Exactly a month before the 2014 NBA All-Star Game is set to take place in New Orleans, LA, adidas has unveiled the uniforms and warmups that they designed for the festive, not-quite-mid-season event.
Not surprisingly—but definitely most strikingly—this season’s All-Star Game uniforms are adorned with sleeves.
“For us, we looked at the landscape of basketball,” says Chris Grancio, Global Head of Basketball Sports Marketing at adidas. “We saw players playing in t-shirts everywhere, fans on the street [wearing sleeves] and NBA players in practice. So for us, we thought it was a great opportunity to introduce something new and innovative.”
Less than a year ago, the Golden State Warriors debuted an adidas-designed sleeved uniform in a regular season game. Since then, a slew of NBA teams have adapted the look on alternate uniforms, and a handful of NCAA teams wear sleeves as well. Most notably, on Christmas every single team that played wore sleeved uniforms.
“It took us a long time to develop it, to make sure the sleeves perform the way we needed them to,” says Grancio. “The way we’ve engineered the gusset, there’s no resistance. It plays and feels like just like a regular jersey.”
Typically, adidas uses the All-Star Game as a chance to debut and test new technology and uniforms. Aside from the sleeves, the BIG logo concept, first seen on Christmas Day, is seen on the 2014 All-Star Game uniform. Additionally, colors native to New Orleans, such as purple and green, are infused into the design of the uniform. Woven shorts, first seen at the All-Star Game three seasons ago, are also utilized again.
“Adidas came in in 2007, in Las Vegas, and we introduced a red and blue in a different way. From there, it’s a been a springboard to every single uniform you’ve seen since then,” says Christopher Arena, NBA VP of Apparel, Sporting Goods and Basketball Partnerships. “There’s been one or two design elements or innovations with the uniforms or warmups that we’ve been able to show the world on our biggest stage.”
The jerseys and warmups will be made available to the public, with prices ranging from $80 – 130, at NBAStore.com. Other All-Star apparel will be sold there as well.
The 2014 All-Star Game uniforms and warmups were first seen online earlier today, in the form of blurry photos leaked by a French website.—Tzvi Twersky