Last season, the Golden State Warriors were the first team in the NBA to start wearing jerseys with short sleeves. The reactions to the jerseys were mixed, but were largely not received well. Stephen Curry said the jerseys were ugly after the Warriors’ first game wearing them.
According to ESPN, the number of teams who wear the jerseys next year could jump to five teams, wearing them up to 12 times next year.
An NBA source told ESPN.com that as many as five teams will wear the short-sleeve jerseys as an alternate jersey for as much as 12 games during the season.
“We are interested in doing more short-sleeve jerseys when it makes sense,” said Patrik Nilsson, president of adidas North America.
Nilsson said Wednesday that adidas is motivated to get more fans wearing jerseys while also innovating the game jersey for the players. The company pays roughly $35 million a year to be the official apparel provider of the league through the 2016-17 season.
There haven’t been any details yet about which other teams will don the sleeved jerseys next season, but some new details suggest that the Lakers could be a team that wears them at least once next season.
According to Steve Kyler of Hoops World, not only will there be the five teams adding the jerseys as alternates for the full year, but 20 teams will wear the jerseys at least once. Among the teams slated to wear them at least once are teams playing on Christmas and St. Patrick’s Day games.
Deductive reasoning suggests that the Lakers could be one of those teams as they’re scheduled to play the Miami Heat on Christmas — and last season every team that played on Christmas wore a special Christmas edition jersey.
Another indicator is that the Lakers were one of the NBA Summer League teams to wear the jerseys with the sleeves this year. The Spurs, Pistons, Magic, Bobcats and Knicks, among others, wore the sleeved jerseys as well.
We don’t know yet if the NBA will require all teams to wear Christmas edition jerseys again, but it would make financial sense for Adidas to have the most popular teams in the NBA add an alternate jersey to help boost their sales. As of right now, it looks like the Lakers will wear sleeved jerseys at least once.
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