Adidas and the National Basketball Association introduced richly colored uniforms and warm-up jackets that players will wear for the NBA All-Star Game in New Orleans on Feb. 16. And the jerseys have sleeves, something many fans don't like.
The shirts pay homage to the New Orleans culture, picking up the vibrant purples and greens of the annual Mardi Gras events and featuring a prominent fleur-de-lis, according to Yahoo Sports
“Each year, we look forward to developing a unique on-court look for the players that pays homage to the host city and adds to the excitement of this highly anticipated game,” Chris Grancio, Adidas head of global basketball sports marketing, said in a press release on Thursday. “This year's All-Star collection reflects New Orleans' festive musical history while also providing the premium performance elements that NBA athletes have grown accustomed to.”
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Shirt designs with sleeves have been showing up in the past year on NBA apparel and causing some fans to complain. But although online opinions seem rallied against the sleeves, sales don’t back that up, Grancio told Yahoo.
“The success at retail also has been very good,” he said. “Consumers are voting, and they’re saying yes right now.”
An Adidas spokesperson confirmed to Yahoo that sales of the “BIG Logo” sleeved jerseys from Christmas Day games have almost sold out.
Grancio said the NBA is confident the sleeves don’t interfere in any way with performance, adding that the players and teams have been behind the design changes.
The new design also is the “lightest All-Star uniform we’ve ever made,” Grancio told Yahoo, explaining that changes to the embellishments and lighter-weight shorts also decreased the weight.
But despite the sales figures that NBA and Adidas said back up the decision to put sleeves on the shirts, many fans were vocal about their dislike of the All-Star shirts.
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