The sleeved jerseys that NBA fans love to hate may be coming to an end after the 2016-17 season.
Adidas announced Monday it wouldnot attempt to renew its 11-year, $400 million apparel deal with the NBA when the current contract expires at the end of the 2016-2017 season. While that is two years away, the news has prompted many spectators to wonder about the future of the poorly-selling, oft-trashed jerseys.
Paul Lukas, the notable sports uniform blogger, thinks there is a chance the NBA will do away with the sleeves.
"It's worth keeping in mind that Nike and Under Armour are just as capable of producing a sleeved jersey as Adidas is. Still, Adidas has made the sleeved look part of its signature style in recent years, not just in the NBA but in the NCAA, as well. When the company leaves the NBA, the hunch here is that the sleeves will probably leave, as well -- unless the league ends up wanting to put corporate advertising patches on the sleeves."
The jerseys have been trashed by fans and players, like LeBron James, who say the jerseys affect their motions.
"It's definitely a different feeling," James said in 2013. "Every time I shot I felt a little tug."
Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki wasn't a fan either.
Call me old school but these jerseys with sleeves are awful.....
— Dirk Nowitzki (@swish41) December 25, 2013
One of the primary reasons for the sleeved jerseys was retail potential, but reports indicate they weren't living up to expectations.
The NBA will most likely receive lucrative offers from Nike and Under Armour, but there's a chance fans may not be able to see the new uniforms in 2017. That's because the NBA's CBA ends in 2017 and, if past negotiations are any indication, there may be another labor stoppage.