Nike, the NBA's official outfitter, released the uniforms on Wednesday, along with the 'City Edition' alternates of several other NBA teams. The Cavs' version is similar to the photos that had previously leaked from the NBA 2K18 video game, with the gray jersey featuring gold trim and 'The Land' written across its chest.
Cleveland Cavaliers unveil gray 'City Edition' Nike uniforms
Other newly released details include the outline of the state of Ohio on the waistband and the Buckeye State's official flag beneath a flap on the shorts. According to Nike, the gray uniform is intended to invoke "the iconic giant 'Guardians of Transportation' sandstone sculptures," which "have stood guard over Cleveland's Hope Memorial Bridge to protect travelers entering and leaving the city."
The side panels of the Cavaliers City Edition uniform represent the Guardians but with a team-specific twist: The Cavs shield logo is inset as the head of each sculpture. Further graphic inspiration from the Guardians' robes and a belt buckle featuring the silhouette of the state of Ohio symbolize the team's stature as a regional protector. If those features aren't clear enough, “The Land” is emblazoned across the chest to offer direct tribute to the entire Northeast Ohio area.
Although the new jerseys have been met with a mixed -- at best -- reaction from fans, Cavs megastar LeBron James, who was involved in the designing of the jerseys with Nike, gave the new look a ringing endorsement prior to the team's Wednesday matchup with the Sacramento Kings.
"They're phenomenal," James said per ESPN's Dave McMenamin. "I was happy to be a part of it. I love the color scheme, I love the Ohio crest on the front of the shorts, I like the color combination of the gray with the gold in navy, you can do so many different (combinations) … They allowed us to do a lot with it. It was fun, it was a fun procedure."
The Cavs will dawn their new threads for the first time on Feb. 3, when they host the Houston Rockets. According to its website, the team will wear the 'City Edition' jerseys 12 times this season, eight times at home and four times on the road.