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“Well, I tell you, seeing that green and gold was really tremendous because it gave me an opportunity to know and recognize my first career (season) in NBA history,” Hayes said. “And to know the owner of the Rockets at the time, Bob Breitbard, it just really gave me a feeling because I was able to set a lot of records during my first San Diego year. And then to be a part of that, and to see those colors, it just really brought back a lot of memories.” During Friday’s game against the Pacers, the Rockets officially retired Hayes’ No. 44 jersey and debuted their San Diego Hardwood Classics jerseys, a nod to the franchise’s West Coast beginnings established in 1967.
Now, Hayes’ jersey will hang in the rafters forever, joining former Rockets players Clyde Drexler, Moses Malone, Calvin Murphy, Hakeem Olajuwon, Rudy Tomjanovich and Yao Ming. “Receiving this tonight is probably one of the greatest honors,” Hayes said. “I have received many honors in the game of basketball. But this one is really super great because of the fact that it is in Houston where everything began for me at the University of Houston, and then going to San Diego and then becoming a part of the Houston Rockets again. It is just really a great honor and a great opportunity for me to be able to have this night now.”
Chase Hughes: Kyle Kuzma says the Wizards need to bring back their Gilbert Arenas era gold jerseys next. “Oh man, I was pleading for it. I love those. I think those are ill for sure. These ones we have now are by far the best, but that’s gotta come next.”

I have a good relationship with Dustin Godsey (he helped me out on a few ESPN stories back when the Bucks unveiled their current uniform set in 2015), so I emailed him and asked if he could tell me the backstory, even if only off the record, just to satisfy my own curiosity. “I’m not sure I want to deal with the can of worms it will open, so I’ll tell you privately,” he wrote back. “But you, in particular, are going to hate it: Teams can’t wear cream anymore because it interferes with the digital ads that are placed on the court in broadcast due to the uniforms being so close to the color of the wood that is keyed out in the process.” Whoa — I hadn’t seen that one coming! I had imagined a lot of possible explanations, most of which had to do with Nike dye lots and things like that, but I definitely hadn’t thought of anything like a digital ad.
Uni Watch: So it sounds like everything about this color was a big win for the Bucks. When did it become a problem? Dustin Godsey: Interestingly, it happened in the bubble [where the league finished the 2019-20 season after the start of the pandemic]. Up until that point, there had been no issues. So we wore the “Cream City” uniform for a game in the bubble — I think it was Aug. 2, 2020. Because of the unique situation there, with every game being played on a neutral site, teams were able to digitally put their arena naming rights onto the court during their local TV broadcasts. And because of that, in that first game of wearing cream down in the bubble, we started to realize it was kind of like the meteorologist wearing a green shirt while standing in front of the green screen — a pixelation effect.
Storyline: Orlando Bubble
Khobi Price: A reminder that the Magic will be wearing their 2022-23 City Edition jerseys and will unveil their City Edition court tonight. Story on the Magic looking to close out season-long homestand on a high note, starting with tonight vs. the Hornets: