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Why I Did That: The New Atlanta Hawks Jerseys

Rembert Browne wants to explain why the new Hawks jerseys were meant to bring us together, not tear us apart.

Welcome to Why I Did That, a series in which someone explains why they did something — typically a “something” that’s the cause of much debate. The first installation of Why I Did That comes from Grantland CFO Rembert Browne, who wants to explain why he designed the Hawks jerseys the way he did, and why they were meant to bring us together, not tear us apart.

It started off as a leak and then became an official announcement. The 2015-16 Atlanta Hawks jerseys have arrived, and let me be the first to say this: Yes, I killed it. 

As the founder, president, owner, and chief diversity officer of the Atlanta Hawks Basketball Club, it is natural that I designed these jerseys. It took all of seven minutes to finish my art, because the vision was clear as day. Look at what I have done.

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Got eeeeeem, as they say. Nailed it. Flawless victory.

As soon as the news went public, I closed my eyes, smiled, and lay down. I finally knew how Jesse Eisenberg felt when Facebook went live. Another creation that no one will ever have issue with, I thought. But a few hours into my nap, I woke up. I was too excited. I had to check the praise for my art. I did the obvious thing and searched Twitter for “Hawks Jersey Designer Today Is Your Day.”

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Um, what? It couldn’t be. I kept looking around Twitter. What I saw was confusing, to say the least.

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WTF, RoFlo?

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WAIT, I MADE THE CLIPPERS JERSEY TOO …

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Thank heavens someone out there has some sense.

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Thanks, but few? LIKE, ONE OF THREE?

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TRASH?

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ATROCIOUS? NEON FETISH?

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Nasty like good nasty? LIKE “MISS JACKSON, IF YOU’RE NASTY”?

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Is this an insult? Also, WHY DOESN’T ANYONE UNDERSTAND APOSTROPHES?

I couldn’t believe it. Something as beautiful as my uniform art vision had become the latest victim of the backlash cycle. When I saw my dear Hawks players begrudgingly modeling the jerseys, it looked as if they’d caught wind of the negative spin cycle.

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They don’t look happy? Why are they so unhappy? All I see is:

Jeff Teague: This is some bullshit.

Kyle Korver: I wonder what Jeff is thinking. I bet he thinks this is bullshit.

Kent Bazemore: I am no. 15.

And then it gets worse.

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WHO IS NO. 16, ABCABC? IF YOU DIDN’T WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW IT WAS YOU, KENT, JUST SAY SOMETHING.

So what now? I spent an entire commercial break designing these beauties, and now the world is against me. You want to know why I designed them like this — why I did that, if you will? Here’s why.

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First off, the triangles? Why triangles? If you knew anything about anything, you’d know these aren’t triangles. They’re pyramids. Excuse me for going to Egypt, seeing the pyramids, and being like, Yeah, they did that right.

These Atlanta Hawks deserve pyramids. So I gave them pyramids with gradations of shading. Notice the design that the darker pyramids make. They create a sleek series of arrows pointing down. Yeah, you didn’t see that at first, did you? Well, that’s what’s going on. And if my critics knew anything about basketball, they’d know exactly what chaos that’s going to cause. It’s going to distract the defender, who will assume they’re supposed to look down. But guess what, defender? You’re about to get beat off the dribble. While you’re busy being hypnotized into looking at Mike Scott’s feet, you’ve failed to remember the cardinal rule of defense: Follow the ball, not the man. 

And just like that, advantage, Atlanta Hawks.

As for the neon. Yeah, you’re definitely right, East Coast basketball liberal media elite. Light green has never worked for an Atlanta Hawk. Never.

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Pete Maravich. Yeah this guy was terrible. What an idiot Pistol was, running around the court, dropping 50 points a game, looking like Spotify.

THE NEON IS DOPE. AND IF YOU CAN’T SEE THAT, MAYBE YOU’RE COLOR-BLIND. OR RACIST.

Finally, “ATL.”

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OK, I’ll be honest. This was a mistake. I have no idea how this got in there. I was a few glasses of fernet deep at my house, playing around with my tool kit. I found a wrench and was like, “This wrench crazy.” Then I started singing “Look at da flicka da wrench” for 30 minutes. After that, I decided it’d be funny if the “A” in “ATL” looked like this wrench I’d been talking to for two hours.

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I didn’t think they’d actually use it. So that’s on me. But even still, it’s kind of fire? Right?

It’s like what Bernie Mac said:

You really don’t understand. And let it be known, I ain’t scared of you motherfuckers. They say “ball is life,” but so is art. Art ball is life. It truly is, and if you can’t see that, maybe you need to take a deep look at your own life’s canvas. And check its privilege. And then pull out your wallet, and maybe go buy a new canvas.