NBA’s Sleeved Jerseys Setting A New Bar On Stupid and Greedy


Warning: I am about to agree with LeBron James on something. Hold on to your hats!

Of all the idiotic things the NBA has done over the years, nothing can top this utter mistake known as the sleeved-Euro-jerseys.

Let’s see.

1. Looks stupid
2. Designed solely to make more $$$.
3. Negatively affects performance of players.

Yep, they hit the trifecta.

In case you missed it, LeBron partly blamed the sleeved tops for his poor shooting night in a loss to the Spurs over the weekend.

“I’m not making excuses, but I’m not a big fan of the jerseys,” said James, who had 19 points. “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.”

James said the sleeves affect him on long-range shots, especially 3-pointers. He was quick to point out that the jersey also bothered him on Christmas Day, when he shot 0-of-4 from 3-point range in a win over theĀ Los Angeles Lakers, and during the All-Star Game last month, when he was 0-of-7 on 3-pointers in sleeves.

I don’t know if these things are selling well or not at But at some point, don’t you have to show a little bit of dignity as a league and say: “We’ll use alternate jerseys in honor of hispanic heritage month, but we’re not going to have guys out there in tight fitting scuba shirts!”

Then again, this is a league that changed the best-of-7 format for the NBA Finals to 2-3-2 in order to cut down on travel costs. (Thankfully, the ol’ 2-2-1-1-1 is back this summer).

It’s a league where every bad idea is still given it’s day in front of a board room of clueless, head-nodding, middle managers and marketing wonks.

Ooooh! New synthetic basketball! Let’s DO IT!

Known sexual harasser, and franchise (or league) destroyer Isaiah Thomas might get another chance! SWEET!

Amnesty clauses, pop music blasted over live action, a franchise in Vancouver, crooked refs, and the list goes on and on. C’mon, NBA. You are BETTER THAN ALL THIS!

Maybe new boss Adam Silver is really going to re-think so many of these awful ideas, and get the league back to basketball. As it stands, the NBA is a “lifestyle” league, in which the 12 or so players who matter (and can change a team’s actual fortunes) are permitted to go anywhere they want, or simply hold a team hostage to pull a sign and trade.

And the best players want the best lifestyle, which I don’t begrudge in principle. It just means that places like Washington, Philly, Detroit, Milwaukee and others are totally screwed.

The first, and easiest start to cleaning up the league is to deep-six these spandex tops immediately. It’ll give LeBron one less easy excuse for the rare bad night (I guess he doesn’t think he’s allowed to just say: “I had a bad night.”) but it will more importantly signal to fans that the greedy age of nonsense under David Stern, is coming to a close.


  1. That’s why I always shot better as a “skin’ when we played pickup as “shirts and skins”. In high school games my short shorts always pulled up on my jumpers cuz the tucked in tank gripped the big band around the top of the shorts. I had marginal room for error too. NBA should go shirts and skins and see who shoots better. Then market the skin.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here