NORMAN — Ever since the Thunder arrived in Oklahoma City from Seattle, the organization has attached and intertwined itself with the city’s history.
The Thunder took another step in that direction on Tuesday, when it unveiled four new uniforms for the 2019-20 season.
Three of them are updated versions of past uniforms: OKC’s home whites, its road blues, and an orange uniform similar to previous threads the Thunder have broken out infrequently in the past.
What’s entirely new is a completely different “City Edition,” a design that very clearly invokes the city’s experience during and in the aftermath of the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, the 25th anniversary of which will take place next April 19, during the latter part of the 2019-20 NBA season.
Following is the Thunder’s description of the new uniform, from a release issued early Tuesday morning.
“The uniform design features symbols that represent elements of the [Oklahoma City bombing] memorial. Across the chest, ‘Oklahoma City’ appears in gold-lined letters, with the twin Gates of Time spanning down the side of the jerseys that carry into the shorts.
“The times 9:01 and 9:03 appear within the vents of the shorts. They reflect the innocence of the city at 9:01 before the attack, followed by the time the city began to come together and heal at 9:03. The white on the side of the shorts represents the Reflecting Pool, a shallow depth of water that provides comfort and peace.
“‘Service,’ ‘Honor’ and ‘Kindness’ appear above the jersey’s tag – reflecting the ideals of the Oklahoma Standard, and the manner in which Oklahoma citizens treat one another and their community.”
The primary color of the uniform is a very dark, almost black, shade of gray. Also, in the center of the belt line of the shorts is a depiction of “The Survivor Tree” from the memorial.
The Thunder are also going beyond the unveiling of a new uniform.
The organization announced that it will also be underwriting a permanent exhibit to the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum, “which will highlight examples of the Oklahoma Standard and provide valuable learning tools to deliver that message to local, national and global audiences,” according to the Thunder’s release.
Also according to the release, the Thunder will be “funding free admission to the National Memorial Museum once a month for the year 2020.”
“We are excited about taking our partnership with the Thunder to a whole new level,” said Kim Neese, a survivor of the bombing and chair of the Memorial Conscience Committee. “As the 25th anniversary of the bombing draws near, having Oklahoma City’s team wear this inspirational uniform continues to honor and remember all those impacted.”
The Thunder have a name for each of their new uniforms.
The white model, typically worn at home, that has “OKLAHOMA CITY” emblazoned above the number on the jersey’s front, is called the “Association” uniform.
The blue model, typically worn on the road, is the “Icon” uniform, and comes with “THUNDER” emblazoned above the number.
The orange model is called the “Statement” uniform and is inspired by Oklahoma sunsets. It comes with a large “OKC” emblazoned above the number.