Skip to content

Adidas crosses line with new sleeved jerseys

Feb 11, 2013, 7:30 PM EDT

Kansas v West Virginia Getty Images

Today, it was announced by Adidas that they’ll be unveiling a new type of jersey — well, depending on when you grew up, maybe old-school type — with a compression-sleeve alternate uniform that the Golden State Warriors will play in in the near future.

You really should click that link to see these jerseys. The thing almost looks painted on Harrison Barnes’ chest.

Normally, whatever the shoe/apparel brands start off in the NBA, eventually trickles down to the college game. And that’s almost a “death, taxes” certainty with Adidas. Who released last season’s infrared uniforms for teams like Baylor and Louisville and this season had teams like Kansas don monochromatic jerseys (see picture).

Then there was this tweet from the always reliable Marc J. Spears who covers the NBA for Yahoo!

So let’s just face it, Arad McCutchen is getting his way from beyond the grave.

First, let me say that I’m a huge advocate of most uniform enhancements. I love most of what I see, with the exception of this season’s stunt by Nike to seemingly make practice jersey’s suitable for games.

But this is where someone has to draw the line. Yes, players wear compression shirts under jerseys. That doesn’t mean that players want sleeves on the jerseys.

The biggest problem will be that — even though I’m sure Adidas has looked at this — is the restriction of movement. Players are used to jerseys having some movement. They’re somewhat form-fitting, but loose in the place they need it (shoulders, waist, etc.). The sleeves themselves, should they choose to wear them under a standard jersey, don’t limit the total body movement. By combining the two, you bring that into play. A ball-handler isn’t going to like that. Nor is a shooter who likes arm extension.

Also, there are some players who don’t wear sleeves because, hint, they don’t like them. One of them was never Tony Crocker, but the modern player has most likely come up in AAU and high school wearing a standard no-sleeved jersey. What about the players who avoid sleeves? College kids don’t all have the best mental games, and Adidas is risking throwing a few off their games? Comfort is a part of the game, believe it or not.

Bottom line: It’s okay to tinker with color, scheme and fit. There’s nothing wrong with trying to improve what is on the jersey. But when a company starts to alter the jersey construction itself, it could actually start affecting the game a bit. Enough to decide games? I doubt it. But this isn’t the pre-shot clock area where sleeves were somewhat common.

There’s a line between genius and crazy. And Adidas is flirting with it.

Follow David Harten on Twitter at @David_Harten.

Latest Posts
  1. Field for the 2015 Veterans Classic announced

    Apr 27, 2015, 1:50 PM EDT

    AP Photo AP Photo

    It will feature a preseason top five team.

  2. College basketball’s six biggest early entry winners for the 2015-2016 season

    Apr 27, 2015, 12:00 PM EDT

    Getty Images Getty Images

    Which potential draft picks returning to school will be the most influential in 2015-16?

  3. Austin Hatch’s inspirational basketball career has come to a close

    Apr 27, 2015, 10:17 AM EDT

    AP Photo AP Photo

    Hatch is one of the most inspirational people you will ever hear about

  4. UPDATED: 2015-2016 College Basketball Way-Too-Early Preseason Rankings

    Apr 27, 2015, 9:00 AM EDT

    Marcus Paige (Getty Images) Getty Images

    The return of Buddy Hield pushes previously unranked Oklahoma into our way too early rankings.

  5. 2015 College Basketball Updated Early Entry List

    Apr 27, 2015, 8:00 AM EDT

    Getty Images Getty Images

    Who’s going pro? Who’s returning to school? Who are we still waiting to hear from?

  6. Texas A&M adds former USF point guard, eligible immediately

    Apr 26, 2015, 8:45 PM EDT

    AP Photo AP

    Collins averaged 7.1 points and 5.2 assists per game last season, and his arrival could lead to Alex Caruso getting more scoring opportunities off the ball.

  7. Alcorn State announces hiring of Montez Robinson as head coach

    Apr 26, 2015, 7:35 PM EDT

    Bethune-Cookman Athletics Bethune-Cookman Athletics

    Robinson has quite the rebuilding job on his hands, but guard LeAntwan Luckett (16.3 ppg) is one of the team’s top four scorers who have eligibility remaining.

  8. Former Arizona State signee headed to Washington

    Apr 26, 2015, 7:05 PM EDT

    AP Photo AP

    Dominic Green was released from his National Letter of Intent to Arizona State a couple weeks ago.

  9. New NCAA VP of Division I governance wants to take closer look at graduate ‘transfer’ rules

    Apr 26, 2015, 6:02 PM EDT

    NCAA_Logo AP

    In addition to making graduates sit out a year, there’s also consideration of the idea that schools can restrict where they can go.

  10. Top 100 point guard headed to Iowa State

    Apr 26, 2015, 4:05 PM EDT

    Fred Hoiberg Fred Hoiberg

    Nick Noskowiak joins former Arkansas guard Nick Babb as players who have committed to Iowa State this month.

  11. Kennesaw State hires former Boston College head coach Al Skinner

    Apr 26, 2015, 2:29 PM EDT

    Skinner_web

    Skinner was the longtime coach of Boston College.

  12. New Alabama head coach Avery Johnson touring with Nick Saban

    Apr 26, 2015, 1:00 PM EDT

    Avery Johnson AP

    Avery Johnson is touring with Nick Saban to get more familiar with being a head coach at Alabama.

  13. UAA Day 2: The return of Seventh Woods; Markelle Fultz is the real deal; Josh Jackson’s up-and-down day

    Apr 26, 2015, 11:30 AM EDT

    (Kelly Kline/Under Armour) (Kelly Kline/Under Armour)

    The Under Armour Association has plenty of talented players in its league this season, including former mixtape star Seventh Woods and the No. 1 player in the Class of 2016, Josh Jackson.

  14. Nike EYBL Day 2: Malik Monk gets busy; Harry Giles has a quiet outing; Wendell Carter steps up

    Apr 26, 2015, 10:15 AM EDT

    (USA Baketball) (USA Baketball)

    Malik Monk had a dominating effort on Saturday while Harry Giles didn’t make much of an impact.

  15. No. 1 in Class of 2016 Josh Jackson has a monster outing at Under Armour Association (VIDEO)

    Apr 26, 2015, 9:00 AM EDT

    (Kelly Kline/Under Armour) (Kelly Kline/Under Armour)

    Josh Jackson went for 41 points, seven assists and six rebounds at the Under Armour Association.

  16. Texas point guard Isaiah Taylor returning for junior season

    Apr 25, 2015, 10:19 PM EDT

    AP Photo AP

    Taylor averaged 13.1 points and 4.6 assists per game last season, and his decision to return is a nice boost for head coach Shaka Smart.

  17. Iowa State hosts three players, including two who would be eligible immediately

    Apr 25, 2015, 9:55 PM EDT

    AP Photo AP

    Graduate students Max Bielfeldt and Tyler Harris were in Ames this weekend, as was former Marquette commit Nick Noskowiak.