When the NBA introduced the sleeved jerseys for the Golden State Warriors in the 2012-13 season, everyone was first taken aback by the look of them. Perhaps it’s that we’re all accustomed to traditional jerseys, but a big part of why people don’t like the sleeved jerseys is that they just don’t look that good, even on other teams as the movement has spread throughout the league this season.
Something that was discussed for what seems like only a brief time after the debut of the jerseys, though, was how it would affect the players. Obviously it would be a big adjustment since these guys don’t normally play in sleeves and haven’t for quite a while, but there were concerns about the possibility of the jerseys hindering motion for players.
The Spurs defense was suffocating on the evening, particularly on LeBron James. San Antonio limited the league’s reigning MVP to just 19 points on 6-18 shooting for the evening, a big thanks to a heroic defensive effort. However, James said it was more than just the Spurs’ defense affecting his play.
James spoke to the media after the game and said that the sleeved jerseys hindered his motion on his shot, citing that he feels like the jersey is pulling on his shoulder and arm. While some may say that he’s making excuses, there’s probably some merit to his claims considering how he’s performed all year with sleeved jerseys.
In three games played with the sleeved jerseys, James is 0-14 from long-range and has shot only 3-25 on shot attempts outside of four feet. His jumper simply hasn’t been falling in games that he’s been wearing the sleeved jerseys this season, which makes his claim seem at least somewhat valid.
Now that this is out in the open that LeBron feels negative effects from the sleeved jerseys, it’ll be interesting to see if any other NBA players come out in the next week or so to say more of the same. If that does happen, the nightmarish sleeved jerseys might come to an end sooner rather than later.