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Mark Cuban didn’t like sleeved Christmas jerseys, but they didn’t really impact shooting

Dec 27, 2013, 1:11 PM EDT

Dallas Mavericks v Golden State Warriors Getty Images

It was the first question about all the games on Christmas Day:

What did you think of the Christmas Day NBA sleeved jerseys?

Personally, not a huge fan. It’s not the sleeves, those don’t bother me (I know some people hate sleeves, I just see Patrick Ewing at Georgetown). However, the oversized logos and the color schemes didn’t work.

But I liked them a lot more than Mavericks owner Mark Cuban — he told ESPN he hated them.

“Hated them,” Cuban said before the Mavs hosted the San Antonio Spurs on Thursday night. “I just thought it made our guys look more like a high school wrestling team or a college wrestling team…

“I could have thought of better ways to sell [the short-sleeved jerseys] and a lot of different ways by having them in a casual-wear situation,” Cuban said. “We would have been better off, if we want people to wear them casually, to get the trainers and everybody else to wear them to show them in a realistic setting. So I would have done it a little differently, but we’ll see what happens.”

There were two arguments against these uniforms. I get Cuban’s argument that they didn’t look good and I’ll trust his judgment on marketing over mine.

The other was that they would impact shooters — LeBron James even had talked about players being concerned this would somehow change their shots.

That didn’t happen.

Jared Dubin broke down the numbers at and found that the shooting numbers were pretty close to season averages, especially once you accounted for the 10 teams playing and the fact two were day games (in the NBA, day games tend to be sloppy). Two point shooting was down slightly but hook shook shots went in at a much higher rate.

First, only two-point jumper conversion rate went down; three-point field goal percentage was actually up by 0.1 percent yesterday when compared with the rest of the season. Second, the first three games of the Christmas slate featured teams playing without star players. The Chicago Bulls were – as they’ve been for the last few weeks and will be for the rest of the season – missing Derrick Rose. The Brooklyn were without Brook Lopez. The New York Knicks squared off against the Oklahoma City Thunder minus Carmelo Anthony. And the Los Angeles Lakers were once again down Kobe Bryant for their game against the Miami Heat. Having those players would obviously have affected field goal percentage on Christmas day….

Considering all these factors, it seems unlikely that the sleeved jerseys threw shooting performance off by very much, if at all, despite Beno Udrih’s assertions to the contrary. It’s far more likely that the absence of certain star players, along with the simple randomness associated with using such a small sample is behind the slightly lower shooting numbers on Christmas day.

So it wasn’t the shooting, it was just they were ugly.

  1. davidly - Dec 27, 2013 at 1:47 PM

    Taking the night’s averages for shots vs. the same for the season does nothing to answer whether or not the sleeves impacted the shooters. First you’d have to narrow the sample size to “the shooters”. Then, you’d have to ask them what they think in addition to assessing their numbers. Otherwise it’s just junk science.

    And maybe it doesn’t impact all the shooters equally? But asking the shooters who had poor games would be the place to start: Steph Curry was down 16 percentage points; Harrison Barnes down 21; Danny Green down 20; Jason Terry 40. And there were several others.

    And, still, the sample size is too small.

  2. golfrangeman - Dec 27, 2013 at 3:13 PM

    Agree sample size way to small. LBJ said it bothered him but I think that’s because his shirt was 3 sizes to small

    • fanofevilempire - Dec 28, 2013 at 8:05 AM

      hey Cuban, STFU!

  3. northstarnic - Dec 27, 2013 at 3:37 PM

    Ridiculous outfits, but seems appropriate. When are they going to bust out the zubaz/fluorescent camo to complete the look? Gotta love the marketing mentality here- make something really lame and expect that, simply because it’s different, the consumers will eat it up. Sadly, they are probably right.

  4. northstarnic - Dec 27, 2013 at 3:43 PM

    If there was any question that the NBA is the softest group of pro athletes, look no further than the total acceptance of the spectators/willingness of the players to use the silly sleeves as an excuse for underperforming. Unreal. It boggles the mind.

  5. longtallsam - Dec 27, 2013 at 7:13 PM

    I have played and followed basketball for a long time, but I must ask, “What is a ‘hook shook shot'”?

    • fanofevilempire - Dec 28, 2013 at 8:06 AM


  6. teedraper - Dec 28, 2013 at 1:09 PM

    Just stick to the facts Helin. No one cares for your opinion. Goodness gracious you love to opine about everything & you suck at it.

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