Sources: Nike "Extensively Reviewing" How LeBron James' Jersey Tore In Season Opener
Nike execs are "extensively reviewing" why the back of Cavaliers F LeBron James' jersey "split down the middle" during Tuesday night's Celtics-Cavs NBA regular season opener, according to sources cited by Darren Rovell of ESPN.com. When Celtics F Jaylen Brown "grabbed at James' jersey while defending him, the jersey tore, separating the Nos. 2 and 3" on the back of his uniform. Nike's new NBA jerseys on Tuesday were "being worn for the first time in a regular-season game" after the company "signed an eight-year deal that sources say is worth" approximately $1B. However, this is the "second time a Nike NBA jersey tore." Lakers G Tyler Ennis during the team's preseason opener against the T'Wolves "had his jersey ripped, and the 0 in his No. 10 uniform was left hanging." While Nike "makes the materials and provides blank uniforms to the squads, it often is the team's responsibility to find a vendor to custom-stitch the names and numbers on the official jerseys" (ESPN.com, 10/19). QUARTZ' Marc Bain wrote this is the "sort of contact that happens all the time, and probably shouldn't have been enough to rip the jersey." Why the jerseys "seem to keep ripping isn't exactly clear." But a public problem with its products is "not what Nike needs right now." Nike has been "hoping its NBA deal would reignite some heat around the brand." Two torn jerseys "aren't an unfixable disaster." but it is "not how Nike wanted to start off its new role as the NBA's official outfitter" (QZ.com, 10/18). BUSINESS INSIDER's Tyler Lauletta wrote it is "still early, but if problems like this persist, Nike may have to make adjustments to the way they construct their jerseys" (BUSINESSINSIDER.com, 10/18).