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Adam Silver says sleeved jerseys have no competitive impact, ads on jerseys ‘ultimately will happen’

Feb 15, 2014, 8:59 PM EDT

adidas NBA All-Star Jersey EAST Detail 2 Clipped

NEW ORLEANS — Adam Silver met with the media before the All-Star Saturday night festivities began, and addressed a wide variety of topics during his first official press conference as the NBA’s new commissioner.

A polarizing point of conversation among fans has been the sleeved jerseys that debuted last season, and have seen increased exposure this year. While there has been a vocal minority opposed to the look, Silver says that sales numbers prove that the fans approve, and do so in large quantities.

“From a fan standpoint, the greatest indicator is how are they selling, and I’ll say we’re having trouble keeping them in the stores,” Silver said. “There’s enormous demand for those jerseys. Fans like them and I happen to like them, too.”

A bigger issue, perhaps, is when players choose to become vocal in their dislike of the sleeves — particularly when it’s coming from one the game’s biggest stars.

LeBron James blamed his poor shooting on Christmas Day on the sleeves, but Silver reiterated what we’ve known for some time, which is that there hasn’t been any difference in shooting percentages overall in games where the sleeved jerseys have been worn.

“Player feedback has been mixed,” Silver said. “I’ve talked to lots of players who like them. I’ve heard directly from other players who don’t like them.”

“If players believe it has any impact whatsoever on the competition, even if it’s just a perception, we need to deal with it,” Silver continued. “We know that shooting percentages are virtually exactly the same for games in which we have sleeved jerseys and teams in which the guys are wearing conventional jerseys. So I’m pretty comfortable from a competitive standpoint that it’s having no impact.”

While the sleeves may have no competitive impact and the fans are voting with their dollars that they like the style, something that may negatively impact that trend is placing ads on jerseys at some point in the future. Silver said that it’s not something that’s on the immediate horizon, but he does believe it’s coming.

“We’re not close at the moment to including sponsors on jerseys,” Silver said. “It’s something that we’re continuing to look at. I believe it ultimately will happen in the NBA. I think it makes good business sense.”

  1. Gordon - Feb 15, 2014 at 9:16 PM

    Yes, let’s sell ads on everything! Consumerism…buy, buy, buy!

    • jcmeyer10 - Feb 15, 2014 at 9:27 PM

      But to pretend like ads on jerseys is the straw that broke that camels back is silly. Let’s look at tonight’s All Star weekend schedule:

      8:30 p.m. | State Farm All-Star Saturday Night | TNT
      — Sears Shooting Stars (1st Event)
      — Taco Bell Skills Challenge (2nd Event)
      — Foot Locker Three-Point Contest (3rd Event)
      — Sprite Slam Dunk (4th Event)

      • greatmiamisportsmind - Feb 16, 2014 at 2:20 PM

        Events are okay to be sponsored in my mind, but for the love of the game, please keep them off jerseys. You all might as well google WNBA jerseys… That is what we are headed to

  2. tuberippin - Feb 15, 2014 at 9:37 PM

    I can’t wait for NBA jerseys to start looking like NASCAR race cars. Just plastered head-to-toe in advertisements and corporate logos.

    Now starting at small forward, from Akron, Ohio, brought to you by Carl’s Jr…number six, LeBron James!

    • greatmiamisportsmind - Feb 16, 2014 at 2:21 PM

      They won’t be that bad, but they will look like WNBA jerseys, which is awful regardless.

  3. rushbacker - Feb 15, 2014 at 9:46 PM

    Way to be a corporate shill, Adam.

  4. cfos00 - Feb 15, 2014 at 10:42 PM

    Well, he has wasted no time on establishing his stance on completely selling out

  5. jcmeyer10 - Feb 15, 2014 at 11:07 PM

    C’mon guys. He wen’t to the Stern School of Business at Shameless University. Did we really expect anything else from his protege?

  6. onebigredrocket - Feb 15, 2014 at 11:50 PM

    And ultimately, the fan base will be no more. The NBA is already an irrelevant joke! Sleeves and sponsors will be it’s demise.

  7. mackcarrington - Feb 16, 2014 at 1:13 AM

    A few nights ago Chris Paul wore a long sleeved “compression shirt”. I thought about all of the posters on here who
    claimed that a “T-shirt” would affect the way they play. Paul had no problem with that long sleeved shirt. Anyone care to
    claim otherwise?

  8. honkerdawg - Feb 16, 2014 at 7:21 AM

    That’s VHS motto of the NBA, “make money” forget the fact we have no talent and only 5 teams that really compete just “make that money”

  9. adoombray - Feb 16, 2014 at 9:39 AM

    The NBA doesn’t make nearly enough money what with this restrictive and awful for the owners collective barg-

    oh wait

  10. hdsnake867 - Feb 16, 2014 at 11:30 AM

    I predict that sales of NBA jerseys will go way down if there are advertisements on them. When a fan plunks down more than $100 for his/her team’s jersey, they’re buying that team’s name and logo; not Coca-Cola, Tire Kingdom or The whoredom of the NBA continues even though Reichsführer Herr Stern is out the door. I give Adam Silver 2 years before the owners give that pencil-necked geek the boot.

  11. eagles512 - Feb 16, 2014 at 12:05 PM

    If ads on jerseys happen, it’ll be an absolute disgrace.

  12. jcmeyer10 - Feb 17, 2014 at 10:51 AM

    It works with soccer.

  13. bkg63 - Feb 17, 2014 at 10:54 AM

    I won’t buy another NBA jersey if they go to ads…I’m out!

  14. routerunner - Feb 19, 2014 at 2:08 PM

    The Commish would trot the players out in suits of armor painted like Jeff Gordon’s Nascar rig if there was money in it.

  15. campcouch - Feb 20, 2014 at 2:58 AM

    Most NBAers wear body armor, braces, sleeves and full body suits,I can’t imagine how sleeved jerseys would affect them. Every game I’ve watched with them wearing the jerseys,there hasn’t been a drop off in play. If they become part of the rotation,I hope they at least improve the overall look. Having a monotone logo only looks cheap.

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