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What's with the Sleeves?

Ezra Shaw

Call it the evolution of the game, call it the evolution of the market, but the trend of NBA uniforms seems to be moving away from the tank top jerseys I grew to love and now it's edging more towards what some ad executive thinks a future version of a NBA jersey would look like. It started with the Warriors last year, now the Suns, Clippers and Lakers are getting in on the action along with who knows who else. At least these will only be the alternate jerseys and not the everyday home and away ones. These new jerseys to me resemble a weird cross between Slamball and the outfits from the movie the Running Man. Hey guys, the Running Man didn't happen until 2017-- you're at least 4 years early.

Sleeves on an NBA jersey? Sleeves really? I have one simple question for you, why? NFL jerseys have sleeves, MLB jerseys have sleeves, NHL jerseys have sleeves, but why on an NBA jersey? The reason is obvious for the NFL and NHL -- to cover their massive shoulder pads. Major League Baseball started so long ago, their uniform seemed to evolve from standard shirts. There is absolutely no real reason for an NBA jersey to have sleeves. If you have an NBA jersey with sleeves just call it a shirt. Or you can do one better just put buttons on the front and call it a baseball jersey.

The sneaky reason they may be putting them on is advertising. I mean think about it, of the major North American sports the uniform with the least amount of space is the NBA uniform, hands down. There has been an explosion of commemorative patches (not just limited to the NBA). This seems like an admirable venture, whether it's to let people know of a team anniversary, to support a noble cause, or honor a fallen teammate. Maybe that's why they would claim they need the extra space. Seems to me though the league is in search of more revenue. They already have arenas named after the highest bidder. The NBA recently announced that they would allow advertising to be placed on the court and above the backboard this season. Arena naming rights have been around for a long time in all leagues and I understand that, but there should be something sacrosanct about the jersey. Jerseys aren't supposed to be billboards. They're supposed to instill a sense of pride in your team and in your city. The league got rebuffed on this idea once before. I hope they don't try again.The only writing on the jerseys should be the team name on the home one and the city name on the road one, preferably Seattle.