Alright, it’s time for me to address this. Sleeved jerseys are coming to 2/3 of NBA teams this year—if only for a few nights a season. I’d like to say that it’s just another change that people will get over and that we should all adjust to, but I’m drawing the line. Players can wear whatever Westbrookian getup they so choose in interviews, but the game itself is not about keeping up with fashion.
I will never be able to take the league’s Kevin Garnetts and Zach Randolphs seriously if they have to mean mug in a baby-T. When I look at a player, I want to think of the sport’s gritty heritage and all the players that have donned that battle garb before them, not Simon Cowell, laundry day, and soccer. These new uniforms are unmistakably mistakes.
Not only that, they can’t be comfortable. Have you ever tried shooting hoops with a skin tight shirt snaking up your armpit? It’s not fun. Well… it’s still fun, but you’d prefer to be skins by the end of the game. Golden State was the first team to debut the new look last season, to the chagrin of Stephen Curry, who sarcastically claimed that he couldn’t wait to try them out. He would later refer to the sleeves as ‘ugly’.
To get a rough estimate of what a sleeved Blazer jersey would look like, search no further than the 2013 Las Vegas Summer League. They looked fine in a glorified scrimmage, but do we really want to see the Blazers perform in P.E. reminiscent uniforms at the Moda Center? Quite frankly, I’m against it.
Michael Jordan pushed the NBA past the short shorts era for the better, but I don’t see this sleeved experiment being a success. It’s the redheaded stepchild of Casual Fridays. In my opinion, the league would do well to recognize this before we are forced to walk down the slippery slope of progressive fashion. If you feel differently, let it be known.