At that point in time, NBA fans will witness something they’ve never even fantasized about during their most rebellious basketball-related dreams. Each players’ jersey will have their personal nickname printed across the back in place of the traditional last name.
Instead of “James” on LeBron James’ back, you’ll read “King James.” Say goodbye to “Pierce” for the evening, as the words “The Truth” will temporarily replace Paul Pierce’s last name above the signature No. 34 on his back.
It’s going to look ridiculous. To go as far as to say that it’s disrespectful to sports as a whole – or even the NBA, alone – would be well over the top, but it’s going to look like something a 12-year-old thought would be cool to do while playing a video game.
But the part about this stunt the league is pulling that irks me the most is its intention: Increasing jersey sales.
Just when you thought the NBA was trying too hard to make sales by giving the Heat what seems like 350,000 different uniforms this season, they decide to make every team that competed on Christmas Day suit up in short-sleeve jerseys that looked worse than most junior varsity get-ups nowadays.
And now their desperate attempt at keeping up with jersey sales of the NBA will reach its ultimate peak with the nickname jersey. Of course this is a business first, but this is a case where some dignity was compromised in the name of business.
Not everyone is going to feel that way, though — especially not the NBA’s youngest fans. The concept should go over well with this next generation of fans, but to me it’s just too out of the ordinary to embrace by any means.