The rosters are nearly set, the free agents have been snapped up, and Golden State Warriors fans are occupying their off-season debating what roster moves the team will make 11 months from now. Which means it’s the perfect time for Nike (and our friends at Rakuten) to announce the new alternate jerseys for the 2022-23 season. The first one is the “Statement Edition,” and well, it looks like a college jersey.
That’s the blue and gold of the Cal Bears, baby! A jersey that says, we’re headed to the Sweet Sixteen every 25 years or so! A basketball tradition that’s so special to UCLA and USC that they’re fleeing the Pac-12 conference to avoid it! Roll on you Warriors! You know it. You tell the story. You tell the whole damn world this is Warriors territory! And then Oski the Bear does his signature wacky mascot move of creepily walking past Steve Kerr with his arms held behind his back.
Perhaps these new jerseys are a tribute to all the Cal people who have been associated with the Warriors, like former assistant coach Theo Robertson, former 1970’s backup point guard Charles Johnson, 2011-12 reserve swingman Dominic McGuire, Sean Lampley, who played ten games in 2004, and Coach Mike Montgomery, who coached the Golden Bears after two 34-48 seasons at the helm of the Warriors - which really wasn’t that bad for the Chris Cohen Era. Perhaps they’re designed to confuse Jason Kidd when the Warriors face off against the Mavericks, so he’ll get distracted thinking about beating Duke in college. Maybe they’d confuse him so much that he leaves early, just like at Cal!
Cal Basketball agreed that the jerseys looked familiar:
They also look like Michigan jerseys, which should delight former Wolverine Jordan Poole while annoying former Michigan State Spartan Draymond Green. That’s a much more impressive basketball tradition, even if it might cause uncomfortable flashbacks to Chris Webber for Dubs fans.
It’s a simple design, and historically, blue and gold is a pretty successful color scheme for athletics, though for Cal that success mainly comes in swimming, water polo, and rugby. And perhaps since the Warriors are terrible at getting jump balls, they’re hoping the referees will let them go with the possession arrow when wearing these.
It’s not the worst Statement Edition jersey the Warriors have had, mainly because it doesn’t have short sleeves, like the 2019-20 edition. We’ll see if this year also features a “Moments Mixtape” alternate or what the City Edition is, but the important thing is that everyone buy as many jerseys as possible to help poor Joe Lacob afford the luxury tax.
And maybe this will inspire Cal to make the NCAA Tournament! Or at least a play-in game.