Thursday, 14 November 2013
COURTSIDE COLUMN-Rock Ford
"When you say Motor City-no matter where you are in the world-everyone knows you are talking about Detroit"-Dennis Mannion, CEO Of Palace Sports & Entertainment and the Detroit Pistons.
What a way to make a fashion statement. This is a winner on the 'Los' jerseys political scale. From the simple but slick design, to the depth of meaning behind there stitching, the new Detroit Pistons, alternative 'Motor City' jerseys are hotter than Stephen Curry's shooting. You've got to love new jerseys, like the Nets moving to Brooklyn for a redesign (with all due respect to the Meadowlands throwback) and this year the NBA is releasing so many you'd think they where ready to move back into their former, bigger Fifth Avenue store in New York. Still from the orange of the Knicks to the back in baby blue of the Clips it's all live in living color. With a name change in New Orleans and a Golden State skyline effort,-with classic Nuggets trimmings-coming up for the Dallas Mavericks, die-hard fans are going to have to remortgage their league passes. Still, there are some clear choice in this crop of clothing, especially with the new sleeve jerseys cutting the edge of popularity and the special Christmas Day, warm-up looking t-shirt jerseys being something some really wouldn't want to see under their tree. The best (and not biased) look has to go to the 'Hollywood Nights' Lakers black jerseys which is the new 'Sunday White' of trend and sale setting gorgeous garment, but for something deeper than that dark you have to look to the manufacturing capital of America.
That's right, motoring on the Detroit Pistons have beat my Lakers yet again, no wonder Chauncey Billups is back. To add to the excitement of the nostalgia of the champion MVP's return to the Palace of Auburn Hills, or the dangerous dunks of Josh Smith comes something that looks just as good as the potential of this new Brandon Jennings unit or the lack of ceilins of drafted big man Andre Drummond. The uniform of this blue collar team has always looked great with it's white and red trim, from the Bad Boy days to the 90's turquoise torque look and the recent re-branding of a classic look that teams like Houston, Philadelphia and Washington (with that back to Bullets, red, white and blue striped look for the best jersey in the United States right now) are following suit and returning too. Now we have something to add to the Hall Of Fame wardrobe of Grant Hill, Dennis Rodman, Isiah Thomas, John Salley and the Wallace boys throwbacks. Here's something for both the fans that like their street-wear or video game players to look as authentic as they do on court. Outfitted in the an Kansas City worth royal blue and lavish red lining with the new 'P' logo to punctuate it all looks great. Still beyond the style, is some substance where the meaning makes the clothes of the men. It's the words 'Motor City' across the chest that speak Detroit and Piston without so much as a reference to their basketball team but their honored home. It's the one jersey logo that should be worn and popped in celebration with all its horse powered pride. To hell with the fines, this jerseys going to sell. This is more than materialistic, this Adidas jersey is a revolution.
Recession ravaged, Detroit needs this like the return of it's wordsmith spokesman Eminem from 8 Mile road to the old Marshall Mathers home for a second lease of lyrical life. This is no Will Ferrell, Flint Tropics, but the real deal, all-pro. This navy blue is a militant dedication to the city of Detroit and the automobile manufacturing age and legacy that legend Henry Ford built from engine and elbow grease to axle. The city deserves this like more than a bail-out and it's a statement that one of the NBA's most storied and toughest, hard working franchises is telling to it's city and the world. That from the floor to off-court no matter how hard it gets, they aren't giving up. Driving like the Pistons they are with more in the tank then the government could ever help them with, this is socially conscious. Sure sports and politics are two different things and there's little a game can do for real-life in the grand scheme of things. Still, it's the small gestures that offer big encouragement and hands of hope. A big platform like the global exposure of the National Basketball Association could be a good way to raise awareness that shows even if some in higher powers don't, the NBA and one of its flagship franchises cares. From the years gone Phoenix Suns statement to what players write on their sneakers in dedication like the ink on their arms, this is what this sport is all about. It's more than a game, bigger than basketball but broadcast from it's platform for any major network that wants to zoom in for a closer look. Like Portland's 'Rip City', or the Warriors bridges and trams before them, this is pride personified to perfection for the city. It's truly a great look. It's all love...it's hard not to get romantic about this sport, no matter how real it gets.
The players may carry their own individual names on their back, but they wear 'Motor City' across their confident, puffed out chest with pride. With one uniform and one love this team shows it's bigger than how they're playing right now, or the future desire to honor Motown across the jersey for the record. Like an 'S' across their chest, right now these men are heroes to a city full of unsung ones. Recognizing,-like we all should-the real people and cogs in the machine that have kept it going and now need their own lift to see them through the long road ahead. It's the least a bunch of millionaire owners and players can do for those who are out of work looking to avoid foreclosure. You don't have to watch the inspired opening Winters drive of Mark Wahlberg thorough the fall city in the 'Four Brothers' movie to the tune of Marvin Gaye's 'Trouble Man' to see how bad it's got in this town. It's time to rewrite the script. The "traditional and conservative" jersey will be rocked 10 times this season but will stand out much more than that. From the shops to the streets, a statement better than a t-shirt will be put on for the city. Motown may have faded out like disco even though it should still be heard, but even a broken down motoring industry will find its lane again and be the engine of this city and country once again to the dollars and sense of a better day. Especially with the Pistons behind them driving them, showing that sport can be a support as well as an entertainment escape. The team may have made their city proud this year with their dedication, but it's their pride in their own town that has made this all happen. The roots paid homage to here will help this city and its influential industry grow. This may all be for show, but it's time to tell. Re-branded, restocked and refueled like their team, Detroit are set to run again. TIM DAVID HARVEY.