NORMAN — The Thunder wanted to create a uniform celebrating the Native American heritage of the state.
That wish has become Oklahoma City’s new “City Edition” uniform.
The uniform and its influences are impossible to miss.
Designed in partnership with Nike, the Thunder released the full implementation of the design, the base color of which is turquoise, “representing the 11th anniversary stone and the native color of friendship,” the Thunder explained in a press release issued Thursday morning.
This happens to be the Thunder’s 11th season in Oklahoma City since the franchise once known as the Seattle SuperSonics moved east and into the nation’s middle.
The new uniforms will be worn by the Thunder for the first time when the New York Knicks visit Chesapeake Energy Arena on Nov. 14.
The organization has announced the City Edition uniform will be the uniform of choice “at least six times” when the Thunder play at home this season.
Wednesday’s release offered a full description of the features and choices that went into the new uniform.
“Interlocking letters create ‘OKC’ on the jersey’s chest, with separate shapes bending into one another to create one shape,” the release explains. “Boldly set, the belt pattern on the shorts is derived from a traditional sash and represents the various individual communities expanding outward, pointing toward and blending with each other.
“Encompassed by the Four Corners, all shapes point inward to gather at ‘OKC.’ The short vent graphic is inspired by the turtle shell, the circle symbolizes the Earth and recognizes the tribes that line the outside. Primary stripe elements point east to welcome the rising sun and guide the way.”
Fans will recognize the Native American influences immediately.
“This is a statement of our pride in the Native American culture that is so rich and vibrant in the fabric of Oklahoma,” Thunder senior vice president Bryan Byrnes said. “We are honored to have worked with Nike to develop a design that in so many ways captures and celebrates the influence of our state’s Native American communities.”
Nike’s designer on the project, Carson Brown, himself a Native American, said it was important to not be “appropriating any specific native culture or tribe [but] to make it encompass everything.”
“To see it in person is quite amazing,” Brown said.
Thunder fans may well agree.