By Ben Golliver
The Warriors are going where no NBA team has gone before: over their own players' shoulders.
Golden State and Adidas will reportedly unveil a form-fitting yellow alternate jersey design on Monday that include sleeves that go down to the mid bicep. Halfway between a normal jersey and a super tight shooting shirt, the new-look could represent the future of basketball jerseys, if Adidas has its way. The Warriors will debut the look during a nationally televised game against the Spurs at Oracle Arena on Feb. 22.
The San Jose Mercury News obtained the first photos of the jerseys and has all the necessary background details.
"It was the right moment, the right team," said Lawrence Norman, Adidas' vice president of global basketball. "Even more important, the right city. When you launch something as innovative as this -- that will change the way the players look on the court and the way the fans support the team forever -- why not launch it in the most innovative part of the United States?"
The new jersey is much less a T-shirt than the next phase in the evolution of basketball apparel. It's being called the "adizero NBA short sleeve uniform system." And Adidas boasts it as a revolutionary marriage between performance and aesthetics.
The uniforms are 26 percent lighter than the traditional jerseys, which Adidas said its research revealed was most important to players. They come with the ever-popular moisture-absorbing feature. The sleeves are made with stretch fabric that wraps 360 degrees around the shoulder to ensure full range of motion, because anyone who has played basketball knows how a T-shirt's sleeve can interfere with a jumper.
The Warriors have broken other new ground with their look in recent weeks, putting their players' Twitter handles on their shooting shirts for Social Media Night.
That fan-friendly event doesn't compare to breaking decades of tradition by completely reshaping the nature of the uniform. Credit the Warriors for swinging big, but you can bet the resistance to the new designs will be fierce in a league that's long preferred jerseys that throw back to the good old days.
It remains to be seen whether this will be a fad or the beginning of an evolution, but one thing is for sure: We know exactly what's getting blamed the next time someone suffers through a 4-for-18 shooting night.
Here's an up-close look at the sleeve. Pictures via the San Jose Mercury News.
A close-up look at the sleeve of the new Warriors jersey. (San Jose Mercury News)