The Minnesota Timberwolves revealed a special alternate jersey that honors Minneapolis native, Prince, ESPN reports. The Nike-designed uniforms aptly feature a deep purple base with light purple lettering, while the design includes a couple of references to Prince’s Purple Rain album cover.
The lettering on the jersey mimics the album art font, while the stud pattern on the right shoulder echoes the jacket Prince wore on the cover photo. Capping it all off is a small paisley marker hidden beneath the flap of the shorts, while on the bottom left leg is an “MPLS” stamp, the abbreviation Prince liked to use for his hometown.
The Timberwolves will wear the jerseys during eight games this season, including five at home. Nike first pitched the team a Prince jersey for last season, but the Wolves decided it was too soon after Prince’s death in 2016, while they were also focusing on a wider team rebrand. The Prince jerseys were prioritized for the 2018 – 2019 season (among Nike’s other ideas was a jersey honoring another Minnesota music legend: Bob Dylan), and the Wolves and Nike designed the kits with help from Prince’s estate, his musical collaborators and even his youth basketball coaches.
“From a young age, Prince enjoyed basketball – as a player and a fan,” the late musician’s estate said. “From his days playing at Bryant Junior High and Central High in South Minneapolis, through countless pick-up games while on the road with bandmates, he enjoyed the camaraderie and competition of the game.”
While Prince’s love of basketball was probably best immortalized in a Chapelle’s Show skit, the musician was a devoted fan as well. He frequently sat court-side at Wolves games during the Nineties, and in 2015, after the Minnesota Lynx won the WNBA championship, he hosted a private three-hour concert for the team.