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After rough shooting night LeBron says he’s “not a big fan” of sleeved jerseys

Mar 7, 2014, 2:39 AM EDT

Adidas and the NBA will tell you that the sleeved jerseys are selling faster than they had projected, which is why you are seeing more of them (including the “Latin Nights” series of games, that are going on this month) . All-Star weekend commissioner Adam Silver said math showed that shooting percentages were almost identical when players wore sleeved jerseys as when they wore traditional ones.

He also said if the players didn’t like them there was something to discuss.

Count LeBron James among those who might want to have a discussion — he doesn’t like them.

The NBA’s biggest star voiced his complaint after a 6-of-18 shooting night as the Spurs beat the Heat handily 111-87 (you can see the video above, via SI’s The Point Forward).

“I’m not making excuses, but I’m not a big fan of the jerseys,” James told reporters. “Not a big fan of them. I have to figure something out the next time I have to wear the short sleeved jerseys…

“Every time I shoot it pulled,” James continued. “It feels like it’s just pulling every time I shoot, right underneath my arm. I already don’t have much room for error on my jumpshot anyway, so it’s definitely not a good thing.”

After watching the game, I would say some of the “blame” for LeBron’s rough night should go to Kawhi Leonard, who did a good job hounding LeBron and trying to make him uncomfortable all night.

There have been players that have gone with a sleeved jersey a couple sizes too big just to create a little room. More than one has privately grumbled about them, although Silver said the reaction when players were surveyed was mixed. LeBron wore them on Christmas against the Lakers and shot on 7-of-14 but went 0-if-4 from three.

The fact is this is about money — if the jerseys are selling the NBA isn’t going to move away from them. And they say they are selling. Fast.

But we may see less of them if there is a vocal backlash from players. LeBron has the platform to speak out in opposition and not get reprimanded by the league. He has. We’ll see where this goes from here.

  1. acieearl - Mar 7, 2014 at 11:14 AM

    This excuse puzzling in every way. Do a quick search of images of Lebron and Practice guess what you see…Lebron in long sleeve shirts, Lebron in short sleeve shirts. The only time he doesn’t wear sleeves is in a game or when he takes his shirt off at practice. If it was that uncomfortable or effected his shot why would he wear sleeves every other time he steps on the court to play and you know he wants to win just as bad in practice as in the game.

    90% of Lebron’s game is half mental.

    • rodyaugu - Mar 7, 2014 at 12:24 PM

      The sleeved shirts he wears in shootouts are not as tight as sleeved jerseys.

      • acieearl - Mar 7, 2014 at 1:19 PM

        We talkin bout practice man, not tha shootouts, not tha shootouts, we talkin bout practice. We talkin bout practice man.

        I will grant you they are not as tight, however you cannot argue that the short sleeve and long sleeve shirts have no “tug” when he shoots in practice and that they give him the same freedom of movement as a tank.

  2. unxpexted1 - Mar 7, 2014 at 11:27 AM

    I mean look Lebron is amazing and i’m not gonna harp on this excuse, but c’mon Lebron. It didn’t bother you christmas day against the Lakers. Was just a rough day man, it happens.

    • rohlo - Mar 7, 2014 at 5:43 PM

      he was 7-14 on xmasday and 0-4 from did bother him on xmas day! these jerseys look like something from womens volleyball!

  3. jgillmeister - Mar 7, 2014 at 1:57 PM

    use your head LBJ – Stop wearing a size extra small. You don’t need to have it painted on.

    • program33 - Mar 8, 2014 at 8:35 PM

      I was a sharp shooter back in the day and did not wear sleeved shirts period for the exact same reason. If there was nothing else to wear but a sleeved shirt, I remember a) wearing a larger shirt and b.) taking almost everything to the hole. I remember those tight shirts was not as bad about 15ft and in. So if you must shoot a jump shot use mid range jumpers with a high release…(similar to a Kevin Garnett)

      With some basketball players its… about feel. I remember Jordan once said that he would wear a brand new pair of shoes each game because of that certain feel. Perhaps Lebron may want to consider having his sleeved shirts tailor made.

  4. ranfan12 - Mar 7, 2014 at 2:00 PM

    He was pulling at it pretty hard trying to stretch it out in the first quarter lol. If there’s going to be sleeves, there might need to be less attached to skin for more movement.

  5. shuttaman1990 - Mar 7, 2014 at 3:51 PM

    Well yes yes yes.
    Lebon and more superstars have to speak against this crap
    Addidas needs to stick to soccer with that crap

  6. beach305 - Mar 7, 2014 at 4:45 PM

    Lebron has said he didn’t like the jersey before the start of the season, when teams practiced with them.

    he didn’t just say it after the spurs loss.

  7. rohlo - Mar 7, 2014 at 5:46 PM

    these jerseys are crap!! i wanna see proof they are selling at record #’ the books silverman/adidas! they are just sayign that so they can move towards putting advertising on sleeves.. this isnt womens volleyball leave the jerseys the way they are as tanks! why do they think players cut sleeves off t shirts when playing pick up ball … i will never buy one of those lame jerseys they are trying to push on people!!!

  8. tmdill18 - Mar 7, 2014 at 7:38 PM

    Anyone who thinks that sleeves cannot make you feel restricted and affect your shot, has not played much basketball. Or if they did play – they chucked bricks no matter what they wore.

  9. gmsingh123 - Mar 8, 2014 at 1:38 PM

    It’s gotta be the shoes!

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