The 2023-24 NBA season has been off to a mixed start for the Phoenix Suns. Kevin Durant might look back to his dominant best, but he has had to be in elite form because of the absence of Devin Booker and Bradley Beal through injury.
Beal is yet to suit up for the organization, while Booker hasn’t been seen since opening night. This has put the franchise at 2-2 – with their most recent loss to the San Antonio Spurs a particularly heartbreaking one given the way in which that game was literally stripped from their arms with seconds to go.
In brighter news though, the Suns have officially released their city edition uniforms, and they are going to be a popular choice with fans.
Introduced as a celebration of Chicano culture, the organization enlisted the help of, who else, Booker to officially launch the “El Valle” jerseys that will be worn as part of the league’s in-season tournament, which begins for the team on November 10th. In total, the Suns will wear the jersey 13 times this season.
The Suns have a rich history of iconic jerseys, and although the “El Valle” threads will have some way to go to be put in that category, they are off to a strong start with the look of this one. Compared to other city edition jerseys out there, this is one of the better efforts put forward throughout the league.
The court design that will be accompanying the jerseys also has a nice feel to it, although quite why there is a need to have a different court at all for these in-season tournament games is anybody’s guess. The NBA’s media-rights deal is expiring in the next couple of years, and they are trying to break the long held perception that nobody cares about basketball until after Christmas.
Should the Suns make it to the Final Four style finale of the in-season tournament in Las Vegas in December, these jerseys may take on a cult following in years to come. If the team went on to actually win the trophy – although it wouldn’t do much for the legacies of Booker or Durant – it would lead to this jersey and the theme and color scheme being celebrated even more.
It may even be that the star trio see winning the tournament as a accomplishment that can help their individual legacies. Even if that’s not the case, it is in their best interests to win as many of these games as possible, since all bar the final itself will count towards the group’s regular season record.
The Suns haven’t always hit with their jersey creations (remember this bad boy?) and so any chance to embrace a mostly purple jersey with that tint of valley orange is one worth supporting. It would be nice to see Beal suit up in the thing just once as well, but that’s mostly because it’ll mean he’s back on the court for the Suns as we roll through November.