Once again, Christmas Day will be celebrated with a few marquee NBA matchups. Our very own Spurs are playing the Houston Rockets, who will visit the AT&T Center for the last time in the regular season. The late night game features two California teams that have supplanted the Lakers as the best of the West Coast, with the Clippers visiting Oakland to face the Golden State Warriors. In the East, the Chicago Bulls will visit the Brooklyn Nets, and in a star-studded game, OKC will visit Madison Square Garden to face the New York Knicks. Will Kobe be back in time to wear these ... jerseys? If so, he'll have a tough time facing defending champs LeBron James and the Heat.
For 2013, the NBA has unveiled their BIG Logo Jerseys, continuing their insistence of making sure you know that the NBA IS BIG. You may remember that this isn't the first time that the league has employed special occasion jerseys. Just last year, they went with monochrome jerseys for Christmas. This year's jerseys, which have no lettering on the front, are clearly aimed at making the game more accessible to toddlers and the illiterate. To be honest, it's a great way to get the logo out in the public eye on a night when the NBA is watched by millions on national TV.
Hats and jerseys are essentially league advertising that the customer pays for the privilege to wear. But on top of that, These jerseys are ridiculous. They look like uniforms worn by little kids in recreation center leagues. I know I shouldn't be against these since they're just going to be in use for a single day. I'm aware that these will fit more like regular shirts, and won't just hang on your body.
With a tighter fit, I guess the NBA is reaching out to those fans that don't play basketball and would wear the jerseys on a regular basis. The new jerseys run at $110, the same price as the Swingman jerseys at the NBA store. For t-shirts, they're expensive. But maybe since they're limited edition, it makes sense. I have to admit, the NBA is getting better and better at advertising the game, lack of Spurs coverage notwithstanding. Maybe you've seen this commercial already.
The league knows that it draws a ton of eyes on Christmas, so it puts teams in matchups that will be hard-fought games, or at least large markets facing contenders. Nearly every major market is represented, with the Knicks, the Bulls and the Lakers playing. Although the Warriors and the Nets weren't staples of national TV before now.
After all, the NBA, just like most major sports, creates these limited edition jerseys in order to get some casual fans or even non-NBA fans in the mix. I asked a female friend who doesn't watch the NBA what she thought about the jerseys, since she is the just the type of person that the NBA is marketing this towards. She said she liked them, but wouldn't go out of her way to get one.
What about you £ers?