VP Says NBA Will Listen If Players Nix Sleeved Jerseys

The recent decision by the NBA to debut sleeved jerseys — in their Christmas Day games and next month’s All-Star game in New Orleans — has met with some friction from certain players. Bleacher Report did an informal poll and only two of the 21 players asked said they’d support wearing the sleeved jerseys on a more permanent basis. Now a league VP says the league will not force players to don the uniforms if it negatively affects their ability to perform on the court.

Sal LaRocca, the executive VP of global merchandising for the NBA told Bleacher Report’s Ric Bucher, “We don’t have any intention to do anything that is going to compromise the play on the court or that the players are against doing.”

Four teams in the NBA currently wearing sleeved jerseys as a more permanent alternate jersey. The Warriors debuted them last season first, and now the Timberwolves, Suns and Clippers have joined them this season in the look.

“All the (four) teams that are wearing them now involved their players in making that decision,” LaRocca added.

But on before the Christmas Day quintuple-header, LeBron James spoke publicly about how the Heat’s shooters were “already upset” about having to wear the league-mandated sleeves on Christmas

“The league is not suggesting they have to fit in a certain way,” [LaRocca] said, “and it’s the same material from the same factory that we’ve used for the last couple of years.”

“If the feedback is that the players don’t want to wear them, we won’t,” LaRocca said. “We are 50-50 partners with the players in everything we do.”

Most reactions we’ve read and seen on Twitter are opposed to the sleeves. It’s both an aesthetic eyesore (from this writer’s perspective at least, since fashion is entirely subjective), and it causes discomfort in the actual players, so we’re in favor of sending the sleeved jerseys to the same place where they’ve got all those synthetic basketballs.

(via B/R)

Do you like the sleeves? Should the NBA ditch them already?

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