- Tim MacMahon, ESPN Staff Writer
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DALLAS -- As far as Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is concerned, the NBA committed a major fashion faux pas by having all 10 teams that played Christmas Day suited up in short-sleeved jerseys.
"Hated them," Cuban said before the Mavs hosted the San Antonio Spurs on Thursday night. "I just thought it made our guys look more like a high school wrestling team or a college wrestling team."
Cuban, whose Mavs had Christmas off, understands the NBA is attempting to market the short-sleeved jerseys to fans who might not want to wear tank tops. He just doesn't believe it's necessary for superstars such as LeBron James and Kevin Durant to wear the T-shirt-style jerseys in games to get them to sell.
"I could have thought of better ways to sell [the short-sleeved jerseys] and a lot of different ways by having them in a casual-wear situation," Cuban said. "We would have been better off, if we want people to wear them casually, to get the trainers and everybody else to wear them to show them in a realistic setting. So I would have done it a little differently, but we'll see what happens."
Cuban said he thinks the short-sleeved jerseys still will sell but that a lot of fans will be turned off by the tight fit. He anticipates that people will buy the jerseys a few sizes larger than normal so they'll be baggy.
"I think the people that will buy them are more the jersey heads and the people who are trying to be hip and cool as opposed to the mainstream fan who just wants something to wear to work or something to wear to school," Cuban said. "I don't think schools are going to be happy if 16-year-old boys come in wearing skin-tight gym wrestling gear. My opinion, they'll sell, but we could have sold more.
"You live and you learn. That's just my opinion. Maybe I'll be wrong. Maybe they'll sell like gangbusters in China."
Of course, Cuban was the mastermind behind some of the ugliest jerseys in NBA history. The Mavs wore shiny silver jerseys that looked brown when they got wet with sweat during the 2003-04 season opener. They never wore those jerseys again.
"They looked like wet garbage bags," Cuban said, "but I took them off the market after one game."
8dEthan Sherwood Strauss