Prior to the 2020-21 season, the Toronto Raptors bid goodbye to their jerseys of yore and rebranded with a chevron-centric design that permeates the team’s new aesthetic. As you may have seen, we here at Raptors HQ created a comprehensive ranking of every jersey in Raptors history, up until 2019. With a new era is upon us, we thought it appropriate to provide another round of rankings, this time looking at this season’s fresh crop of jerseys.
Much like our latest round of rankings, we decided on aesthetic and uniqueness as key points when discussing a jersey’s overall score; simply put, if a jersey is ugly and overdone, it will receive a low score in these categories. We made one change this year, however, with the removal of memorability. This time around, we’ve added “wearability” as a third scoring category. A high wearability score means a jersey is fashionable and is more likely to be worn out in public as streetwear. Seeing as this season has yet to play out in full and that the Raptors just completed their rebrand, memorability was removed from the equation.
This year, the Raptors rolled out five uniforms. We’ve got the Association Edition (Home), Icon Edition (Away), Statement Edition (Alternate), City Edition, and the Earned Edition — bringing the Raptors’ total number of uniforms worn to 27 all-time.
As noted, the uniforms were judged using three criteria: Aesthetic, Uniqueness, and Wearability. Both of us — Dylan and Sully — scored each jersey on a scale of 1-to-10 for all three categories, then added up our scores. How do this year’s jerseys stack up against the franchise’s all-time greats? Read ahead to find out!
(Disclaimer: Please know that we appreciate the Raptors design team, and that these are merely our opinions on how each uniform looks.)
Jersey Rank No. 5 — Earned Edition
Dylan Litman: On the court, I actually don’t think these looked quite as bad as everyone on Twitter seems to think they did. That said, when these jerseys are untucked, there is far too much empty space underneath the number on the front. I don’t know about you, but I don’t think “fearsome” or “fashionable” when I see that big blank, purple canvas. To me, the design looks unfinished, uninspired and underwhelming.
Sully Akbari: When these first were leaked on Twitter, I thought to myself “No way. No way the Raptors design team actually came up with that.” Then the Raptors Twitter account and the NBA and Nike released the official look of the jersey months later and it struck a chord. All I wanted was a jersey that simply had a literal Raptor on it, but they stuck with the chevron look. All in all, these look bland — though still unique, with their two-tone purple and black solid colours on the front and back. For those who may have missed it, I think this was a nod to the 1999-2003 Away “TORONTO” jersey on which the front was all purple and the back was all black. At least, I think that’s what they were going for.
- Aesthetic — Dylan: 4 | Sully: 3
- Uniqueness — Dylan: 7 | Sully: 5
- Wearability — Dylan: 2 | Sully: 1
- Jersey Score: 22/60
- All-Time Jersey Rank: A underwhelming jersey score of 22 would place the 2020-21 Earned Edition unis 21st (out of 27) in our all-time Raptors jersey rankings.
Jersey Rank No. 4 — Association Edition (Home)
DL: These jerseys are clean, simple, and inoffensive. I’m a big fan of the diagonal stripe on the shorts, and while typically I don’t enjoy outlines on jerseys, I think the black outline around the text on the front works here. That said, this jersey is seriously lacking in creativity, looking quite similar to some designs the Raptors have used previously. Also, the chevron looks fine, although I’m already getting sick of them! Next year, new vibes, please!
SA: Look, I may be in the minority here, but many Raptors fans from Twitter aren’t too high on these unis from what I’ve seen. They look good but lack any specialness. This is the same colourway as the 2019-20 Earned Edition/candy cane unis, except the colours are inverted from red primary and white chevron to white primary and red chevron. Now, will I rock this jersey out in public? Eh, not so much, unless it was the only thing I had with me to show I’m a Raptors fan.
- Aesthetic — Dylan: 7 | Sully: 7
- Uniqueness — Dylan: 5 | Sully: 5
- Wearability — Dylan: 5 | Sully: 5
- Jersey Score: 34/60
- All-Time Jersey Rank: With a jersey score of 34, the 2020-21 Association unis would be tied with 12 all-time in our Raptors jersey rankings.
