Golden State’s New Alternate Uniform Is Unlike Anyone Else’s

The Golden State Warriors have what I consider to be one of the NBA’s best looks. One so good that this season their athleticism finally matched their aesthetic appeal, turning the Warriors into one of my must-see teams (despite losing their last four games). Today the team unveiled an all-yellow alternate uniform that keeps its standard look intact — Bay Bridge icon on the jersey, with pinstripes on the shorts as an homage to the suspension bridge, too. There is one huge difference: built-in sleeves.

The San Jose Mercury News wrote about the uniforms today ahead of its live-streamed 2 p.m. PT press conference on the West Coast and unveiled most the pertinent information you’d need. Seriously, go read it once you’re done here. But here’s an interesting nugget, coming from team president Rick Welts, who believes “every team” will have some iteration of uniform with sleeves in the future.

“In the early ’90s, I was part of the transition from short shorts to longer shorts,” said Warriors president Rick Welts, who established a reputation as a pioneer in his decades working in the NBA office.
“We certainly heard from a lot of basketball traditionalists that short shorts were sacrosanct to the basketball uniforms the way they should be. I’m not foolish enough to think some won’t think we’re messing with tradition. But I think it’s going to be really well received. Over time, I wouldn’t be surprised if every team has one.”

Here’s the key for the uniforms, one that looks good on paper but hasn’t seen game action yet: the sleeves’ range-of-motion. Sure, some people can shoot the lights out with a T-shirt under their jerseys — I’m thinking first of Delonte West during St. Joe’s undefeated run in 2003-04 — but the shirt can snag on the shoulder and ruin a shot, almost acting like a brake. Adidas says the shirt’s fit eliminates that problem and looking at the first picture, there’s a channel right on the shoulder that’s separate from sleeve or uni top that would suggest to be the difference maker. Considering adidas presented its idea in August 2011 to the team, according to the report, this issue has been discussed early and often by now. Will this become the new standard or will this be like the “new” basketball the NBA tried to use in 2006? I’ll say this — it looks pretty good, and follows the trend of other sports incorporating compression shirts as part of the uniform. We’ll see if Welts is right about the larger trend.

Do you like this look?

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