Possible causes of frustration loomed in every direction for the Knicks after they lost to the Thunder 123-94 at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday, as the 29-point margin of defeat marked the largest ever for a home team on Christmas. Beno Udrih, who scored just two points (on 1-for-6 shooting) in 30 minutes and saw Russell Westbrook go for a triple-double in 29 minutes, directed some of his angst towards the special sleeved Adidas jerseys debuted by the NBA on the holiday.
"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."
Back in November, the NBA and Adidas unveiled the sleeved, solid-color "BIG Logo" jerseys and matching shorts to be worn by all 10 teams competing on Christmas. New York took the court in a bright orange ensemble, while Oklahoma City wore a light blue version. Although the Knicks have worn orange alternate jerseys this season, this is the first time the team has worn the short-sleeve uniforms, which were first donned by the Warriorsback in February.
"Maybe we should practice wearing them for a few weeks to get used to it," Udrih continued. "It's what the NBA decided to do, we can't go against that. They told us we were going to wear the short sleeves, but we've never worn them before."
During one memorable sequence, seen above, Udrih found himself wide open in the right corner after the Knicks moved the ball around the perimeter. Although there wasn't a Thunder defender within 10 feet of him, Udrih's three-point attempt bricked off the side of the backboard. At the next dead ball, Udrih could be seen rolling up the sleeve on his jersey on his left (shooting) arm and then proceeding to do the same on his right arm.
Beno Udrih rolls up his jersey sleeve after missing a jumper. (ABC)
Udrih, who was forced into a starting role because of injuries to Raymond Felton and Pablo Prigioni, isn't the first NBA player to let off some steam about the sleeved jerseys after a defeat. Back in March, Stephen Curry called Golden State's sleeved jerseys "ugly" after a 2-for-13 shooting night in a loss to the Bulls.
"It's definitely a different feeling," James said, according to the Sun-Sentinel. "I felt a little tug."
The paper reported that James will "ask for a larger jersey" the next time Miami dons sleeved uniforms.
NBA players watching from home on Wednesday weren't any kinder when it came to assessing the sleeved jerseys' style.
"Call me old school but these jerseys with sleeves are awful," Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki tweeted.
For the record, the Thunder managed to shoot 53.6 percent from the field and 54.2 percent from deep against the Knicks while wearing the sleeved jerseys on Christmas, up from their season averages of 46.7 percent overall and 34.2 percent on three-pointers. Perhaps the sleeves prevented New York from contesting shots too?
Quotes via Chris Herring, the Wall Street Journal