When I first saw a photo of the proposed short-sleeve jersey from adidas that NBA teams have been wearing both toward the end of last season and during the summer league, I couldn’t help but say “What?”
I am by no means a dedicated NBA fan, but having played hoops all my life along with my personal appreciation for the college game, I really don’t know what the league is trying to do here.
Every single time I lace up my sneakers for a pickup game, wearing a cutoff shirt is an absolute must.
It is the only way that I am able to stay cool and if wearing a T-shirt is unavoidable, it sure puts a damper on my enjoyment playing the game.
According to ESPN Sports Business Reporter Darren Rovell, the NBA is looking to make the idea popular throughout the league in order to sell more jerseys.
In what is probably an attempt to catch up to the NFL in a monetary sense, the reasoning makes sense. I just really cannot believe they have to resort to something so off-base to make some extra cash.Rovell says consumers feel more comfortable in the short-sleeve shirt, but I certainly am not one of them.
Adidas ponies up around $35 million a year to provide apparel to the NBA, according to Rovell, so offering each team the option of wearing a short-sleeve uniform seems to be a ploy to show its power. I just hope enough teams say no to the idea and it slowly but surely goes away.
A few players have expressed their displeasure with the trial run of the uniforms, even taking to social media to give their opinion.
“Not sure what adidas is going with… First time ever playing in a basketball game with sleeves… What’d y’all think??” was a tweet sent by Indiana Pacers guard Ben Hansbrough On July 7.
He followed with something a little more direct.
“I agree with everybody about the jerseys… No go. Why bring sleeves in when its never been a part of the game??”Hansbrough tweeted about 40 minutes later.
To be fair, some players, like Golden State Warriors forward Harrison Barnes don’t seem to mind the change. Barnes told the Warriors’ team site he could not wait to wear them in a game.
“I love the fit and style the sleeves give me on the court,” Barnes said.
But honestly, what was wrong with the old school jerseys from the days of NBA legends Michael Jordan, Larry Bird and Magic Johnson? I have a few jerseys hanging in my closet from that era, and with this news I will be sure to hold on to them even tighter.
So please NBA, keep with the history of the game and keep things simple with your apparel choices. Enough players wear sleeves on their lower arms anyway, so if you decide to keep moving forward with this idea it will make them look like they’re wearing sweaters.