Sleeved jerseys are all the rage lately in the NBA. In addition to a number of teams adding a sleeved alternate jersey into their rotation, the NBA has used sleeved uniforms for special events like the All-Star Game and Christmas Day. Last night was Noche Latina night between the Heat and Spurs and, once again, the NBA turned to a sleeved jersey to celebrate the occasion.
Unfortunately for the NBA, its brightest star is against its latest trend. After a poor night in which he went just 6-for-18 from the field, LeBron James suggested that the sleeves may have had something to do with his less than stellar performance.
“I’m not making excuses, but I’m not a big fan of the jerseys,” said James. “Every time I shoot it feels like it’s just pulling right up underneath my arm. I already don’t have much room for error on my jump shot. It’s definitely not a good thing.”
This is isn’t the first time that the sleeved jerseys have affected King James. On Christmas Day, James went 0for-4 from three-point range and during the All-Star Game he was 0-for-7 from beyond the arc.
Despite LeBron’s issues with the sleeves, NBA commissioner Adam Silver seems to think they aren’t affecting play.
“We know that shooting percentages are virtually exactly the same for games in which we have sleeved jerseys and teams in which the guys are wearing conventional jerseys,”Silver said. “So I’m pretty comfortable from a competitive standpoint that it’s having no impact.”
The NBA has experimented with new things before and ditched them due to player backlash, such as the failed new ball experiment in 2006, so it will be interesting to see if the sleeved jerseys stay or go past this season.