NBA Proclaims Sleeves Experiment Success: Five More Teams To Add Sleeved Jerseys

Written By:  •  Thursday, June 20, 2013

Remember back in the Spring when the Golden State Warriors (soon to become America’s sweetheart in the NBA playoffs due to their inspired performances in front of a raucous home crowd) unveiled those wildly unique and very yellow sleeved jerseys?

UCLA in Zubaz. I couldn’t believe it, either.

Remember when adidas spread the sleeved movement into the collegiate frenzy of March Madness by outfitting Baylor, Louisville, and even uber-traditional UCLA in jerseys that were not only sleeved, but adorned in Zubaz?

At least it was consistent from top to bottom this time.

Remember when adidas went even further down the levels of basketball by putting the McDonald’s All-Americans in Zubaz & Camouflage sleeved jerseys?

If you thought that this was going to be a passing fad that stayed in the 2012-13 season, then it’s time to start having second thoughts. ESPN is reporting that in the NBA, not only will Golden State continue to wear the sleeved uniforms, but up to five teams may join the Warriors in the sleeve brigade.

As previously mentioned on this site (and confirmed by adidas in the aforementioned ESPN article) when it came to this topic, the main reasons why adidas is looking to expand this initiative are fashion and money. Most men are less likely to wear a tank top than a t-shirt, so it makes sense that adidas would try to make jerseys with sleeves. Most people aren’t exactly handing out tickets to the gun show, if you catch my drift.

Either way, sleeved basketball jerseys aren’t a bad idea, in theory. It’s just that the execution, in my opinion, has been poor. The Zubaz really should’ve been left in its resting place of 1993 instead of being resurrected 20 years later. However, with up to five more NBA teams potentially donning sleeves next season, we still have a chance to see an experiment turn into something really cool. Who knows? Maybe they’ll even try to “fix” the Warriors’ sleeved uniforms after Stephen Curry called them “ugly.”

“These sleeves are the best. I wish we’d wear them forever.”

So, what do you make of this news? Are you ready to see more teams embrace the sleeves? Do you think that your favorite NBA team would look good in a sleeved jersey? Or are you hoping that this is just another wacky uniform fad that will fade away once those crazy kids move on to the next big thing?

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Demetrius Bell

Demetrius is an avid sports fan, a dedicated student of the uniform and logo game, and a prolific user of twitter. You can follow him at @fergoe and read his personal blog at

  • name

    Oh, god damn it…

  • yh

    I hope this trend spreads to the NFL. Would be interested to see how football jerseys look with sleeves.

    • Stephen Peters


    • Reincarnation of Einstein

      Or baseball! OR BASEBALL!! OR HOCKEY!!!! OR SOCCER!!!!!!!! DUDE, CAN YOU IMAGoh wait……

    • Jack

      It is called Bart Starr (1966)

  • Aaron

    Hmmm! I wonder which other teams are going to follow this concept? I think as long as the execution is done properly, it wouldn’t be a terrible idea. As long as…

    A> The style doesn’t become a full time jersey.

    B> It’s only limited to a few teams as an alternate.

    C> If they can match the shorts.

    • Jack

      I’m thinkin’ Heat, Trailblazers, Jazz, Spurs, Mavericks?

      • CK

        No way the Spurs are doing this.. they’re old fashioned, I really can’t imagine Tim Duncan or Popovich agreeing to do this..

        • Jay Swagger

          have you seen the spurs alternates? they’re just as bad as the sleeved ones

    • Arturo

      The suns are gonna a be a team that wears sleeves i read it in the AZ Republic

  • Alex Giobbi

    I swear, if Denver or Brooklyn tries this, I will scream.

  • I’m cool with this as long as they do it right. The only reason I don’t like Golden State’s sleeve set is because they did so much wrong with that design it woulda looked terrible even without sleeves y’dig?

    • Aaron

      Maybe Golden State’s short sleeved uniform set would look better if the shirts had pinstripes too or shorts without them. Keep it consistent. Luckilly they didn’t wear blue shorts or otherwise you’d think they were the Memphis Tams.

