Blazers Thoughts: The Supreme Shooting Sleeve

by Casey Holdahl
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In a new feature here on Forward/Center, I'll be periodically asking members of the Trail Blazers their opinions on various frivolous topics relating to the NBA and/or the sporting world at large. In the first installment, I ask the players their thoughts on the Supreme x Nike x NBA shooting sleeve worn by Kelly Oubre Jr. and J.R. Smith this season. Supreme, the preeminent brand in streetwear, is incredibly popular with NBA players, so it only made sense to follow up with Portland's roster to hear what they thought of the collaboration and whether they plan on wearing the sleeve in a game this season...

EVAN TURNER

“I thought it was dope! I thought it was hella dope man. That was ill, to tell you the truth. Right now the collabs that Supreme is doing, I just think it’s dope, whether they do it with North Face or Everlast or something. That was dope to do it in the NBA, not like a fake shooting sleeve but like the actual NBA Nike shooting sleeve. That’s hard. I had a chance to buy it but once I saw it I already had an idea of four or five people had done it. I didn’t want to do it just to feel like I was doing it, you feel me? Maybe in the summertime on some funny (stuff) I’ll wear it.

“I like it to feel natural, not just go out of my way to do it. I always do my wrist pad, but on the court it’s about basketball, so I don’t so much want to make it about anything else.

“My legs are too thick to do that. I think Kelly Oubre pulled it off very nicely. I think what he has going for him, his legs aren’t as thick as mine, so he could pull it off. Once he hits the mid-20s where a sandwich effects you more, he’ll probably start wearing it on his arm, too. It was dope that he did it, that was fly. I thought it was dope, I think Kelly’s a fly dude. That was dope.”

CJ MCCOLLUM

“Oh, goodness. Didn’t have like an NBA logo on it or something like that? That’s dope. I think it’s nice, I guess. People like Supreme gear so to put it in the NBA, in an actual game, will probably help the sales. But I’m surprised that these guys are wearing it, you’d have to pay me to wear that. That’s free advertising. They’d have to break the bank for me to put it on. Even (Banana Republic, who McCollum has a sponsorship agreement with) would have to pay me extra.”

NOAH VONLEH

“I’d say no because I don’t wear a shooting sleeve, but if I did, I probably would though. Supreme is starting to really come up, it’s real big in fashion now. I think that’s what’s really bringing people into it. They’re doing collabs with different companies like Louis Vuitton, North Face, different brands. I guess everybody is trying to set a trend, everybody is real into fashion now. You see Kelly Oubre wear it, J.R. Smith. You’ll probably see more guys starting to wear it.”

ED DAVIS

“I don’t really think too much of it. A lot of guys in the NBA want attention so they do whatever they gotta do to get it, but I don’t know man. Does it do something special that the other (shooting sleeves) doesn’t do? Guys want attention, that’s all there is to it.”

PAT CONNAUGHTON

“I don’t know, I’m not going to lie to you. I don’t know a whole lot about them. I just know that when it broke with Kelly it became a big thing across the internet and then J.R. obviously added one to it. I didn’t really thing much about it… I’m not into it as much. I know about it and stuff like that, seen it with some of the guys, but I haven’t really delved into that aspect of my life.”

AL-FAROUQ AMINU

“It’s dope! It’s dope. I know you’re not supposed to wear it or whatever the case might be, but it’s dope. I kind of like that people did it on the low. Hope they didn’t get fined or whatever the case might be but it was cool, just something different.

“I think it should be allowed in the sense of how they do different festivity nights, you know what I mean? There should be a night were you’re able to do cool stuff like that. It adds another element to it. Maybe it’s something they will do, kind of like when they do Halloween shoes or something that like. If anything, a ‘Streetwear Night’ or something like that, I think a lot of guys would like that.”

DAMIAN LILLARD

“Trend. It’s trendy stuff. Somebody step out there on the edge, do something like that, then somebody else do it. Lebron wore two different color shoes, I’m pretty sure you’re going to see that happening. Like, I even thought about like ‘Man, that was a good idea.’ I think it’s just trendy stuff, stuff that a few people would do and then the next person would do it. Same thing as the arm sleeve, leg sleeve and all of that. I think the NBA will find a way to make it to where you could wear it, but they gonna want something out the deal."

SHABAZZ NAPIER

“It’s trendy. It’s trendy because of Supreme… No, I wouldn’t wear it. It does help engage with fans, helps show that we’re just as simple as the next person going out there buying Supreme clothing. And fans love it, so it’s a great way to engage with your fans to show that you love the same things that they love.”

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