Those of you who took in some of the NBA action on Christmas Day got a chance to watch players wearing sleeved jerseys. Most players and fans were not fond of the jerseys leading up to and during the game. New York Knicks guard Beno Udrih even felt that they negatively affected his performance.
Udrih, who got the start in a 123-94 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder because of injuries to Raymond Felton and Pablo Prigioni, went 1-for-6 shooting and scored just two points in 30 minutes. His most embarrassing moment came when he clanked a wide open 3-pointer off the side of the background. Udrih was later seen pulling up the sleeves on his jersey.
“Personally it bothered me and my shot,” Udrih said, per Chris Herring of the Wall Street Journal. “On a normal shot, I’m used to getting my shoulder and elbow up [unhindered]. That was my personal feeling. I don’t know how anyone else was feeling. I know Timmy [Hardaway] was saying he wore it in college before. I never did it before.”
While it sounds like an incredibly lame excuse, Herring did point out that four of Udrih’s shots missed the rim altogether. It may not have been a physical issue, but I would not be surprised if the sleeves were in his head.
After the Miami Heat’s 101-95 win over the Los Angeles Lakers, LeBron James admitted that he “felt a little tug” when shooting and would probably ask for a bigger jersey the next time his team has to wear sleeves.
As SI.com’s The Point Forward noted, the Thunder shot 53.6% from the field against the Knicks. The sleeves certainly didn’t seem bother Kevin Durant and company, and I doubt they had an affect on New York’s defense. Were the jerseys a bust? You could say that, but they’re also another convenient excuse for a disappointing 9-19 team.Google+