  • Rob S

    Instead of wearing these ugly sleeved jersey’s, the NBA should just let players wear a t-shirt underneath. These are disgusting and way too tight.

  • Popular

    Dumb. They looks like lance Armstrong

  • Nicolas Ballou-Perez

    Oh God no!

  • mark

    Why not a two-jersey setup for any sleeve-jerseys? Just have the original Jersey, then make the exact same one with sleeves as an individual alternative as opposed to the entire team being forced to wear sleeves.

  • sloth

    In 30 years we’ll look back on these sleeved NBA jerseys like we now look back on Cooperalls of the early-80s NHL.

  • sloth

    Also, I agree with Mark. Adidas already does it with short sleeves and long sleeves in soccer.

  • Drew

    The problem with the ones so far is the same problem hybrid cars have – for some reason, when a good, modern idea comes along, the manufacturer can’t make it look normal. For the same reason – which is no reason – that the Toyota Prius can’t look like a Corolla/Camry, the sleeved jerseys (to this point) can’t look like normal basketball jerseys. If they get beyond the “oooh, this is futuristic!” nonsense that they probably are stuck on in focus groups and whatnot and start focusing on how to make a seamless transition to the sleeved jerseys, they’ll be fine. But if there’s one thing I’ve learned from when companies stumble on “the future” products (see: Toyota Prius, Honda InSight, MLB Turn Ahead The Clock, etc.), they seem stuck on making them looking like something out of “the future”.

  • Roger C.

    I like the sleeves?!

  • Jed

    Not a fan of the sleeved jerseys at all and Curry was right, they’re hideous in tone and that GSW logo needs to be changed as well.

  • Albert F.

    Hey Cousin (true cousin): Good article with good comments both ways. I like Mark’s idea above – make both and give players the option. Going a bit further, sew in a true t-shirt type underneath which I think players will really like. Let’s all see how this goes.

  • Kosmomiles

    Costumes. That’s all some teams wear now. Costumes.

  • dex1lsp

    Sleeves are fine (in my totally unbiased Warrior fan opinion), but that zubaz crap has seriously got to go. It makes me very glad that Cal jerseys are not made by Adidas.

  • Hey, I like Zubaz!

    Anyways, I think these are pretty stupid.

  • Brent

    5 potential teams adding sleeves? I wonder if the NBA is gonna make the major market teams join (Heat, Lakers, Knicks, Celtics, Bulls), or if it’ll be smaller markets (Bucks, Bobcats, Magic, Grizzlies, Pacers).

    • Aaron

      I’ll bet it’ll likely be some of the smaller market teams going this route. I don’t think teams like Lakers, Bulls or Knicks would stoop that level.

  • Ben in LA

    The Lakers had better NOT go to sleeves! Hell, I miss their old warm ups!

  • ingmar66

    Hey, it’s all about the money to be made from high income chubby guys with bingo wings for biceps AKA your average NBA season ticket holder. These guys never felt comfortable buying and wearing tank tops, so we give them sleeves to cover up their flabby flaps. Beter make it long sleeves, adidas, to cover up their greasy elbows as well. This is so disgusting. What is next, David Stern? Give out A to F signs to the crowd to voice their appreciation for a play? The final score of a NBA game will then be decided by the average grade of all the plays made during the game. Or better still: make it a talent show and let the people text their favorite play of the game. Winner takes the game! Let’s just forget about basketball as it was supposed to be meant, David, this is entertainment! Let’s move forward and let these sleeves, ugly as they are, be the beginning of a revolution in sports themed mass entertainment! I give up. The NBA is going from bad to scripted to worse.

  • Seth Jones

    My theory is these sleeves will make more room for dreaded advertisements when they actually decide to do it.

    • Aaron

      As far as the ads go, I think they’ll be small enough not to notice much, but mind you that’s not a bad theory.

  • John John

    They look like pyjamas

  • Aaron

    Oddly enough, one if the teams I can see using this uniform method as an alternate and being successful with it is Indiana.

  • If they can have a good looking design I can see them being nice. Maybe a chance for new shoulder/sleeve logos and striping.