LeBron James could lead the charge for NBA to end sleeved jersey experiment

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Football News

On June 28th 2006 then-NBA Commissioner David Stern announced the league would cease using the same leather ball it had been using for the previous 35 years, in favor of using a composite material ball the league said would be "the best ball in the world."

The league went ahead and used the new ball throughout the pre-season, and when the season started that year on October 31st, the new ball made its debut. 

Six weeks later, the league announced that it was going back to the leather ball, and aside from some minor cosmetic changes, the ball is the same one that Kareem, Magic, Bird, and Jordan used.

One of the reasons that the league changed was the outcry from the then-two-time reigning MVP Steve Nash about the ball.

"[It] tears my fingers apart." Nash said early in the 2006 season.

Even LeBron James endorsed the change back to the old ball at the time.

James said of the situation at the time, "We've used [the old ball] a long time. It wouldn't be hard to make the adjustment." 

When star players make a big deal about big changes on the court, the NBA has listened.

They may be wise to listen this time.

The two-time reigning MVP LeBron James voiced his displeasure with the NBA's sleeved jerseys.

James wasn't happy with the jerseys after the Heat wore them for the first time on Christmas Day or when the NBA All-Stars donned the sleeved jerseys.

"Every time I shoot it feels like it's just pulling right up underneath my arm. I already don't have much room for error on my jump shot. It's definitely not a good thing."

The numbers back up James' assertion.

In the three games James has played with the sleeved jerseys, he's 0-for-14 from three point range, despite shooting 37.4 percent for the season.

The Heat are not scheduled to wear the sleeved jerseys again this season.

James, however, isn't the only NBA All-Star to dislike the new duds, Dirk Nowitzki his frustration with the jerseys after wearing them on Christmas.

Nowitzki tweeted "Call me old school but these jerseys with sleeves are awful....."

NBA commissioner Adam Silver said the league would listen to, and consider the concerns of the players. He also noted that the sleeved jerseys have been near the top sellers among NBA jerseys this year. 


Miami Heat
LeBron James
Dallas Mavericks

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