LeBron James has been among many that are outspoken critics of the NBA's new sleeved jersey push. So Adam Silver will hear him out.
Commissioner Adam Silver told Bleacher Report he intends to revisit the issue after the season. He plans to meet with LeBron James, one of the loudest critics of the jerseys. The NBA could decide to curtail the use of the sleeved jerseys, leave it up to individual teams or simply kill the program for good.
“Ultimately, if the players don't like them, we'll move on to something else,” Silver told Bleacher Report. “I don't regret doing it for this season. But it's intended to be something fun for the fans and the players. And if it becomes a serious issue, as to whether players should be wearing sleeves, we'll likely move onto other things.”
LeBron has complained about the tightness of the jerseys around his shoulders and arms, causing a problem with his shooting motion. In early March, LeBron went just 6-18 in a loss to the Spurs while wearing the sleeves, prompting him to say he's "not a big fan" of them.
However, Silver does point this out:
"The one thing that annoys me about the fit (issue) is that guys do select the size that they wear," Silver said. "The players could wear a larger size."
There have been plenty of players complain about then. Dirk Nowitzki called them "awful" and Robin Lopez said there should be a "mass burning" for them. But via the Bleacher Report article, the league says the numbers in sleeves are pretty much on par.
Through March 20, teams were shooting .456 from the field while wearing the sleeved jerseys, according to the league. Those same teams produced a .461 field-goal percentage in games played with their regular, tank-top jerseys.
The whole purpose of the jerseys were for merchandising, and the numbers reflect they've been a success.
According to the league, the Christmas Day jerseys sold out at the NBA store two weeks before the games. Sales of the sleeved All-Star Game jerseys are up 14 percent over the non-sleeved 2013 All-Star jerseys. And sales of the sleeved Latin nights jerseys are up 37 percent over last season's non-sleeved version.
But Silver is willing to hear the players out on it. They're ultimately the ones wearing them and while the league loves its money, it also understands happy players equals a happy league.
"I've had conversations with LeBron about the jerseys, and we agreed that we would park the issue until the end of the season. And that once the season is over, he expressed an interest in sitting down with me and Sal LaRocca (the NBA's president of merchandising) and discussing his point of view.”