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Mixed Reviews for adidas Short-Sleeve Trial Jerseys

by Scott Agness | @ScottAgness

July 12, 2013

The Pacers were one of about a dozen NBA Summer League teams experimenting with adidas’ adizero short sleeve NBA Uniform System. Because they’re much different than the usual tank top look, players and fans alike weren’t shy to voice their opinion. Adidas believes that with time, fans and players will become more accustomed to the sleeved look.

First, it’s important to note that the jerseys worn in Summer League were just trial jerseys, with a logo screen printed on. Official jerseys – like the ones the Golden State Warriors wore last season – would be much better looking, with names and numbers stitched on and of higher quality. The key word in all of this is “trial.”

Related: Pacers to Test Short-Sleeve adidas Jersey at 2013 Summer League »

Pacers guard Ben Hansbrough wasn’t feeling the new jerseys on Sunday after playing his first game with the different style.

“Not sure what adidas is going with,” he wrote on in a series of posts on Twitter. “First time ever playing in a basketball game with sleeves. …Why bring sleeves in when its never been a part of the game??”

The reason why adidas is trying to bring sleeves into the picture is simple. They’re hoping to boost jersey sales.

At an NFL game, a great number of fans wear jerseys, which are shaped like a t-shirt and suitable for any body type. An NBA jersey, however, is essentially a tank top. Kids have no problem wearing them, but adults don’t seem to like the look and usually will wear a t-shirt underneath if they do choose to wear a jersey to the game.

Adidas wants to change that. They believe if the players wear short-sleeve jerseys, then they’ll sell and then more and more fans won’t hesitate to buy – and wear – licensed jerseys.

An adidas official confirmed to Pacers.com that five new teams will wear a short-sleeve jersey on occasion during the 2013-14 regular season and the Pacers are not one of them.

Jonny Flynn understands exactly where adidas is coming from.

“I think it’s cool, just being in the era we are where fashion is so big,” he said. “A lot of people aren’t built to wear sleeveless jerseys. You have to have a sleeve if you’re a regular common fan. So I think, for them, it would be better to have sleeves on the jerseys and a lot more people would definitely buy them.

So what did Flynn think about playing in the tight-fitting jersey?

“The only time you really think about [wearing it] is when you’re putting it on,” he added. “See in college, I played with an undershirt like this. Unlike other guys, I was kind of used to playing with a tight jersey. I like it. It made me look like the Incredible Hulk out there so I’m all for it.”

Here's what a few other Pacers players had to say about the sleeved jerseys:

Orlando Johnson: “Ah, not very good. They shouldn’t never ever do these type of jerseys in a game. This is like a shirt I’m working out in. It’s not a basketball jersey.”

Solomon Hill: “They feel like dry-fits. It’s not really a bother. It’s cool because you basically feel like you’re just out there playing with a dry-fit t-shirt on.”

Julian Mavunga: “It’s not terrible. I don’t think it really limits you. It just feels awkward a little bit. It’s like playing pick up ball in a dry-fit t-shirt. It’s different so it feels weird. If basketball jerseys were like this since day one and all of sudden we wore cut-offs, we would still say it was weird. I feel like it’s something you can get used to but it’s different.”

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