The Minnesota Timberwolves have an upcoming tribute to the late musician Prince, who was born and raised in Minneapolis and became a hometown hero.
The legendary pop culture icon was a basketball fan who often sat courtside at games, especially back when Kevin Garnett was on the team. He was also a high school player himself, known to occasionally play pickup games at his estate.
Zach Lowe wrote about some of the more fascinating earlier mocks that were suggested by Nike designer Cyrus Coleman (via ESPN):
“The right shoulder features a pattern designed to mimic the studding on one shoulder of the jackets Prince often wore around the 1984 release of Purple Rain. Coleman wanted to stitch actual studs onto the jerseys, but that proved too complicated, he says. The font in the Wolves wordmark echoes the diagonal, jagged style of the lettering on the Purple Rain album cover.”
There is also a small paisley icon on the inside of the shorts, which is a clear tribute to his home Paisley Park. But there is not any reference to the Love Symbol that the artist was also known by because of copyright issues, reports Lowe. The numbers for six, eight and nine do resemble the symbol.
Minnesota will wear these jerseys eight times this season, highlighted by five home games. During the home games, much of the lighting inside the arena will turn purple to honor Prince.
The public will be able to purchase these on November 8 and they will debut on the court on November 16.