Steve Starks can hear the toes tapping.
The people want to see some uniforms.
It was one of the topics the Utah Jazz president discussed on a Wednesday radio interview on 1280 The Zone — arguably the hottest of all. While he talked about renovations at Vivint Smart Home Arena and the direction of the team, nothing is quite moving the offseason needle post-free agency like the promise of new Nike jerseys.
“We’re really excited about what is going to be shown to our fans, and our players are excited by what they’ve seen as well,” he said. “I think when everybody sees it, you’re going to be really excited and be proud of it.”
Precious few details have been revealed. Starks wouldn’t even discuss the color schemes of the new look, which has been subject to wide-ranging Twitter speculation.
However, fans can expect an introduction to at least two of the jerseys “very soon,” with two others to be released later but before the season.
What is known is that Nike will have four jersey variations for each team: an “Association” edition (traditional home colors), an “Icon” edition (traditional road colors), an athlete-inspired look and a community-inspired look. Nine NBA teams already have released Association and Icon looks, so it stands to reason that would be the first versions released by the Jazz in the coming weeks.
Starks said Utah still is testing samples sent by Nike, and the team also is working on adding a patch for the first time.
One reason to get excited is that Association and Icon jerseys no longer just will be for the road and home games respectively. Home teams will dictate what colors they wear, giving crowds access to greater uniform variety in home games.
“We may see more other jerseys that we wouldn’t have worn in the past,” Starks said. “We think the variety will be unique and that people will like that. We’ll have more control over it for our fans to see it it.”
Starks said the Jazz have worked directly with Nike on designs and concepts, and Nike employees have been in Salt Lake conducting market research. The end result will be not just the four jerseys for next season, but a multi-year plan for a series of jersey releases, he said.
Utah hopes to build off of what Starks said was a record year for the franchise’s merchandise sales. One jersey concept in particular, he said, could get fans talking for a rare design.
“We said, ‘Hey let’s push the envelope a little bit,’” he said. “We challenged [Nike] to say that we have one of the hippest and, in a lot of ways, coolest uniforms in the NBA. So there’s a concept that we’ll be able to show at the right time that people will absolutely love. And it will be different.”
Twitter, of course, has no embargoes on releasing jersey designs. Some enterprising fans have been shooting out their own concepts on social media.
Those designs get noticed by the Jazz, Starks said. He’s even brought some of them to Nike.
“We don’t have the market cornered on great ideas,” he said. “We love that people do that.”