Is Planet Orange turning into a black hole?

Jun 20, 2013, 5:09 PM | Updated: 5:28 pm

So let’s get this straight, when the Phoenix Suns say they want to honor the franchise’s storied history and past, they mean hiring a head coach who played more games for the Utah Jazz (477) than he did with the Suns (468).

While Jeff Hornacek may be beloved in the Valley, his number 14 is hanging in the rafters at Energy Solutions Arena. In Utah.

Are we missing something?

Wednesday afternoon, the internet discovered what could be new logos the team plans on unveiling this season. Three of the four have been seen before, in one variation or another, while one is completely new. What is seen is one main logo along with three alternate-type designs.

There is also a lot of black and not much purple. Sorry, but that’s not the Phoenix Suns.

The Phoenix Suns have forever been known for their purple and orange look. Hell, their arena was known as “The Purple Palace.”

Whether their uniforms had Western-style lettering, a sunburst or simply the city or team’s name, there was always purple. It may not have been the best look, but it was their look.

And now their plan is to look like…ummm…Halloween?

I guess we should have seen this coming.

Last season, the team unveiled a new basketball court that had plenty of black and orange, but not much purple. As an added bonus, the team also donned its mid-90s alternate jersey for a dozen or so games. It was fun to watch the team and reminisce about the good ol’ days, but perhaps we should have seen the signs then.

The team was putting a black look in front of us, conditioned us to not only accept the color scheme, but embrace it. Think they were preparing us for something?

At any rate, I’d be remiss if I didn’t say the new logos actually look pretty good — especially the one with the sunburst as a shadow of an ‘S’. However, the thing with black uniforms and logos is they always look good, unless you are the mid-90s Cleveland Cavaliers, in which case your entire look is a disaster, black or not.

Simply put, if you want to sell merchandise you’d be well served to make it black.

It’s smart. It’s also lazy.

Teams around the country in various different sports have used the trick, and it’s become as cliché as it is predictable and boring. Some squads, like the Arizona Cardinals and Phoenix Coyotes, took what was once a very minor color in their schemes and featured it in alternate jerseys, while others, like Arizona State, decided to add and feature the shade even though it really had nothing to do with the school.

As an aside, this very trend is part of why I was proud the Arizona Wildcats, even with any missteps they may have had (and trust me, there are some) with their new look, didn’t forsake the red, white and blue (and copper, I guess) and bow to style and pressure themselves.

Now, we have not yet seen the team’s new uniforms, and it’s possible purple will still play a prominent role. After all, one of the logos released Wednesday did still have the color in it, and there’s a chance it will still be around when the team takes the court in the fall.

When one cares about its history, it embraces it. That does not mean never changing or adapting to current times, but it’s important not to forget who you are or where you came from in the process.

As reported by Arizona Sports’ Paul Calvisi, a Suns source said the team’s “intent is to build on heritage of brand but get more current.”

That is all well and good, but it’s tough to see how changing the color scheme builds on the brand’s heritage.

What was once the Purple Palace recently turned into Planet Orange, which now appears to be on the way toward becoming a black hole.

And that’s not a good thing.

Penguin Air


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