Someone asked me how my blog and newspaper column came to be titled "Bleachers Brew". It's like this, it's an amalgam of sorts of two things: The bleachers area in the stadium/arena where I used to sit when I would watch baseball, football, and basketball games and Miles Davis' great jazz album Bitches Brew. That's how it got culled together. I originally planned on calling it "The View from the Big Chair" that is a nod to Tears For Fear's second album, Songs from the Big Chair. So there.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

On those short-sleeved NBA jerseys

On those short-sleeved NBA jerseys
by rick olivares

When I first saw those short-sleeved NBA uniforms (with their solid color and huge team logo designs), my first thought was, “They look like something a volleyball player would wear.”
Karch Kiraly

And I thought back to that great American Men’s Volleyball Teams from 1984-88 where they won back-to-back gold medals in the Olympics in addition to two FIVB championships in between. That team had the great Karch Kiraly, named the best male volleyball player of the 20th century by FIVB, the flat-topped Steve Timmons, Dusty Dvorak, Pat Powers, and Aldis Berzins to name a few.

Then I thought, “Not another merchandising gimmick to get people to shell out money.”

Anyone who has played pick up basketball knows that it’s okay to wear t-shirts while playing. But when it gets heavy because of sweat, you roll up the sleeves.

Only these new adidas jerseys are of that adizero design where it 26% lighter than the NBA jersey that comes with a moisture absorbing feature. The sleeves are made with a stretch fabric so that when a baller goes into him jumpshot mode, it doesn’t interfere with his shot.

During the NBA’s Christmas Day games, quite a few voiced out their displeasure with the new short-sleeved jerseys.

From Joe Goodman of the Miami Herald

However, now when I have stewed on it, it’s not so bad. It will just take some getting used to by the players. Don’t those baggy shorts weigh players down as well?

As someone who used to buy, wear, and collect a lot of basketball and NBA jerseys in particular, it somewhat felt awkward trying to wear them out in public. Unless I was playing a pick up game, I never wore those tank tops in public.

If I did I wore it over a t-shirt.

They aren’t like those baseball, American football or soccer kits that look just fine on and off the field.

The new short-sleeved jerseys would look good if it were perhaps less form hugging and a little more loose or baggy. If you aren’t athletically fit, I don’t thin anyone wants the shirt to be defined by those fatty contours.

That will lead to consumers buying sizes a little bigger.

Maybe the league might want to consider that as well.

Since we’re on the topic of jerseys – and I will keep it to the NBA stuff here – I mostly buy the swingman-type (now priced at $109.95) as opposed to the replicas ($69.95). I do have one authentic ($299.95) and that’s Manu Ginobili’s (that I got from the man himself during a game after a San Antonio Spurs game at New Jersey). Sure, the authentic and swingman versions are more expensive but they are a price you pay for quality and authenticity.

The short-sleeved jerseys are priced the same way the tank top replicas and swingman shirts.

Do I count myself as a jerseyhead? Not anymore as I don’t buy too many nowadays. But here’s what I have in my collection.

Swingman jerseys in my collection:
Michael Jordan – Washington Wizards
Latrell Sprewell – New York Knicks
Kobe Bryant – Los Angeles Lakers
Jeremy Lin – New York Knicks
Chris Mullin – Golden State Warriors
Pau Gasol – Los Angeles Lakers
James Harden – Houston Rockets
Pablo Prigioni – New York Knicks

Replica jerseys in my collection:
Michael Jordan – Chicago Bulls
Kobe Bryant – Los Angeles Lakers (the old #8)
Tracy McGrady – Orlando Magic
Jason Kidd – New Jersey Nets
Kevin Durant – Oklahoma City Thunder
Andres Nocioni – Chicago Bulls

Judging by the reaction to the short-sleeved NBA jerseys, it doesn’t sound good. But I know a lot has been invested in them. Let’s see where they go with this.

Jingle Hoops

The Making of Jingle Hoops

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