It appears the NBA is about to take another major step toward integrating short-sleeved jerseys, as CSNNW's Chris Haynes reports that the league's "heritage" jerseys will be sleeved starting in the 2014-15 season.
Several teams, including the Portland Trail Blazers ("Rip City") and Detroit Pistons ("Motor City"), have popular heritage jerseys that they break out on occasion.
Haynes notes that while some teams are hesitant to embrace the uniform change, many are in favor of the new look and the league itself is a huge proponent of sleeved jerseys.
The sleeved jerseys were unveiled by the Golden State Warriors in February 2013 and were featured prominently in the league's Christmas Day slate of games.
Haynes notes that there may be some change with how exactly the jerseys are unveiled, but the plans seem to be fully in place.
While the change may seem superficial, it actually does seem to have some impact on a player's performance, as Michael Lopez notes:
Holding opponent and game location constant, here are the sleeved & unsleeved FG% of 35 NBA players pic.twitter.com/uW3elNiD0f— Michael Lopez (@StatsbyLopez) December 27, 2013
Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has said he "hated" the sleeved jerseys, according to ESPN Dallas' Tim MacMahon, and claimed the uniforms "made our guys look more like a high school wrestling team or a college wrestling team."
ESPN's NBA Social Media Editor, Adam Reisinger, believes sleeved jerseys are only going to become more common going forward:
My guess: within the next 2 years, all alternate jerseys will be required to be sleeved. By 2020, all NBA jerseys will have sleeves w/ ads.— Adam Reisinger (@AdamReisinger) January 1, 2014
Pinwheel Empire, a Portland Trail Blazers fan site, expressed concern over changing the franchise's beloved "Rip City" jerseys: