7. Pete Maravich — New Orleans Jazz
While it may not be as memorable as the green and blue uniform he wore with Atlanta, Pistol Pete’s number seven jersey from his days with the New Orleans Jazz makes the list as a marriage of an ahead-of-his-time player with a classic look. Bonus points for being a team that is no longer in a city where its name makes any sense.
The combination basketball/music note/letter J has got to be one of the best and most original ways to incorporate a team’s nickname into their logo and typeface in league history. The name “Jazz” is a perfect representation of what the game of basketball can be when played with the flair and creativity of a player like Maravich. The fact that they played in New Orleans was the icing on the cake. A cake and icing that was lost when the team moved to Utah.
Pistol Pete is the all-time scoring leader in NCAA history, despite being ineligible to play varsity as a freshman, and playing in the days before there was a 3-point line. When inducted into the Hall of Fame he was described as “perhaps the greatest creative offensive talent in history“.
He brought a unique style of flashy play to the game never seen before, and rarely duplicated since. He honed his talents after being coached in the fundamentals by his demanding father and obsessively practicing his skills, as famously depicted in the 1990 film The Pistol – The Birth of a Legend.
Bonus jersey points for the version that displays his nickname on the back rather than his surname.
No shooting from the hip here, Pistol Pete Maravich gets the spot after a good bit of careful consideration.
Honorable Mention: Toni Kucoc (Chicago Bulls), Larry Bird (1992 USA Olympic Team), Kenny Anderson (New Jersey Nets), Kevin Johnson (Phoenix Suns)