Jersey Rank No. 3 — Icon Edition (Away)
DL: Unlike the Association (primarily white) version of this design, I’m not digging the outlines around the text on the front. I think the “RAPTORS’’ on the front should’ve been written in white, with no outline. In my opinion, it would have stood out better on the black chevron. I don’t hate this jersey by any means, but I think it could have been a lot nicer while maintaining the same general design. Also, when I look at this jersey, all I can see is Aron Baynes flubbing layups.
SA: I am a little higher on these than Dylan, as I think these unis are solid. In general, I don’t favour primarily white uniforms, so with these being primarily in Raptors red, that already puts them a little higher in my book. Unlike Dylan, I find the white outline on “RAPTORS” and the jersey number a solid look. In fact, when it comes to words and numbers being placed on dark, solid colours, a white outline is needed to make it pop, and this jersey executed that perfectly. Overall, these are fairly decent away jerseys for years to come (or until the next re-design).
- Aesthetic — Dylan: 4 | Sully: 8
- Uniqueness — Dylan: 5 | Sully: 7
- Wearability — Dylan: 3 | Sully: 8
- Jersey Score: 35/60
- All-Time Jersey Rank: A jersey score of 35 would tie the 2020-21 Icon unis for 11th place all-time in our Raptors jersey rankings.
Jersey Rank No. 2 — City Edition
DL: Every year the Raptors announce new Drake-themed jerseys, and every year I’m underwhelmed. It’s not that these jerseys are terrible — I appreciate the creative risks taken with the claw marks on the shorts — I just think they tried to do a bit too much. The whole ensemble comes off a bit cluttered, and loses sight of the clean aesthetic that can be found in the best Raptors jerseys of the past few years.
SA: This year’s OVO-inspired city jersey looks mediocre but they hit it out of the park with how unique of a uniform it is. First, the outline going around the shoulder and neck is not as uniform as every other jersey ever made. Rather than straight lines, the outline around the shoulder and neck is actually jagged to replicate claw marks, which is pretty neat. Then on the shorts, as Dylan mentioned, there are the asymetrical claw marks, which is something we’ve never quite seen on a jersey before. Again, while they may just look OK, they are nothing if not striking at first glance.
- Aesthetic — Dylan: 6 | Sully: 5
- Uniqueness — Dylan: 8 | Sully: 10
- Wearability — Dylan: 6 | Sully: 7
- Jersey Score: 42/60
- All-Time Jersey Rank: A respectable jersey score of 42 would place the 2020-21 City Edition unis 7th all-time in our Raptors jersey rankings.
Jersey Rank No. 1 — Statement Edition (Alternate)
DL: I’m a much bigger fan of these black alternates than I am of the Raptors’ home and away jerseys. The subtle throwback pinstripes are very cool, and they don’t detract from the elegant simplicity. The red trim around the shoulders is a nice touch as well. The jersey might look better if the text on the front was in plain white with no red outline, but it really doesn’t bother me much. These jerseys definitely have high wearability value, and I would’ve considered buying one, had I actually desired to remember this season.
SA: Sure, maybe the bar is low here, but of the five jerseys the Raptors put out this season, these unis are my absolute favourite. First, there is no chevron, so bonus points there! Second, we’ve got pinstripes! Yes, you can barely see them from afar but they’re there and give the jersey that nostalgic look. Also, the red pinstripes on the sides of the jersey are an excellent touch. Third, the white outline on “RAPTORS” and the jersey number is a perfect way to give this uni the pop that it needs. Last but not least, who doesn’t love the red Jumpman logo patch on the right shoulder of the jersey? Just an immaculate jersey overall.
- Aesthetic — Dylan: 8 | Sully: 8
- Uniqueness — Dylan: 7 | Sully: 8
- Wearability — Dylan: 9 | Sully: 10
- Jersey Score: 50/60
- All-Time Jersey Rank: The 2020-21 Statement unis record the best jersey score with 50 in this year’s jersey ranking edition, which would place it 4th all-time in our all-time jersey rankings.
While the 2020-21 Raptors season continues on, this just about wraps up our jersey rankings for this edition of the Raptors’ uniform rebrand. One more thing: what did you think about our rankings? Sound off in the comments!