You may know that each day belongs to a specific planet in Vedic Astrology and that each planet has its own mantra. It’s also considered an astrological fundamental that each planet is connected to a specific color or color scheme. People can use this information to create more harmony in their lives by wearing a planet’s color(s) on its day of the week or by regularly wearing the color(s) of a planet whose specific energies are currently desired. Yet, as I’ll explore in this post, there may be another more competitive and rather intriguing possibility involving the planetary colors. If you’re familiar with those colors, feel free to skip the next paragraph, but here’s a quick cheat sheet:
The color of the Moon is white or silver, Mars reps red, Mercury gets green, Jupiter features yellow or saffron, Venus picks pretty pastels, Saturn sports sterner shades, such as dark blue and black, while the Sun blasts a bright orangey pink.
So, yes, there’s a reason Vedic monks wear saffron and why green is considered “lucky” throughout so much of Asia. The connection between color, astrology and fate actually has a long tradition.
As an NBA basketball fan, I’ve observed more than once that the same teams win a disproportionate number of titles for a 30-team league that incorporates features such as a salary cap, revenue sharing and a draft that gives the worst teams the best chance at the top prospects. Not only that, but with only five players on the court at any given time (compared to the much larger numbers of players in a baseball, football or soccer game), theoretically, a star player or two should change the fortunes of any NBA team tremendously.
Yet, the same teams win, win, win, like it’s fated.
Team colors have long been an integral part of organized sports and they make up a memorable element of any NBA franchise’s identity, ranging from jersey colors to the team logo to promotional material and even communal impressions (such as associating the Boston Celtics with the “lucky green” connected to the team’s Irish-inspired nickname).
So, why wouldn’t the same teams, featuring their fortunate color schemes, win much more often? This was easy for me to explore, at least somewhat superficially, as there’s a clear general consensus about the greatest NBA teams.
The Boston Celtics claim the most titles in league history. I personally consider their 67-15 1986 title team, which played in the league’s greatest era and cruised through the playoffs with a record of 15-3, to be the best single-season squad in NBA history. That’s far from the whole story though… back in the late 1950s and 1960s, the Celtics won 11 titles in 13 years, which is a level of consistency that has never been and likely never will be matched in any pro sport. For years, rival sportscasters and columnists would joke, half-bitterly, about the lucky “leprechaun” that seemed to make sure Boston emerged victorious. We all know what color leprechauns are 🙂
“Notice how my mustache adds a flourish of Jupiterian yellow?”
The Los Angeles Lakers boast five titles in the 2000s, which, added to another five during the golden age of the 1980s (and a great 69-13 title season in the early 70s), makes for quite an impressive combination. You can also add a ridiculous number of 2nd-place finishes to the record, as the Lakers ran into a near-unstoppable Celtics squad multiple years in the late 50s and 60s NBA Finals. Known for doing everything big and bold, this Hollywood franchise uses yellow, represented by Jupiter, as its base color, and combines it with flourishes of rich, velvety purple. Some people feel the color purple is related to Saturn, but I think, at least in the present era, it’s more connected with Rahu, as it is so often associated with fame or prestige. (The musician Prince, who has Rahu in his Ascendant and his Moon in the Rahu-ruled constellation of Satabishak, may have the strongest association with the color purple in modern popular culture.)
“Yes, Kareem, we know you’re Muslim… just trust us on this color thing.”
As the home of Michael Jordan, usually considered the league’s greatest player ever — (I’d pick Bill Russell, but this isn’t a sports blog, so I’ll leave it at that) — the Chicago Bulls dominated the 1990s, declaring war on the opposition via their Martian red jerseys and claiming six titles and the best single-season record in NBA history when they went 72-10 in 1996. They’ve recently become competitive again, despite being run by what’s generally considered inept management for well over a decade.
“And I filmed commercials with a comical character who was actually named Mars, just for insurance.”
It’s not just that these are big cities; other major markets haven’t performed nearly as well. The Los Angeles Clippers have played in the same city as the storied Lakers for years, but their blue-themed jerseys and logo have never even taken them past the postseason’s second round. Then there are the New York Knicks and Brooklyn (formerly New Jersey) Nets, who both rep the nation’s biggest market of all, yet have been absolutely title-less since the early 1970s. The Knicks have only won two titles in the team’s 60+ year history, while the Nets have come up empty since joining the NBA in 1976. The Knicks primarily wear dark blue with a little orange thrown in…
However, the Nets literally incorporate a color scheme of black and white.
It’s like they’re from the beginning of the movie “Pleasantville,” before Reese Witherspoon starts fucking everyone and magically creates beautiful colors.
“How did I fall into a time machine? … This is depressing”
“I’ll put some color in that jersey!”
Then there’s Miami, Florida – a great living situation for any star athlete, with no state income tax, enviable weather and a famous party scene. Yet, the Miami Heat (in existence since 1988), may have been weighed down by their dour black-themed uniforms, with only slight flourishes of red and white. Despite frequently luring superstars to their glamorous city, the Heat have only won three titles, and those have been behind the combined play of hall-0f-famers Dwyane Wade and Shaquille O’Neal, coached by the great Pat Riley (2006) and, later, Wade, Chris Bosh and 4-time-MVP LeBron James (2012 and 2013). Yet, ask almost any sports analyst and you’ll hear that the Heat underperformed, considering the ridiculous level of talent assembled in South Beach.
Despite being almost universally considered the greatest player of his generation, James has also failed to win a title during multiple seasons on the Cleveland Cavaliers.
“I’m going to hold the ball and jump up and down until they change these ugly jerseys!”
Meanwhile, the Golden State Warriors won only their second title in over five decades this year after a uniform change to a considerably more Jupiterian color scheme (including some jerseys that are virtually just solid yellow). In fact, while the team’s uniforms have focused on blues and whites for most of the franchise’s history, Golden State’s only other title squad, back in 1975, also wore jerseys that were primarily yellow.
“We also considered yellow body paint for the players, but decided this was enough.”
The San Antonio Spurs are certainly among the most successful recent teams, as 2014 NBA Champions and 2013 runner-ups. They also won titles in 2007, 2003 and 1999. Spur uniforms are primarily grey, which is the domain of Rahu (often referred to as a “smoky” planet). To be fair, I generally associate Rahu with a flashy, ego-driven quality that doesn’t seem to fit the fundamentally rock-solid Spurs. However, Rahu is also connected to deception and psychological gamesmanship – and legendary Spurs coach Gregg Popovich and veteran stars Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker are about as crafty as it gets.
As for the teams that have been around for years and years and never seem to come out winners… my advice is pretty simple: stop rocking browns and oranges, get the dark blues outta town, make the jerseys so bright you can damn near use them as flashlights… and maybe chant the mantra of the day before big games. (Hey, it couldn’t hurt!)
Going even further, with the date and time of the team’s formation (essentially “birth information” for a franchise) and charts for the team’s top players, coach and management, its should be possible to determine which colors will specifically maximize each team’s potential (and which new players or staff fit best with already chosen color schemes). Choosing team colors based on which planets are naturally benefic (as with Jupiter) or competitive (as with Mars) is much better than going about it randomly, but I’d wager that sort of general technique still doesn’t come close to a reasoned, researched analysis that fits a specific organization, roster and community.
As unlikely as it may be, I’d love to see a team actually give this theory a shot – I have a strong feeling it would swish!