Perhaps no league in all of sports has better retro jerseys than the NBA.
The association has been a step ahead of other sporting leagues with their creative and avant-garde jerseys.
They’ve encouraged and promoted experimentation, and the result has been some classic, all-time great retro jerseys that will last the test of time.
This article ranks the 10 best retro NBA jerseys. At the top of our list is the Washing Bullets retro jersey, which still looks great all these years later thanks to an amazing color scheme.
If you disagree with any of our rankings on this list, feel free to let us know in the comments below!
Best Retro NBA Jerseys
#1 Washington Wizards Bullets Retro Jersey
The jerseys donned by the Washington Bullets in the mid 90’s are some of the sweetest threads ever worn.
The red, white and blue color scheme looks absolutely gorgeous, and the two tones of the jersey blend so perfectly together that it nullifies what would normally be considered a crowded jersey.
I especially like the white outline on the numbers, and how perfectly the colors on this jersey are laid out.
These jerseys definitely have that retro feel, but they’re modern enough to be loved even after the novelty has worn off.
#2 Toronto Raptors Dino Threads
At first, the cartoonish, crowded design was ridiculed in the NBA when these jerseys were first unveiled.
But they’ve aged well since then, and the cartoony raptor logo on the front now has a 90’s vintage vibe and look.
I’m a big fan of the white jerseys as well, as the red and navy accents contrast brilliantly against the white pinstriped top.
We’ve also got to give kudos to whoever came up with the font of the name and number, as those perfectly fit the theme of the Raptors.
Read: The Best NBA Jerseys
#3 Utah Jazz Purple Mountains
The Utah Jazz are one of those sneaky organizations at the top of the NBA’s all-time win percentage. They’ve always been a successful franchise.
But the most successful they’ve ever been was during the era they wore these purple mountain jerseys.
These jerseys just have a glow to them that is unmatched in the NBA. The purple mountains are so unique and gorgeous that it’s easy to forget that the Jazz logo is beautifully designed as well.
If these jerseys were good enough for Karl Malone and John Stockton, they’re good enough for us.
#4 Phoenix Suns 90’s Retro
These jerseys are an all-time fan favorite.
It’s easy to see why too. The Suns color scheme is a sure winner, and the shooting sun logo looks vintage, classic and beautiful all at the same time.
These jerseys are a beauty for sure. The only thing up for debate is whether the white or navy jersey looks best.
#5 Atlanta Hawks 80’s/90’s Retro
Dominique Wilkins wore these bright red and yellow, so they’ll always have a place in our hearts.
The Hawks have had some hits and misses in terms of jerseys, but these have always been a surefire hit.
The white cut-out splashed across the chest of the jersey is unique and bold, and the bright red with yellow and white accents give this jersey a timeless, retro look.
These jerseys just glow on the hardwood.
#6 Chicago Bulls Red Cursive Jersey
The Bulls never won a championship in these jerseys, but they remain iconic retro jerseys because they ushered Chicago into the Michael Jordan era.
These cool-red jerseys just ooze class and style. The color just pops out on the court, and the white drop shadow behind the cursive Chicago looks retro but modern.
The Bulls seem to have gone away from this look, but I think they’d do well to bring them back into their regular rotation.
#7 Miami Heat Heat-Red
From the heat-red, to the white drop shadow, to the font of the name across the chest, these Miami Heat retro jerseys do everything right.
They’re a little spared down from the Heat’s regular jerseys, but that’s what gives this a retro touch.
I especially like that the Heat has gone for thicker, bolder white drop shadow. It’s a feature I love and I appreciate that the Heat have accented it.
#8 Denver Nuggets Rainbow Skyline
You might disagree with this choice and call the jerseys over-top, goofy or too bright, but one thing you cannot say against the Denver Nuggets’ retro jersey is that it’s dull!
It’s fair to wonder whether these jerseys will get old to look at after the novelty has worn off, but if used once in a while, they add a ton of color and vitality to any game.
Then again, a game against the Lakers might be too much for my eyes!
An interesting statistic to note: The Nuggets became the fastest-playing team in the association while they wore these jerseys in the 80s.
I wonder if more color makes you more aerodynamic.
#9 Los Angeles Lakers Royal Blue
It was a sight to behold when Kobe Bryant donned these retro royal blue jerseys.
The font of the Los Angeles name fits perfectly thematically with the vibe and feel with L.A.
Then, there’s the awesome drop shadow around the numbers which gives these jerseys an all-time classic look.
These are gorgeous jerseys, but the Lakers’ Gold jersey will always reign supreme. These are best used sparingly for the Lakeshow.
#10 Portland Trailblazers Retro Red
The Blazers’ retro jerseys are cool, bold and inventive, which is very much in theme with Portland.
What gives these jerseys a bit of a mythic quality is the fact that these are the only jerseys Portland has won a championship in.
With cool, intimidating jerseys like these, it’s easy to see why the players had that extra confidence to make big plays.
I especially like how the red retro tail is now on the seam of the jersey. It’s a nice reminder of where the Blazers’ iconic trail came from.