Mark Cuban‘s Dallas Mavericks did not play on Christmas this year, but that didn’t prevent the outspoken owner from voicing his opinion on the controversial sleeved jerseys worn by the 10 teams that did suit up on the holiday.
“Hated them,” Cuban said Thursday, according to ESPN.com. “I just thought it made our guys look more like a high school wrestling team or a college wrestling team.”
The desire for greater jersey sales is the clear motivation behind the proliferation of sleeves in the NBA, as the league believes fans will be more willing to wear a sleeved jersey than a tank top in everyday situations. Cuban, however, sees a flaw in this logic.
“I think the people that will buy them are more the jersey heads and the people who are trying to be hip and cool as opposed to the mainstream fan who just wants something to wear to work or something to wear to school,” he said. “I don’t think schools are going to be happy if 16-year-old boys come in wearing skin-tight gym wrestling gear. My opinion, they’ll sell, but we could have sold more.
“We would have been better off, if we want people to wear them casually, to get the trainers and everybody else to wear them to show them in a realistic setting. So I would have done it a little differently, but we’ll see what happens.”
In addition to the special-edition Christmas uniforms — which featured an oversized, gray team logo on the chest rather than the player’s number — several NBA teams have sleeved options in their regular uniform rotation. The league’s “Noche Latina” and St. Patrick’s Day jerseys reportedly also will be of the sleeved variety this season.