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Adam Silver to meet with LeBron James about sleeved jerseys, considers dumping them

Mar 24, 2014, 10:57 AM EDT

LeBron James

Adam Silver will help push for a Collective Bargaining Agreement that substantially cuts, as a proportion of all revenue, player salaries.

He’ll publicly campaign for restricting players’ rights to work through an age limit.

But when it comes to sleeved jerseys, he’s on the side of the players.

Howard Beck of Bleacher Report:

Commissioner Adam Silver told Bleacher Report he intends to revisit the issue after the season. He plans to meet with LeBron James, one of the loudest critics of the jerseys. The NBA could decide to curtail the use of the sleeved jerseys, leave it up to individual teams or simply kill the program for good.

“Ultimately, if the players don’t like them, we’ll move on to something else,” Silver told Bleacher Report. “I don’t regret doing it for this season. But it’s intended to be something fun for the fans and the players. And if it becomes a serious issue, as to whether players should be wearing sleeves, we’ll likely move onto other things.”

“I’ve had conversations with LeBron about the jerseys, and we agreed that we would park the issue until the end of the season. And that once the season is over, he expressed an interest in sitting down with me and Sal LaRocca (the NBA’s president of merchandising) and discussing his point of view.”

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After Mark Cuban criticized the sleeved jerseys, Silver didn’t back down. Apparently, LeBron’s voice carries a little more weight (though someone from the league office already said the same thing Silver does here). Several other players have expressed their displeasure with sleeves, too.

Though eliminating sleeved jerseys could cause some complications – the NBA reportedly planned to expand their use, and adidas says reaction has been positive – it’s probably the best move. If players keep publicly trashing the sleeves, fans won’t want to buy them. If fans don’t buy them, there’s little point marketing them by having players wear them (though the league could also be going for hiding players’ tattoos and/or creating more room for ads).

Sleeved jerseys might have been a fine experiment in theory, but at some point, the NBA must either get players to buy in or admit it hasn’t worked.

  1. cantonbound13 - Mar 24, 2014 at 11:03 AM

    Good thing self proclaimed “Mr Rushmore” isn’t using excuses.

    • asimonetti88 - Mar 24, 2014 at 11:41 AM

      Yeah, but if it gets rid of the pajama shirt jerseys then I don’t really care.

  2. jcmeyer10 - Mar 24, 2014 at 11:21 AM

    He could be the perfect Union president because he actually has leverage that could help in negotiations.

  3. unfrozencavemanlawyer2 - Mar 24, 2014 at 11:46 AM

    As Randy Moss once opined- short sleeved jersey translate into ‘Straight cash, homey’. They are here to stay.

  4. spthegr8 - Mar 24, 2014 at 12:33 PM

    ARE YOU DOWN WITH THE KIIIIIIIIIIING!!! LBJ has got it like that!!!

  5. ProBasketballPundit - Mar 24, 2014 at 12:34 PM


  6. azarkhan - Mar 24, 2014 at 1:17 PM

    So Silver is going to meet with the Commissioner about sleeved jerseys. Good move.

  7. shuttaman1990 - Mar 24, 2014 at 1:38 PM

    Not really a big lebron james guy. But hey he’s the 2 time champion, has the biggest impact in league. so if he can push to get rid of those jerseys then good.

    Lakers all day.

  8. TheMorningStar - Mar 24, 2014 at 1:52 PM

    Whatever it takes…just get rid of them once and for all.

  9. void96eater - Mar 24, 2014 at 2:10 PM

    Eliminate the sleeved jerseys. That would be a bigger success than a three-peat lol

  10. bballhistorian - Mar 24, 2014 at 4:12 PM

    If LeBron can eliminate the sleeved jerseys, then he needs to be the next Union President.

  11. adoombray - Mar 24, 2014 at 4:48 PM

    I would totally buy one for myself but I don’t really want to see them on the court. The league doesn’t have to use them to sell them.

  12. campcouch - Mar 24, 2014 at 8:40 PM

    I guess if the Commish says no,LeBron can threaten to retire? Ah well,once the shirts are gone,they can get rid of compression sleeves,compression shorts,full body suits,that weird one armed shirt Chris Paul wears,stretch capris,and Dwight Howard’s smedium jersey!

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