(left) says he feels like a bicycle cop (right) in his sleeved jersey. (Rocky Widner/Getty Images and ICFuse/YouTube)
Jarrett Jack is here to run the pick and roll, not patrol the coast for illegal bonfires.
The veteran Cavaliers guard has unloaded on the NBA's short-sleeve jersey designs by Adidas, lodging complaints about both their fit and fashion. In Jack's estimation, the jerseys look "disgusting" and that they are better suited for two-wheeled law enforcement officers.
"We're like the Beach Police," Jack told the Cleveland Plain Dealer. "You know those police who are on the beach with those bikes? They've got those little shirts with the shorts? That's what we look like. Like we about to give somebody a citation."
He went on to add that the jerseys "felt a little snug" and that they make NBA players "look like a volleyball team."
The Indian volleyball team's jerseys (left) and the Warriors
' sleeved jerseys (right) compared. (Deshakalyan Chowdhury/AFP and Rocky Widner/Getty Images)
Jack, who wore sleeved jerseys last year with the Warriors, told the paper that he wants the league to consider custom tailoring the sleeves to fit each player and to "save everyone headaches."
You have to hand it to Jack for the humor and accuracy of his fashion comparisons, and he's certainly not the only player to register public complaints about the NBA's new look, which debuted during the 2012-13 season and has been used more widely this season.
Heat forward LeBron James told reporters earlier this month that he was "not a big fan" of the jerseys and that the jersey "pulled... underneath my arm" when he execute his shooting motion. Those comments came after the back-to-back MVP shot 6-for-18 from the field and 0-for-3 from deep in his worst shooting outing in nearly a month.
Adidas unveiled its first sleeved jersey, a yellow Warriors look, in February 2013. A white sleeved Warriors jersey, an orange sleeved Suns jersey, and a light blue sleeved Clippers jersey followed. The apparel manufacturer then designed sleeved jerseys for all 10 teams that played on Christmas Day and used sleeved designs during the 2014 All-Star Game in New Orleans. Also this month, six teams, including James' Heat, are wearing sleeved jerseys for the league’s annual “Latin Nights” series of games, and the Celtics are wearing a green, sleeved jersey for St. Patrick's Day.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver defended the sleeves at All-Star Weekend.
"The idea behind them was that presuming there was a large segment of our fan base, especially older males like myself, who weren't going to be comfortable wearing tank-top jerseys but would feel comfortable wearing a sleeved jersey to work out or play basketball in or whatever else," he said. "I think from that standpoint it's been successful. People are buying them and people like them."
Silver did acknowledge that feedback from the players had been "mixed."
"I've talked to lots of players who like them," he said. "I've heard directly from other players who don't like them. I think from the fashion standpoint, I'm comfortable with it. If players believe it has any impact whatsoever on the competition, even if it's just a perception, we need to deal with it. We know that shooting percentages are virtually exactly the same for games in which we have sleeved jerseys and teams in which the guys are wearing conventional jerseys. ... I'm pretty comfortable from a competitive standpoint that it's having no impact."
Prior to James, the highest-profile player to criticize the sleeved jerseys was Warriors guard Stephen Curry, who let off some steam after a loss to the Bulls last year.
“You’re on national TV, NBATV, wearing our ugly jerseys,” Curry said, according to USA Today Sports, after he shot 2-for-13 overall and 0-for-5 from deep. “I shouldn’t have said that [about the jerseys], but it’s just one of those things where there’s a lot of attention on us and we don’t show up to play.”
Grizzlies guard Beno Udrih also criticized the jerseys after shooting 1-for-6 during a Christmas loss to the Thunder while he was a member of the Knicks.
“Personally it bothered me and my shot,” Udrih said, according to the Wall Street Journal. “On a normal shot, I’m used to getting my shoulder and elbow up [unhindered]. That was my personal feeling. I don’t know how anyone else was feeling. I know Timmy [Hardaway] was saying he wore it in college before. I never did it before.”
A number of players watching the Christmas Day games commented on the new look as well.
“Call me old school but these jerseys with sleeves are awful,” Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki tweeted.
Blazers center Robin Lopez added on Twitter: “[There] needs to be a mass burning of these sleeved NBA jerseys.”
The NBA has said that it would not continue with the sleeved jerseys if enough players complained.
“If the players as a general matter feel like they don’t want to wear short sleeves on a go-forward basis, the league would simply not do it,” Sal LaRocca, the league’s president of global operations and merchandising, said back in February.
Adidas executives have maintained that the short-sleeve look is selling well at the retail level.
Top image via YouTube user icfuse