For the 2014-2015 season, the Portland Trail Blazers’ fan favorite “Rip City” jerseys will be converted to a soccer-style fashion sideshow. It would seem the sleeved bullet could not be dodged forever. This decision was made by the NBA, and not the Trail Blazers’ organization, so if you are like me and do not like this development, please do not contact the Trail Blazers with complaints. Making the pride jerseys look snazzy at the cost of basketball functionality was not their call.
On March 24th, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver told Bleacherreport.com that he would meet with LeBron James (one of the most vocal critics of sleeved jerseys) to discuss potential termination of the campaign.
“Ultimately, if the players don’t like them, we’ll move on to something else,” Silver told Bleacher Report. “I don’t regret doing it for this season. But it’s intended to be something fun for the fans and the players. And if it becomes a serious issue, as to whether players should be wearing sleeves, we’ll likely move onto other things.”
It would seem this discussion was not fruitful. I strongly doubt that sleeves are for fans and players anyway, as the majority of fans seem to find them ugly, and the majority of players seem to find them uncomfortable. Have you ever taken a jump shot in a shirt that is flush with your armpits? Tight sleeves are a nuisance. More likely, the gradually growing sleeved initiative is to create surface area for the ever-looming advertisements on jerseys, but that one is probably still a few seasons off.
New Trailblazers “Pride” uniform pic.twitter.com/b2yM5rkuAp
— darren rovell (@darrenrovell) July 21, 2014
All in all, the Trail Blazers’ design doesn’t look bad, but that statement requires the qualifier: “for a sleeved jersey.” I would wear one in the stands as a novelty in the same way I would wear any other jersey shirt, but neither has a place on the hardwood.