Jodie Meeks Endorses Sleeved NBA Jerseys, Wants to Wear Them More

Grant Hughes@@gt_hughesNational NBA Featured ColumnistMarch 27, 2014

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Though many of the NBA's more outspoken players have come out against sleeved jerseys, Los Angeles Lakers guard Jodie Meeks is one of the few who has voiced his support.

Per Matthew Hochberg of Dime Magazine, Meeks said:

I don’t have any complaints with them. I had my career-game in them – I wish I could wear them every day (Laughs). They’re a lot lighter. Sleeveless jerseys are obviously the traditional ones and have been around longer, but I have no problem with sleeved jerseys. We should wear them more.

Meeks isn't just taking a contrarian position—he's speaking from the heart.

In the midst of a lost season with the Los Angeles Lakers, a sleeved Meeks enjoyed a banner game on March 9, scoring a career-high 42 points in a stunning 114-110 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Maybe if Cleveland Cavaliers guard Jarrett Jack had enjoyed similar success in the league's polarizing tops, he wouldn't be saying, "We're like the Beach Police. You know those police who are on the beach with those bikes? They've got those little shirts with the shorts? That's what we look like. Like we about to give somebody a citation," per Jodie Valade of the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

You can also count Stephen Curry among those who prefer the old-school tanks when it comes to in-game wear. Last year, Curry called the jerseys "ugly," perhaps out of frustration following a 2-of-13 effort, per Sam Amick of USA Today.

And earlier this year, LeBron James expressed frustration following a rough shooting effort of his own, per Ben Golliver of Sports Illustrated. "Every time I shoot it pulled. It feels like it’s just pulling every time I shoot, right underneath my arm. I already don’t have much room for error on my jumpshot anyway, so it’s definitely not a good thing."

It won't make Curry or James feel any better, but Benjamin Hoffman of The New York Times has the raw data on performance (through games played on March 8)—and it turns out sleeves aren't a significant performance-reducer:

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For the season, players wearing sleeved jerseys have connected on 46.3 percent of their shots while players going sleeveless have hit 45.3 percent. The Minnesota Timberwolves have worn them a league-high 10 times and have maintained the same field-goal percentage regardless of jersey style. Among teams that have worn the jerseys more than twice, only the Warriors have a lower field-goal percentage in sleeves, and the difference is 45.6 to 45.2, with the team actually shooting better from 3-point range in sleeves.

Numbers aside, Meeks is pretty much alone in his feelings on sleeved jerseys, and a proposed meeting between James and NBA commissioner Adam Silver could result in a return to full-time tank tops.

If it does, we know at least one player will be disappointed.

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