SBD/July 22, 2014/Franchises

Thunder Will Not Wear Tag On Jerseys Honoring '79 SuperSonics Championship

An NBA spokesperson said that the Thunder "will not honor" the SuperSonics' '79 NBA title with the league's "new championship tags," according to Cody Stavenhagen of the OKLAHOMAN. The NBA and adidas beginning this season will add a "small gold mark on the back jersey collar of teams that have won an NBA championship." A leaked PDF of an adidas catalog last week "showed Thunder jerseys appearing without the tag." But the club has "yet to confirm or deny the decision." NBA VP/Outfitting, Identity & Equipment Christopher Arena said, “As of right now, they are not wearing it. They actually would have had to have told us that some time ago, and that was their choice. We have several teams who have a lineage that exists prior to the city that they’re in ... Some teams embrace that past, some teams don’t." He added that the jersey addition was "less about boosting retail sales and more about honoring the NBA’s tradition." The NBA discussed "several possible locations for the championship notation, including the jock tag on the bottom of jerseys." But Arena said that designers decided on the back collar so it "would be visible on-court, but also intentionally made it a subtle addition" (OKLAHOMAN, 7/22).

CALL TO ARMS: In Portland, Allan Brettman reported the Trail Blazers for the first time will have a "sleeved jersey in their uniform repertoire for the upcoming season." Arena said that the Blazers' white home jersey "will have the words 'Rip City' on the front," and it will be up to the team to "decide when the jersey will be worn." But whether sleeved jerseys are expected to have a "permanent place in the Blazers' lockers was not clear." Blazers VP/Communications & Public Engagement Michael Lewellen said there are "no immediate plans of a permanent option" for sleeved jerseys. He added, "Our goal is to be as fan-responsive as we can." adidas Dir of Global NBA Partnerships David Cho said that adidas designers had come up with a fabric "specifically made to enhance range of motion around the sleeves." In addition, players can "request a variety of fittings of the jerseys from skintight to loose." Meanwhile, a Blazers official posted a "mockup of the sleeved jerseys" on Instagram yesterday, "inspiring a variety of comments ranging from likes to dislikes, heavily skewing on the dislike side" (OREGONLIVE.com, 7/21).
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