- Paul Lukas
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NBA uniforms have changed a lot over the years. We've seen shorts go from short to long. We've seen socks go from high to low. We've seen jerseys go from tight to baggy. We've seen fabrics go from cotton to high-tech polymers. We've seen padded base layers, padded arm sleeves, tights and more.
The one thing we've never seen, however, is sleeves.
The Warriors have just unveiled a new sleeved alternate jersey. It will make its on-court debut Feb. 22, when Golden State will be hosting the Spurs, and also will be worn March 8 against the Rockets and March 15 against the Bulls.
According to this story, the sleeved jersey is 26 percent lighter than a standard NBA jersey (although it would presumably be even lighter if you cut off the sleeves). The article also implies that additional NBA teams may eventually go the sleeved route.
Sleeves used to be a somewhat common sight in college basketball. The most notable sleeved college team was Evansville, which wore sleeves from the late 1940s through the mid-1970s, and again from 1986 through 2002 (plus they've occasionally revived the look as a throwback).
To my knowledge, however, sleeves have never been worn in the NBA. The league briefly considered letting players wear long-sleeved undershirts for an outdoor preseason game a few years ago, but nothing came of it.
Personally, I kind of like the look, at least as a change of pace. One thing nags at me, though: If the NBA revives its now-postponed plan to add advertising patches to the league's uniforms, the sleeves will offer some handy real estate for patch placement. Could that be the real reason behind this new jersey format? Hmmm.