When the Miami Heat faced off against the Brooklyn Nets on Friday night, the NBA decided to pull out another gimmick. The NBA once again decided to trick up the jerseys the players were wearing. The league has been changing the jerseys up on Christmas Day for several years. Whether it is changing the color to some neon theme or adding sleeves like they did this year, the NBA likes to add gimmicks.
Last night was no different. This time, though, they decided to add nicknames to the back of the players jerseys rather than the traditional last name. LeBron James had “King James” on the back of his jersey while Jason Terry‘s name was “Jet.” Joe Johnson showed “JJ” and Kevin Garnett donned “Big Ticket” on the back of his Nets’ jersey.
The game itself was a very entertaining one. The Nets defeated the Heat in double-overtime as LeBron exited early with six fouls. This begs the question, why trick up the game? If people are coming to the games and watching, why do you feel the need to add gimmicks?
Obviously it’s a money ploy and most people know this. Fans of certain teams or players are going to want a jersey that has sleeves or perhaps a jersey with a nickname rather than the traditional style. When can we say enough is enough, though? Will we see advertisements on the jerseys like soccer players or NASCAR drivers? The league didn’t need to add gimmicks like this in the 1980s or 1990s, yet crowds still came in droves to watch players like Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson and Larry Bird.
What the NBA needs to realize is that the league will survive as long as you have a good product on the floor. As long as you have players like James, Kevin Durant, Tim Duncan and Blake Griffin, people will sell out arenas. There’s no need to make the sport I love a laughingstock because you want to make extra money. People will come and watch LeBron play no matter the style of jersey. Let’s not trick it up anymore, please.