The NBA put a bit of controversy into its traditional line up of Christmas games by introducing sleeved jerseys for the teams playing on the day. It turns out the new style of apparel has not met with the approval of NBA players and fans alike, both of who would probably wish for a better gift next year.
So has the NBA´s jersey experiment ended at the first hurdle? Well, you can probably expect the league will sleeve well alone next time (yes we went there). The t-shirt style of the new tops looked a little too much like soccer tops for comfort, and speaking of comfort, several players took to the Twitterverse to let it be known they did not like the new style jersey.
In fact, the biggest player in the world passed comment on the new style and is not impressed. LeBron James was quick to complain about the restrictions of the jerseys, which will probably provide the NBA with a marketing nightmare if the sport´s most bankable star is not on board. LeBron said “It was definitely a different feeling,” before going on to feel bad for his fellow Miami Heat players. James insisted the Heat´s shooters “are already upset” about the Christmas NBA jersey experiment and added “I can’t have my shooters out there worrying about some sleeves and not shooting the ball.”
So are the short sleeve style jerseys here to stay? Despite the general criticism of them we would say cautiously that yes they are. The NBA sent an email to bleachreport hinting that the jerseys have already been used extensively this season with no complaint and that they would be here to stay. The league also said it was up to the player to choose a size and comfort level that suited them.
While some of the promotional photos may depict the jerseys as tight … – just like with the tank top jerseys – players select their size and will wear what’s most comfortable for them on court. The league would never want players to feel restricted or allow for a jersey design that hinders their performance or makes them play at any less than 100%. I think we can agree that there is no way the NBA would ever put a player in something that would negatively impact his performance or ability to play at the highest level.
Multiple teams have played in short sleeves this season already and there have not been any complaints in terms of performance level. If Chris Paul scored 47 points wearing the Clippers short-sleeve jersey, then it’s safe to say the jerseys don’t inhibit a player’s ability.
Certainly, the Adidas manufactured tops look okay, if a little nondescript, featuring a large team logo on the front and little else. We imagine the style is easier to roll off the production line and cheaper to make, which could lead to lower prices for fans, but that remains to be seen. In the time being it is probably wise to get used to seeing sleeved jerseys in the NBA.