The NBA tends to use the “City Edition” uniforms as any excuse to try and shove more merchandise down the fans throat, at the expense of the aesthetics of the game. Im my opinion there have been some truly atrocious sets across the league over the last few season. The Lakers however decided to do it differently.
For the Lakers City Edition uniforms they turned it into a series called the “Lore Series”, where they allow a Laker-great to help design the uniform, in honor of them.
For the 2017-2018 NBA season, the honor was given to Lakers legend Kobe Bryant, the design included elements that reference his reptile nickname the Black Mamba. The black threads feature a snakeskin print in reference to Bryant’s nickname, “The Black Mamba.”
The drop-shadowed numbers are call-backs to the uniforms the Lakers wore during his rookie year. Beneath the leg flap of the shorts are the numbers he wore in his 20-year career: 8 and 24.
In addition, the uniforms feature a nod to the Lakers’ championship legacy: Sixteen starts run down the sides of the shorts — one for each title won by the franchise
For the 2018-19 NBA season, the honor was bestowed upon Lakers legend Magic Johnson. As the on-court architect of the Showtime, Johnson opted to pay homage to that era of Lakers basketball with a purple look that incorporates personal touches.
The purple uniform is complete with the full team name across the front of the chest to go with black trim, and black font and jersey numbers that both have a yellow border.
The jersey and shorts feature pinstripes that read, “3x5xSHOWTIME” to represent the five championships Johnson won with the Lakers, his three MVP Awards and of course name of the uptempo offense he orchestrated.
For the 2019-2020 NBA season, Shaquille O’Neal was given the honor to come up with the look that LeBron and the Lakers will hit the court in. The gold uniform will feature a white Lakers wordmark across the chest with a purple drop shadow.
Featured on the white vertical piping is “M.D.E” standing for “Most Dominant Ever,” which was one of his nicknames. The side panels of the jersey are highlighted with three stars to represent the number of championships Shaq won with the Lakers.
Another old school touch comes in the form of the wishbone collar that is reminiscent of the style jersey the Lakers switched to at the start of the 1999 season.