Monday, August 31, 2009

When The Hawks Married McDonald's

We don't do this much, but we were inspired by Ball Don't Lie's Top 10 Unis from the Past 10 Years to go forward with the rehashing of a dark era in Hawks uniforms.

To recap, back when the Hawks were one of the "it" teams, led by the Namesake, they sported this classic, powerful look:


 Then, inexplicably, while the team was still really good and relevant, they switched gears to the "Chutes and Ladders" look in 1993:

Not bad, still had the Pac-Man on the shorts, but still, what the heck, right? If it ain't broke, etc.

Then, in 1996, the team (in an apparent attempt to commemorate Dikembe Mutombo's presence on the team), switched to the "Hugging Hawk" look.

In 1999, the lockout and loss of games led the team to officially give up on uniform design by creating this generic disaster:

This uniform was a sort of a self-fulfilling prophecy, as the Hawks run of success ended abruptly (about as abrupt as an Isaiah Rider arrival can make it), going 188-386 (.327) until they finally put this bland look out of its misery in 2006.

It was during this phase that the Hawks made two---ummm---strong statements with their uniforms. In 2003, they did a series of 70's "flashbacks", including groovy in-game video bits and wearing some of their former uniforms, including the green (uh-huh, green) uniforms that Pistol Pete and Dr. J wore in their glorious two game run together (w/the late Cotton Fitzsimmons as coach) in '74.

Green Hawks uniforms are one thing--at least Pistol and Julius wore them. But what happened the next year (2004-2005) is something that everyone will remember where they were when they saw them on the court.

It was the release of the "McDonald's" uniforms, which were to serve as alternate uniforms for (4) games.

 The publicity photos are classic, ranging from just happy to be here, I'll wear anything (Willis), Yeah, right (Diaw), and seriously--this is the NBA? (Childress).But nothing compares to the photo of Josh Smith sporting the new duds--something from the Heyaazz No Collection.

The whole era was such a disaster, the Hawks had to change their whole color scheme in '06.

(Smith's look---just two seasons later---is more of a "you mean, stand like this?" agreeable type)

In the end, the Hawks need to follow the NFL's New York Jets and San Diego Chargers and embrace the universally endorsed Pac-Man uniforms as soon as possible. It's tried, true, and successful--and who knows, if they wander any further, we could get a look like this again.

Perish the thought.

(All photos courtesy of Getty Images)


Ron E. said...

This group of Hawks players hasn't earned the right to wear 'Nique's era's unis yet. When they get to the conference finals, then we can talk.

rbubp said...

I'm glad someone other than me saw the Pac-man before the Hawk in that 80s & late 70s logo.

Drew Ditzel said...

i have a shareef abdur-rahim in the green. and a marvin in the mcdonalds/mustard combo.

but seriously why not bring the pacman back? would that not sell huge? that is it. i am starting a petition.

Jason Walker said...

EVERYONE, and that means outside of Atlanta, NBA watchers, LOVE the Pac-Man unis--it cannot be duplicated (like pinstripes) by other franchises.

It is the Hawks own creation, it's unique to Atlanta, it's time to Bring Back the Pac-Man!

thirdfalcon said...

I know I'm in the minority. But I love the green unis. Definitely the kind of thing that would get old, so I'm not suggesting a full time switch, but I say we dedicate 10 games a year to wear green jerseys.

The rest of the year nothing but Pac-man.

Bret LaGree said...

If unis equal return to the conference finals, the next Hawks team in last four would have to go back to these.

Jason Walker said...

Loved those bball cards--such fundamentally sound gents gracing the border there---great find, Bret---

thirdfalcon said...

That blue and red is phat. I'd take those in a heartbeat.

Both Teams Played Hard said...

I'm fully on board with the Pac-Man renaissance.

Anonymous said...

That's kind of an ironic criteria for this squad to "earn" the right to wear the pac man logo, Ron. Dominique, or anyone else who wore the pac man logo, never made it past the second round. Sad, but true.