Pics: NBA Goes Sleeved, Chrome, With Custom Shoes this Christmas

Written By:  •  Friday, December 27, 2013

LeBron James

In case you too busy celebrating the holiday with your family on Wednesday to notice, we had ten different NBA teams take to the court wearing special sleeved jerseys with giant chrome logos.

The “BIG Logo” jersey series was this years NBA Christmas Day adidas uniform theme, following 2012’s “BIG Color” promotion. The big difference this year being that it was the first time the league had every team in every game wearing the new sleeved basketball uniform, one which I think we’ll be seeing more and more of in the future.

Oklahoma City Thunder New York Knicks Sleeved Christmas Jerseys 2013

Thunder vs. Knicks

Brooklyn Nets Chicago Bulls Sleeved Christmas Jerseys 2013

Nets vs. Bulls

Excerpts from the original press release announcing the uniforms explains the reason why they were worn this past Wednesday:

“Last season’s ‘BIG Color’ holiday campaign was an overwhelming success, grabbing the attention of our fans, and we wanted to find a way to top it,” said Jamie Gallo, NBA Executive Vice President, Marketing.

“We worked closely with adidas to create an innovative new uniform design for our Christmas Day games,” said Sal LaRocca, NBA Executive VP, Global Merchandising. “The BIG Logo collection will provide a unique look on-court and a variety of products for our fans.”

The uniforms are part of the adidas NBA “BIG Logo” Holiday Collection, which includes new warm-up jackets and shooting shirts that feature print graphics inspired by knit holiday sweaters. The warm-up jackets feature team logos on the front chest and BIG team logos on the back, both made of chenille patches.

I find myself coming around more and more on the idea of a sleeved basketball jersey — I think with the right design they could work.  What I am not a fan of is the “just change-the-colour, change-the-logo” method of which the BIG Logo jerseys were designed with. You guys at the NBA and adidas are working with professional designers, surely you can allow them to come up with more than one idea per league per year — let them allow those creative juices to flow, I’d love to see what they can do with their talents (as I’m sure they’d like the world to see as well).

Of all the games this year I think the Golden State/LA Clippers looked the best, the bright yellow of the Warriors uniforms really popped when paired with the blue of the Clippers:

Los Angeles Clippers Golden State Warriors Sleeved Christmas Jerseys 2013

Clippers vs. Warriors

And you didn’t have to travel far for the worst game — the LA Lakers have one of pro basketball’s most iconic uniforms, mostly due to it’s yellow and “Forum blue” (purple) colour scheme, why put them out there in all-white? Yes, they have a forced, recent tradition of wearing white on Christmas, but c’mon, nobody wants to see them out there in that.

Los Angeles Lakers Miami Heat Sleeved Christmas Jerseys 2013

Lakers vs. Heat

The Heat actually don’t look that bad in the above pic, but that might be a case of “looks good by comparison”.

One (fairly minor) issue I find when looking at some of these pics… who the heck is the home team in most of these photos? Aside from Lakers/Heat above I have no idea where the game is being played — for example in the photo of the Houston v. San Antonio game below:

San Antonio Spurs Houston Rockets Sleeved Christmas Jerseys 2013

Spurs vs. Rockets

The Spurs, despite wearing grey – a colour traditionally accepted as one being worn by a road team in some sports – is the home team.

How’d the players feel about them?

LeBron James of the Miami Heat mentioned in the days leading up to the game on Wednesday that his teammates were having a hard time shooting in the new jerseys before suddenly turning a 180 and saying they were fine. Did the players just get used to them over time or did the NBA ask him to be a little more positive?

One man who clearly has no fear of fines from the league, had this to say in an article on ESPN.com:

“Hated them, I just thought it made our guys look more like a high school wrestling team or a college wrestling team.” – Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban

Cuban continued:

“We would have been better off, if we want people to wear them casually, to get the trainers and everybody else to wear them to show them in a realistic setting. So I would have done it a little differently, but we’ll see what happens… I think the people that will buy them are more the jersey heads and the people who are trying to be hip and cool as opposed to the mainstream fan who just wants something to wear to work or something to wear to school… That’s just my opinion. Maybe I’ll be wrong. Maybe they’ll sell like gangbusters in China.”

Aside from the new uniforms, players were allowed to be creative with their shoe designs as the Christmas games are considered a “league special event” (much like the All-Star Game) and eliminates the rules on what shoes can look like.

A look at how Clippers point guard Chris Paul’s footwear changed from individual-design on the 25th to more team-brand-friendly on the 26th:

Chris Paul was just one of many players who wore a special shoe design on the 25th. His normal Clippers design on the 26th is also shown

Chris Paul was just one of many players who wore a special shoe design on the 25th. His normal Clippers design on the 26th is also shown

While several other players, like Brooklyn’s Mirza Teletovic went with a holiday themed shoe from Nike complete with a basketball holding snowman:

Mirza Teletovic Christmas Sneakers Nets 2013

These sleeved jerseys don’t appear to be going anywhere folks, we already have a handful (Phoenix, Golden State, Minnesota, among others) wearing them as regular alternates and we’ll be seeing them again on St. Patrick’s Day and Latin Heritage Nights.



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Chris Creamer

Chris Creamer is the founder of SportsLogos.Net and has been maintaining it since June 1997. You can follow him on Twitter at @sportslogosnet or contact him via email at ccreamer@sportslogos.net