The NBA says they might dump sleeved jerseys, the sartorial abomination that has become the bane of players, fans and fashionistas everywhere.
And LeBron James, one of the loudest critics of the hideous shirts, might be the man to make it happen.
Commissioner Adam Silver will grant James’ wish for a sitdown meeting to talk League business after the season, and if enough players want the sleeved jerseys gone, Silver promises he’ll act accordingly.
Per Bleacher Report:
“Ultimately, if the players don’t like them, we’ll move on to something else,” Silver said. “I don’t regret doing it for this season. But it’s intended to be something fun for the fans and the players. And if it becomes a serious issue, as to whether players should be wearing sleeves, we’ll likely move onto other things.”
“I’m not a big fan of the jerseys, not a big fan of them,” James told reporters after struggling in a loss to the San Antonio Spurs on March 6. “I’ve got to figure something out the next time I wear the short-sleeved jerseys.”
The comments, coming from the NBA’s greatest player, reverberated at Olympic Tower. The NBA could brush off the barbs from writers and role players. But when LeBron speaks, the league listens. Silver admitted the remarks struck a chord.
“It did,” he said. “I’ve had conversations with LeBron about the jerseys, and we agreed that we would park the issue until the end of the season. And that once the season is over, he expressed an interest in sitting down with me and Sal LaRocca (the NBA’s president of merchandising) and discussing his point of view.”
Hilariously, the NBA has stats that prove the shirts aren’t dramatically affecting shooting percentages — through March 20, teams were shooting .456 from the field while wearing the sleeved jerseys, while those same teams shot 46.1% from the field while rocking the traditional tank-tops.
Though it’s not a major source of revenue, it should be noted that the sleeves have proven to be popular with jersey-buying fans.
The point remains, however, that players don’t like how they look in sleeved jerseys, and many find them uncomfortable.
Only you can save the on-court dress for all NBA players, LeBron. Don’t let us down.