Skip to content

NBA VP says if players ultimately don’t want to wear sleeved jerseys, league will listen

Jan 27, 2014, 8:44 PM EDT

adidas NBA All-Star Jersey EAST Detail 2 Clipped

The sleeved jerseys the NBA rolled out last season and has expanded the use of this year have gotten a mixed reaction from players and fans alike.

The vote that counts, however, is the one made with dollars spent on them by the fans, and that’s why we saw all 10 teams that played on Christmas Day wearing them, and it’s why the decision was made to go with the sleeves for the All-Star game in New Orleans this season.

The league is a business, but it isn’t one that will sacrifice on-court product for a short-term money grab. So, if over time a majority of players express their unhappiness with the sleeves, the NBA might listen.

From Ric Bucher of Bleacher Report:

“We don’t have any intention to do anything that is going to compromise the play on the court or that the players are against doing,” Sal LaRocca, the NBA’s executive vice president of global merchandising said. …

In any case, LaRocca said plans for next year’s Christmas Day uniforms and the 2015 All-Star Game already are being discussed. If the All-Stars make it clear they don’t like the look or feel of this year’s uniforms, the league will respond accordingly.

“If the feedback is that the players don’t want to wear them, we won’t,” LaRocca said. “We are 50-50 partners with the players in everything we do.”

Here’s the thing: The players are making just as much money as the league is off of these and all other jersey sales. It’s a 50-50 revenue split in this area, so despite certain players expressing their unhappiness with (or blaming substandard shooting performances on) the sleeves, if fans continue to buy them in volumes that exceed expectations, the jerseys and their sleeves are likely to be here to stay.

Latest Posts
  1. John Wall got a $20,000 portrait of himself for his birthday (PHOTO)

    Sep 3, 2015, 11:15 PM EDT

    John Wall John Wall

    The street artist Madsteez painted the commissioned piece.

  2. Utah’s Dante Exum underwent knee surgery Thursday, likely out for season

    Sep 3, 2015, 7:04 PM EDT

    Dante Exum AP

    He tore the ACL last month playing for Australia.

  3. Ricky Rubio is confident Timberwolves not looking to trade him

    Sep 3, 2015, 5:09 PM EDT

    Minnesota Timberwolves v Sacramento Kings Getty Images

    The trade speculation around him is not based in reality.

  4. Report: Kings signing Eric Moreland

    Sep 3, 2015, 4:14 PM EDT

    Moreland was reportedly considering Pistons and Lakers

  5. Report: J.R. Smith’s 2015-16 salary becomes fully guaranteed Monday

    Sep 3, 2015, 2:21 PM EDT

    LeBron James, Shaun Livingston, Harrison Barnes AP

    Cavaliers craft unusual contract to give Smith a partial guarantee next season

  6. Doc Rivers says Paul Pierce chose Clippers over Celtics this summer

    Sep 3, 2015, 8:00 AM EDT

    Boston Celtics forward Paul Pierce reacts to a call by the officials in Boston Reuters

    He will be remembered as a Celtic, but Los Angeles is his hometown.

  7. It’s official: J.R. Smith re-signs with Cavaliers

    Sep 2, 2015, 10:30 PM EDT

    J.R. Smith J.R. Smith

    He’s making $1.5 million less than if he opted in this season, but he does have another year.

Top 10 NBA Player Searches
  1. D. Rose (2591)
  2. K. Irving (2269)
  3. A. Davis (1939)
  4. L. James (1640)
  5. K. Bryant (1636)
  1. K. Durant (1509)
  2. A. Aminu (1475)
  3. M. Leonard (1440)
  4. T. Thompson (1417)
  5. A. Jefferson (1277)