ESPN’s great “UniWatch” columnist Paul Lukas has the rundown of this year’s NBA uniform changes, which mostly consist of fiddling with the collars and adopting a new fabric that makes beviled numerals difficult, though my hometown Eighth Largest Economy in the World Warriors rightly take “makeover of the year honors” with all-new but retro duds.
Lukas mentions that six teams will participate in the league’s “Noche Latina” program, meaning they’ll have “Spanish modifications” on their jerseys for some games in March. And those modifications are … WEAK!
The six teams’ “Spanish” names are: Los Bulls, Los Lakers, El Heat, Los Suns, Nueva York and Los Spurs. Come on, NBA. Most of these are not tough to translate.
I don’t know what you do with Lakers, which isn’t a word I’ve ever heard in English unless it was referring to the basketball team. Evidently it means a boat or fish found in a lake. I’m OK with Los Lakers. I’m also OK with punting on Knicks, which is short for Knickerbockers, which in the sense used by the Knicks means New Yorker, not knee-length pants. Nueva York is fine.
But “Los Bulls”? Really? Does the NBA think fans would be baffled by “Los Toros”? Baseball gets this right. The Giants and Brewers, for example, become Los Gigantes and Los Cerveceros on their Latin heritage days. They don’t go for the cheezy Spanglish names. Los Soles, El Calor and — I had to look this up and I love it — Las Espuelas would make great jerseys.
Throwing the word “Los” in front of an English word is some weak Gringo shit, NBA. It’s like saying, “Yeah, I speako Español.” La NBA can do better.