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Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Deron Williams and Kevin Durant wear the Nike HyperElite uniform made from recycled plastic bottles.
“Zoned Aerodynamics,” “Dri-FIT” and “AeroSwift” are some of the buzzwords being tossed around in regards to the new Nike Pro TurboSpeed and Hyper Elite uniforms.
If all of that seems like marketing speak, just know this -- the new basketball, track and soccer uniforms are made out of recycled plastic. But not from some mysterious form of plastic you’ve never heard of -- they’re made from regular plastic bottles.
So yes, the likes of Kobe Bryant and Kevin Durant could be throwing it down while wearing a plastic bottle you threw away. Talk about sustainability -- one man’s trash is another man’s Olympic uniform.
The U.S. and Chinese basketball teams will be sporting the Hyper Elite series as they take the court, but don’t worry about China gaining an advantage -- they’ve never won an Olympic medal.
Current NBA players wear uniforms that tip the scales at 20 ounces and are made out of fabric – talk about old-school.
That may not seem like much until you compare them to the new 22 plastic bottle, 14-ounce Hyper Elite uniforms -- roughly 25 percent lighter than current NBA standards, and 58 percent lighter than those worn in the Beijing Olympics. Just think of the overall weight difference if James Harden were to shave his beard...
Nike even went the extra mile for some added pregame motivation and have stamped “American” phrases on the inside of the collars. Think “Land of The Free, Home of the Brave” or “United We Rise.”
The basketball team won’t be the only ones sporting new gear. The track uniforms have gotten the plastic overhaul as well and are now called the Pro TurboSpeed.
What does 1,000 hours of wind-tunnel testing get you? A uniform that’s 0.023 seconds faster over 100 meters than any other previous Nike uniform. That may not seem like much, but in the 2008 Olympic 100m men’s race, Richard Thompson took the silver with a time of 9.89 and American Walter Dix took bronze in 9.91 -- it could have been the difference maker in an event that records race-time windspeed.
The uniforms also make use of a technology that is old news to golfers -- dimples. The uniforms are dimpled in strategic areas to reduce drag and make the athletes faster. Even the inside of the uniform has been altered. Elastics and edge finishes have been moved to the outside leaving the inside flat and completely smooth.
If you’re ready to try out for the 2016 Olympic team, the Hyper Elite jerseys are on sale today, however there's no word on the availability of the Pro TurboSpeed.