The Cleveland Cavaliers wore sleeved jerseys for the first time last night against the New York Knicks. Overall, the fans liked the look, but some of them complained about them being a little too soccer like.
LeBron James, however, was not feeling the jersey, and after a terrible shooting start, had to take his anger out on something. So, he stretch the sleeve of the jersey and tore it so he could have more mobility. He talked about the incident after the game.
“I was just frustrated with myself,” James said. “I was off rhythm a lot tonight and the jersey was the only thing I could go to. I couldn’t do nothing to my face.
“It might be mental. The jerseys are nice. We love the jerseys. The black looks great. It’s been a while since this franchise has worn black. It was great to be out there to wear those uniforms. I was in my own way, a little frustrated with my shot and couldn’t make a bucket. I had to take it out on something.
“If the fans love them then I love them. I’m so used to the sleeveless cutoffs or whatever you want to call them. For a game here or game there I don’t mind.”
Although he says they were nice, it wouldn’t be the first time LeBron was not comfortable with the fitted sleeved jerseys. He publicly came out and mentioned how restrictive they were after a game against the San Antonio Spurs back in 2014.
James wasn’t the only player who had an issue with the sleeves. Three-point sharpshooter James Jones also talked about why the jerseys are an issue on the floor.
“Probably because I think they’re probably designed by guys that didn’t play basketball,” Jones told cleveland.com. “Then second, our game is a game of above-the-head movement. You’re shooting the ball, grabbing a rebound, reaching, posting up, trying to defend and block a shot. Everything you do is above your head. So to have sleeves, especially restrictive sleeves, formed sleeves, it’s kind of tough. It’s a Dri Fit material to help keep you cool but in order for it to do the things it’s supposed to do it has to restrict you.”
Jones finished with five points on 1-of-3 from the field, including 0-2 on three pointers.
“These fabrics are what they are,” he said. “I tell people they are like compression tights. They are built to compress, so through the course of the game the compression is still consistent. It doesn’t matter how often you use them or how much you move, it’s still the same thing. You tolerate it, but in an ideal world everything you want to do is to put yourself in the best position to display your talents and be the super athletes we are. Things like this kind of slow you down.”
One of the only players to enjoy the jerseys was Mo Williams.
“I don’t want to really discuss the jerseys,” Williams said. “I actually like them so leave that alone. They looked pretty cool to me.”
According to the NBA rules, the Cavs have to wear these jerseys anywhere from three to six times during the season, so you can expect to see these for at least two more games.