First off, let’s get this out of the way…
The Bucks beat the Bulls at the Bradley Center for the first time in their last 10 tries last night. There are few wins that feel as good as that, because every Bucks game at the Bradley Center turns into a game full of Bulls fans. It’s more or less the United Center North.
Of course this only happens when the Bulls are good and the Bucks are bad. While the Bucks have improved this year, the city hasn’t still quite taken to attending games. Let’s just say Milwaukeeans are a bit on the fair-weather side when it comes to the Bucks. Due to that locals lack of interest, plenty of tickets are available to our Illinois f(r)iends 90 miles south.
Let’s not forget the flip-side of this. Bulls fans are every bit as fair-weather as Bucks fans. We hadn’t seen them take the drive up I-94 during the Eddy Curry/Tyson Chandler era. They only make that trip if their team is good enough to justify them doing so.
Now that we have that out of the way, on to the Bucks announcement which they let us know was coming a few days ago with a rather loud orange and green graphic.
When the graphic was released, two areas lit up with speculation. Chris Creamer’s Sports Forum and the Bucks board on RealGM. The majority of both groups thought the orange to be smokescreen and/or an outright trolling by the Bucks social media team. It ended up being more of the latter than the former.
Before going into what happened Wednesday night, two interesting things happened in between the announcement and halftime last night’s game. Conrad Burry posted his render of the logo which leaked via a beer glass on Monday. Within the same time frame, someone (I can’t find the correct source to credit) posted a 3D render of the logo. See below. I think it looks pretty sweet and both of these efforts give a better view of what to expect than an angled picture of a clear drinking glass.
Now onto Wednesday night.
Prior to the game starting, the Bucks posted a portion of a jersey with orange piping instead of the normal red we’d expect to see. A bit later, they went to Twitter again and posted a picture of the jumbotron trying to perpetuate the idea that orange was coming. They even went as far as to dress the Fan Squad (a group of 100 who get to come for free as long as they cheer their asses off) in blaze orange. That is not a Photoshop job, they really were handed orange shirts to wear.
This all lead up to the halftime announcement, which started with this video about the importance of orange to the City of Milwaukee. I won’t even spoiler alert this, the video ends with a hilarious (read: sarcasm) APRIL FOOL’S! to end it off. What you can’t see is the Bucks’ mascot, Bango, dancing under the jumbotron with an orange lined jersey on, waving a massive orange flag that also says “APRIL FOOLS”, just in case anyone missed the end of the video.
After some wicked sweet Benny Hill music, the lights go dark and we get the real announcement. See the video at the top of the post for what Bucks fans saw at halftime. This video is mostly teaser, but does at least confirm the official colors for the Bucks’ next uniform set. I think you could have heard a needle drop after the proper video ended, I’m not positive that anyone was entirely sure what they were seeing.
The real colors are Green, Cream and Blue. We know and assumed green and cream, because that’s what the leaked logo showed us. I had read that blue was going to be there as well, but I didn’t know where and I’m still not sure where it ends up. aValpo, who posted his sketches to RealGM, stated the blue would be part of alternate logos but is not heavily used. Keep those sketches in mind for something later in this post.
I always love when a team announces a new color or mascot because they put reason behind the colors and it always feels kind of silly.
Green is around because green has always been a part of the team’s color scheme.
Blue both signifies the rivers and lakes in the Wisconsin area (which there are more of and are far more beautiful than people would give us credit for) as well as a throwback to Milwaukee’s first NBA team, the Hawks.
Cream is included because Milwaukee is known as Cream City to most locals and some outsiders. This is due to the Cream City Brick that was made famous during the Victorian era. We still have a number of buildings made of the brick and the brick is so popular, when a building made of it comes down, the bricks are taken apart so they can be used for another building. the teaser video even ends with a wall of (cream colored) bricks and an “M’ logo crashing into it.
The “M” is clearly the M from the bottom of the Bucks neck in the main leaked logo. At first I thought it was cartoony and almost looked like a superhero logo, but it was explained (or at least I read) that it was an attempt to look like a deer hoof. I can kinda see that, but if you need to explain it, you shouldn’t do it. That’s probably neither here-nor-there, however, because later in the evening yet another drinking glass picture leaked, this time with tons of logos and wordmarks.
I don’t see the stand-alone “M” anywhere on the glass, so I think it might have just been used for an announcement, even though the Bucks’ owners and their families were wearing hats with the logo.
The glass is kind of a mess to look at. It has what appears to be 100 different logos and wordmarks. There is a lot to take away from it, however. 2 of the alternate logos also match what the earlier sketches showed. The WI state outline with a ball where Milwaukee is (my favorite of the logos) and a roundel basketball with the “M” fit into the bottom of the basketball. There is also an alternate of the basketball logo with text in the roundel with the date the Bucks were established.
The main logo has 3 variants here. One with just the head and a wordmark below it. Another with just the head and then the last is the logo that leaked a few days ago with the partial roundel around it. If I was a betting man, I’d say the logo with the head and wordmark below it is the primary logo.
There are various wordmarks on the glass, all with block style, sans-serif lettering. Some of the text has a drop shadow, some does not. I’d assume the “BUCKS” with the cream drop shadow is going to be the wordmark the jerseys will use.
What’s missing? Blue. I can’t find any blue, anywhere on the glass. Now, that could be because the glass is carrying earlier versions of the logos or blue will just be some sort of accent color on the jerseys. I think we’ll know for sure if and where blue shows up in the logos on 4/13, when they have their official reveal.
We’re still a ways off from seeing jerseys, I’d guess, but I love the potential of both having a cream colored home jersey and also an alternate jersey which has a “Cream City” wordmark, similar to Detroit’s Motor City or Portland’s Rip City jerseys.
Some people have complained that this is basically the Timberwolves color scheme. Those people have forgotten that green has all but been abolished from the Wolve’s current uniform (even though it looked GREAT on their jerseys for the year they had it). You can literally only find green in the trees of their primary, it’s not used anywhere else.
The Mavs also used to have a green and blue alternate, but the key words are “used to”. They haven’t worn that jersey since 2009 and if we’re splitting hairs, the blue the Bucks appear to be using is quite a bit lighter, and the green much darker, than what the Mavs used.
I’ve also heard the cries to the heavens that we have yet another team that’s going to have a blue jersey. Over half the NBA has some form of blue jersey and it is way over used, but I don’t think we’re going to see blue used as a prominent color other than for a possible alternate jersey.
So far we don’t know much, but what we do know, I like. I think the logo set as a whole is great. The primary logo has grown on me over the last few days and I love the WI state logo. I also love the colors. Green and cream are not colors used in the NBA outside of the Celtics St. Patty’s alt which is both a lighter green and more so khaki than cream. There is potential here for a great identity to come out of this, lets see if the Bucks can make it happen.