Yesterday, product shots leaked from a retail location that appeared to show the Sixers’ new “City” edition uniforms.

I spoke with Sixers President Chris Heck earlier today and he confirmed to me that these are in fact one of the Sixers’ new uniforms for 2018-2019. Zack Lowe appears to have had an exclusive to break the news and the story behind them earlier. The Sixers have since unveiled the look themselves, up a few days from when they intended to do so.

So why grey? Why the sweatsuit look?

It’s an homage to Rocky. And with Creed II debuting in November, yet another movie in the series shot in Philly, the Sixers actually worked with MGM to time the launch of the jerseys around the movie’s debut.

“When Hollywood shows up in Philly, that’s a cool thing and we should celebrate that as well,” Heck said.

The grey look, which actually comes in a different material than the current uniforms – breathable cotton, Nike style – evokes the Rocky thing without going overboard. Heck told Lowe that Nike wanted to do a series of three Rocky-inspired uniforms, but the Sixers felt anything other than imagery associated with the man himself would be disingenuous. So, we get these grey kits, which will also come in a white version for the Sixers “Earned Edition” uniforms that are granted to all teams that made the playoffs the previous season. They’ll debut those on Christmas.

The decision to use the Sixers’ secondary mark on the jerseys was intentional, as Heck noted that they wanted to own the authentic grey sweats category with something a little less overt while still immediately recognizable as Philly.

The waist-band is a nod to old-style boxing belts.

Last year, Nike debuted a set of four uniforms for each team – Association, Icon, Statement and City edition  – the former are the Sixers’ White, Blue and Red uniforms, respectively, while the City editions will be replaced each year, which means the popular parchment style jerseys the Sixers wore late last season and into their playoff run(?) won’t be coming back.

For now.

The NBA has weird rules around changing uniforms that really aren’t worth diving deep into, but the Sixers will have to wait two seasons until they can reintroduce that popular getup by replacing either the white, blue or red ones.

So, jersey total: This year the Sixers will wear their white, blue and red uniforms along with the grey and white versions of this new Rocky theme.

Next year, they will introduce a throwback uniform.

I like the look of these Rocky-style ones much better actually on a player than just in a product shot. What do you think?