What Does The Black Stripe On NBA Jerseys Mean? Discover Now

If you have been following NBA games for a while, you might have realized that there are times little black stripes are placed on all NBA jerseys. But why do they wear this? What does the black stripe on NBA jerseys mean?

If these questions may have bothered you since the moment, we would like to take them away for you. Keep reading for more detailed information!

What Does The Black Stripe On NBA Jerseys Mean?

When you first noticed the black stripe on, it was like a small piece of black tape stuck to the jerseys. Some may think it is an electrical tape, or it indicates the player’s mistake during the game. In reality, the story behind this black stripe is more than that. 

What Does The Black Stripe On NBA Jerseys Mean

This little stripe has two meanings in general. Firstly, it represents the team’s condolence on the loss of iconic figures. Secondly, wearing this black stripe is a way to honor all the greatness and significant contributions of the person to the sports community as well as the game.

So, NBA members wear this black stripe on their jerseys to pay tribute to the loss of an iconic figure in basketball. That means no one is left behind, no one is forgotten. They will always stay!

The stripe is also worn in some other cases. Sometimes, NBA players wear it to honor the victims of a tragedy. The person might not be related to basketball, but can be the one who has a profound influence on the NBA community or a relative of an organization’s member. 

In general, this type of stripe is not only found in basketball games but also in other types of sport. Yet, the black stripe meaning stays the same. It always represents condolence and commemoration to the one who passed away.

What Are The Past Moments Of The Black Stripe On NBA Jerseys?

There have been moments when NBA players wear the black stripe on their jerseys to pay tribute to important personalities to the league. Here are some of those past usages.

2019-2020 Season

This recent league saw a magnificent moment when all members wore the black stripe all along the season to tribute to David Stern – an NBA commissioner in 30 years from 1984. 

What Does The Black Stripe On NBA Jerseys Mean 1

He had spent a third of his life devoted to the organization, creating the league’s popularity explode right after its late 70s dark period. Because of the lack of media exposure and deprivation of a loyal fanbase, the league had to experience the darkest time.

He guided the team through dwindling viewership and created changes that remain part of today’s professional games. In his entire tenure, he had devoted so much to the community. Unfortunately, he died of a brain hemorrhage on January the first, 2020. The NBA announced wearing the black stripe right after his loss and represented condolence in the 2019-2020 season. 

2017-2018 Games

During the 2017-2018 season, players had worn black stripes on their jerseys to honor three people laying down their lives.

The one moment was the death of Helen, who was the wife of Rich Devos – the owner of the Orlando Magic Team. On her loss in 2017, all team members wore the black stripe to honor her charitable work for those in need in the team. 

What Does The Black Stripe On NBA Jerseys Mean 2

The second moment was for the passing of a player’s sister on the Washington Huskies team. Chyna-Isaiah Thomas’s sister was just 20 when she suffered a tragic car accident. That was the day right before her little brother’s final tournament, so the team decided to wear the black stripe to pay accolades to Thomas.

Another unfortunate event was the loss of the Portland Trail Blazers team and Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen in 2018. He used to be so enthusiastic about the sport and spent a big love for his team.

Busy as he was, he still managed to spend a lot of time taking care of his members. His passing was a significant loss to the team, and they wore the black stripe to represent condolence to their great father figure.

2014-2015 Season

It was in 2015 when the Utah Jazz team wore the black stripe for tributing to Hot Rod Hundley, a devoted Los Angeles Lakers team member.

He had served the team for seven years, from 1958 to 1963, and showed excellent performance. After his death at old age in 2015, the Utah Jazz team wore black stripes during the season to commemorate his admirable talent. 

There are more moments when NBA members wore these black stripes to pay tribute to great people in basketball. This profound act has done such a meaningful thing as it shows that they always treat members like their family, and no one is forgotten.

Is The Black Stripe On The Only Way For The NBA To Represent Condolence? 

The black stripe on NBA jerseys is not the only way many teams use it to remember outstanding people. For instance, the Lakers wore a black patch with the initials JB to honor their beloved owner Jerry Buss and the initials KB in memory of Kobe Bryant on his tragic death. 

What Does The Black Stripe On NBA Jerseys Mean 3

The Rockets also used a green and blue patch to remember Sasha, their coach Kevin McHale’s daughter, when she unluckily passed away.

Related article:

What Is A Loose Ball Foul In Basketball? [Updated Explanation 2021]

What is ISO in Basketball? Tips To Master ISO for Beginners


Hopefully, this article gives you the answer to what does the black stripe on NBA jerseys mean

The NBA has done such great work to pay tribute to those iconic people. By dressing the black stripes on their players’ jerseys and reminding them of their significant contribution, those legendary figures will always stay.

There are more moments to name, so if you are keen on learning about that, go searching and share with us.

Reference Source: NBA players and referees will wear black bands on their uniforms to honor David Stern


Leave a Comment