If you're the Cleveland Cavaliers, a new era always calls for a new beginning, especially when the playoffs are within reach. On Monday morning, the Cavaliers unveiled the new uniforms that they'll wear on the court after showcasing their new logos and color scheme a month prior. The brand refresh, led by Cavaliers Creative Director and internationally renowned artist Daniel Arsham, presents a simple, modernized, and powerful graphic that will feel new, yet familiar to fans.
After teasing to much anticipation on social media, the Cavaliers unveiled their look with the help of Cleveland Browns superstar defensive end Myles Garrett while everyone was in Las Vegas for Summer League play. All-Star point guard Darius Garland said, "the gold is cold" while fellow All-Start Jarrett Allen gave his approval as well. The collection includes white (Association), wine (Icon) and black (Statement).
“We wanted to put our players in a uniform that would make them feel strong, confident and proud to represent this new chapter of Cavaliers basketball,” Arsham said. “It’s a very clean, reductive, modern design that pays homage to all of the players and fans that have been a part of our team’s remarkable journey in becoming who we are today.”
Each uniform set features seamless, monochromatic layering around the collar, arms, shorts and waistbands. There are also distinctive characteristics unique to the trio of colors. The new uniforms will also feature new patch partner Cleveland-Cliffs, the largest flat-rolled steel producer in North America. Earlier this year, the Cavs and Cleveland-Cliffs expanded their existing multi-year marketing agreement, which included putting the Cliffs logo on the Cavs player uniforms beginning in the 2022-23 season. Since 1847, Cliffs has been headquartered in downtown Cleveland, less than half a mile from Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. Cleveland-Cliffs is the only steel company to have a jersey patch partnership within the NBA.
“Our creative team has been working on the evolution of our brand and uniforms for some time. We are excited to now share this new on-court look with our fans, especially as anticipation builds for the upcoming season around the potential of this young and exciting squad,” said Chris Kaiser, Cavaliers senior vice president and chief marketing officer in a statement. “There is also a great deal of pride to have Cleveland-Cliffs represented on the new uniforms and part of the literal ‘fabric’ of our team. The threads of this partnership are real and natural, and we know that organic hometown connection will shine brightly on a national and international stage each time our players step on the court.”
A closer look at the finer details of the Cleveland Cavaliers new Association edition uniforms for the 2022-23 season and beyond. Photo credit: Cleveland Cavaliers.
The white Association uniform is accented in wine and gold, designed to showcase the “V net” logo at the center of the jersey top. The player number, also colored in wine with a hint of gold to pop off the white threads, is just below the “V net” logo. The revitalized “Cavs C” emblem is prominently displayed on the left side of the shorts.
A closer look at the finer details of the Cleveland Cavaliers new Icon edition uniforms for the 2022-23 season and beyond. Photo credit: Cleveland Cavaliers.
The new Cleveland wordmark is featured in gold on the chest of the wine-colored Icon uniform and the primary “Cavs C” logo can be found of the left shorts panel.
A closer look at the finer details of the Cleveland Cavaliers new Statement edition uniforms for the 2022-23 season and beyond. Photo credit: Cleveland Cavaliers.
The Jordan-branded Statement uniform, inspired by the iconic uniforms worn during the team's first NBA Championship in 2016, displays the “Cavs C” logo on a black shell, while the side paneling of the shorts features the secondary logo.
Additionally, all three uniforms feature a gold patch on the back center collar with the number “1” positioned inside an outline of the Larry O’Brien trophy – a standard feature on the uniforms of all teams that have won an NBA championship.
This is the Cavaliers' first major brand identity change led by Arsham since he became the organization's creative director in 2020. Born in Cleveland and a Cavs fan at a young age, he called upon his own memories of watching the team play in the 80s and 90s in thinking about the creative approach.
The transition to the new brand identity will be complete for the start of the 2022-23 season, including the new Cavaliers Statement, Icon and Association Edition uniforms to be unveiled later this summer. The team's new City Edition uniform, meanwhile, will likely debut at a later date.
When it comes to the Cleveland Charge, the Cavaliers' G League affiliate, meanwhile, no changes will be coming to their uniforms this upcoming season. Sources say the discussions remain ongoing to try and match the main club's look. But, those same sources say that the change won't happen until the 2023-24 NBA G League season at the earliest.
The Icon and Association jerseys will be available for purchase online in early September. The Statement jersey will drop in October. Fans interested in purchasing can sign up at Cavs.com/Shop to receive notifications of exclusive jersey presale opportunities.
This could be the first time since the 1997-98 season that the Cavaliers make the playoffs without LeBron James on their roster. Upgrading their look and forging their own destiny is obviously the goal for this young Cleveland squad. But, being able to do it in an identity of their own makes it even more special. It'll be the new gold standard for the Cavaliers and, hopefully, it leads to another Championship along the way as well.
Evan Dammarell is a sports journalist covering all things Cleveland right off the shores of Lake Erie. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Did you enjoy this edition of Right Down Euclid? You can get it in your inbox two to three times a week by subscribing here. All it takes is either your Facebook account or email address!