last season, the alternates bore a trim in the style of a 1990s-era Coogi sweater, famously worn by Bed-Stuy native Biggie Smalls.

Basquiat first emerged on the street art scene as one half of the graffiti duo that went by the name SAMO, known for its witty and philosophical tags that would crop up on walls and doors around the city. He later moved on to more traditional painting and became affiliated with various projects linked to the iconic artist Andy Warhol.

Basquiat apparently has a big supporter in Nets star Kevin Durant, Brian Lewis of the New York Post recently reported, and has been championed by a variety of hip-hop artists over the years.

Durant, modeling the new duds in a video that appeared on social media, said "We are going to look very, very, very good running up and down the floor with these on. Shoutout to Basquiat."

The original works of the beloved painter, who tragically died of a drug overdose at age 27 in August 1988, now fetch tens of millions at auction, with one coveted piece going for a record $110.5M in 2017.

The unveiling of the jerseys was met with somewhat mixed reactions on social media, with support mostly coming from those who recognized the painter and his work.

Others didn't seem so impressed.

"normally when i say something looks like a 5 year old designed it, i'm joking," said @flappybois. "this however, actually looks like a 5 year old designed it."

An apparent Basquiat fan responded:

"It's a reference to legacy of artist Jean-Michel Basquiat," said @EeckhoutDavid. "Again, you can still feel his work 'looks like a 5y old made it.' But there is a lot of cultural, societal and historical background to his style I like that the Nets try to bring NY culture into their designs!"