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Report: NBA to make all “heritage” jerseys sleeved ones next season

Jan 1, 2014, 1:59 PM EDT

Boston Celtics v Portland Trail Blazers Getty Images

Portland’s “Rip City” jersey.

The Pistons’ cool “Motor City” jerseys. A number of teams have alternate “heritage” jerseys.

Next season those will all be sleeved jerseys, reports Chris Haynes of

For the 2014-15 season, the heritage jerseys of NBA teams will be converted to sleeved jerseys, a league source informed The source spoke on the condition of anonymity due to the plan being subject to change leading up to next season, but it’s “highly unlikely,” the source explained….

There’s reluctance by some teams to switch up their look, we’re told. However, this is something the league wants to occur and there’s more teams in favor of the change than ones that are not, another source said.

If you hate the sleeved jerseys… sorry. The league likes them and they are not going away.

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I’ll give you two reasons they are sticking around. First, the league thinks they can sell more jerseys because there are people that wouldn’t buy (and most shouldn’t wear) a tank top but they would buy a sleeved jersey. Early sales of the sleeves are pretty good, according to reports. Second, when advertising comes to NBA jerseys (and it will) this is more real estate for ads that don’t become too obtrusive.

This trend is going to be around for a few years, and at least in a small Christmas Day sample size the sleeves didn’t seem to impact shooting.

  1. gabyfeliciano7 - Jan 1, 2014 at 2:30 PM

    Well LeBron James said he’s teammates were complaining about there shots with the sleeves

  2. maximusprime107 - Jan 1, 2014 at 3:58 PM

    Would it be so bad to just make the sleeved jerseys for fans and not make the players wear them on court? They look so stupid out there, but I can see the appeal to a fan wanting one for the reason you used, not wanting a tank top.

    • antistratfordian - Jan 1, 2014 at 6:52 PM

      They think that people are less likely to buy them if the players don’t play in them. They might be right about that. They also think that fans over a certain age would only consider two jersey options A) no jersey at all or B) sleeved jerseys. They might be right about that too.

      I think it’s fine as long as they’re not forced in front of our eyeballs too often.

      • philtration - Jan 1, 2014 at 9:55 PM

        The NBA wants sleeves on the jersey so they will have room for advertising when they force that nonsense on us too. Give them time and ALL of the jerseys will be with sleeves.
        They won’t be happy until the NBA looks like some Euro league pickup game.
        What other reason would they have for this?

      • antistratfordian - Jan 2, 2014 at 3:38 PM

        They are probably uncomfortable with the fact that even during the NBA playoffs – in the middle of the NFL offseason – that NFL jerseys still outsell NBA jerseys. That Wes Welker’s Broncos jersey was still outselling every NBA star’s jersey (las vegas review-journal).

        They are assuming – or maybe they have learned through focus groups – that, among other things, the lack of sleeves is a deterrent.

        I think the extra area for future advertisement is more of a secondary concern, but I could be wrong about that.

  3. saint1997 - Jan 1, 2014 at 4:05 PM

    Why do they have to do that? Integrate the jerseys in if you must but those are really really good jerseys and fun, just like the throwbacks

    • shen90 - Jan 1, 2014 at 6:01 PM

      It’s easily my favorite Blazer jersey and the league just made it so I can never against watch a Blazer game when they use those jerseys. I couldn’t force myself to watch any NBA on Christmas for the first time in years because those damn sleeves. Looks like I am going to have to start watching college ball only pretty soon.

  4. minnesotablizzard - Jan 1, 2014 at 4:54 PM

    I don’t know anyone that thinks those stupid sleeved jerseys look good.

  5. capsfan14 - Jan 1, 2014 at 4:55 PM

    I thought the response from both fans and players alike was generally negative about these jerseys? It’s almost as if they are trying to get us warmed up to these ugly jerseys. Wouldn’t be surprised if they want sleeved jerseys to be the norm in a few years.

    • shen90 - Jan 1, 2014 at 6:02 PM

      Remember the talks a year or two ago that NBA wanted to sell add space on jerseys and use a more Euro style, well this is phase 1.

  6. jw1991 - Jan 1, 2014 at 5:47 PM

    I’d rather wear a tanked one with a long sleeve or short sleeved tshirt than a sleeved jersey.
    “They’re tacky and I hate them”

    • money2long - Jan 1, 2014 at 10:15 PM

      um exactly. which is what ive always thought.

  7. bballhistorian - Jan 1, 2014 at 6:24 PM

    Welcome to the Adam Silver era, folks!

  8. brento1499 - Jan 1, 2014 at 7:59 PM

    yeah, the sleeved unis look like trash, but the nba already has a million and one problems. what’s one more?

  9. borisalessandri - Jan 1, 2014 at 8:13 PM

    As a fan I like the sleeved jerseys. They’re like the baseball and soccer jerseys I wore as a kid. It’s a over-glorified tshirt that comes with a hefty price tag, but I’ll gladly pay it without hesitation and add it to the rest of Spurs jersey collection.

  10. mightbegoingtohellforthis - Jan 1, 2014 at 8:13 PM

    The WNBA and Women’s college basketball should be wearing “sleeved” jerseys also.

  11. 00maltliquor - Jan 1, 2014 at 8:28 PM

    Damn all you guys for buying the sleeved jerseys! Now look what you created! Next up…make ’em wear pants. Smh

  12. ptownbearsfan420 - Jan 2, 2014 at 12:36 AM

    Wasnt it actually a ruuuule before that you couldnt wear sleeves under your jersey?? Now its mandatory? Because that makes so much sense…

  13. 32magicman - Jan 2, 2014 at 8:34 AM

    Go away now sleeves please! Experiment failed!!

  14. Samuel - Jan 2, 2014 at 12:29 PM

    Reblogged this on But at the end of the day… and commented:
    Adidas needs to stop it. I actually like what Portland and Detroit have for their heritage jerseys but this is going to ruin them.

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