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NBA VP says if players ultimately don’t want to wear sleeved jerseys, league will listen


The sleeved jerseys the NBA rolled out last season and has expanded the use of this year have gotten a mixed reaction from players and fans alike.

The vote that counts, however, is the one made with dollars spent on them by the fans, and that’s why we saw all 10 teams that played on Christmas Day wearing them, and it’s why the decision was made to go with the sleeves for the All-Star game in New Orleans this season.

The league is a business, but it isn’t one that will sacrifice on-court product for a short-term money grab. So, if over time a majority of players express their unhappiness with the sleeves, the NBA might listen.

From Ric Bucher of Bleacher Report:

“We don’t have any intention to do anything that is going to compromise the play on the court or that the players are against doing,” Sal LaRocca, the NBA’s executive vice president of global merchandising said. …

In any case, LaRocca said plans for next year’s Christmas Day uniforms and the 2015 All-Star Game already are being discussed. If the All-Stars make it clear they don’t like the look or feel of this year’s uniforms, the league will respond accordingly.

“If the feedback is that the players don’t want to wear them, we won’t,” LaRocca said. “We are 50-50 partners with the players in everything we do.”

Here’s the thing: The players are making just as much money as the league is off of these and all other jersey sales. It’s a 50-50 revenue split in this area, so despite certain players expressing their unhappiness with (or blaming substandard shooting performances on) the sleeves, if fans continue to buy them in volumes that exceed expectations, the jerseys and their sleeves are likely to be here to stay.

Cavaliers stand in middle of Raptors dancers’ routine (video)

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The Cavaliers were ready for their game against the Raptors tonight, and Toronto’s dance team wasn’t going to change that.

The last time I remember something like this happening, Grizzlies guard Tony Allen walked through the Warriors’ kid dancers. This video doesn’t show got the Cavaliers got to that point, but they might have the defense of being there first. Allen definitely didn’t have that.

Wizards score 6 (!) fourth-quarter points in loss to Hornets

Cody Zeller, Ramon Sessions
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Gary Neal made a jumper with 10:12 remaining in tonight’s Wizards-Hornets game.

That was Washington’s last basket.

Jared Dudley made a pair of free throws on the Wizards next possession, and Neal added two more free throws with 23 seconds left.

And that was all the Wizards scoring in the quarter.

Washington, which entered the final period up seven, lost 101-87 after its 1-for-20 final-period shooting.

The six fourth-quarter points were the fewest by an NBA team in a quarter since Cavaliers scored six third-quarter points in a Jan. 26, 2014 loss to the Suns. Last time a team scored so few in a fourth quarter: Nov. 13, 2012, when the Raptors had five against the Pacers.

At least Neal’s late free throws spared the Wizards further shame. Nobody has scored four or fewer points in a quarter since the Warriors managed just two in a Feb. 8, 2004 loss to the Raptors.

As it stands, this is one of only 44 times in the shot clock era a team has scored so few points in a quarter.

76ers tie NBA-record losing streak, dropping heartbreaker to Celtics

Isaiah Thomas, T.J. McConnell

After a rare period of on-court competence, the 76ers led the Celtics by five with two minutes left tonight.

Then, Philadelphia snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.

The 76ers yielded a 9-0 run to close an 84-80 setback.

They’re now 0-16. Combined with their 0-10 finish to last season, that’s a 26-game losing streak – tied for longest in NBA history. Last year’s 76ers already shared the record.

Philadelphia is also in danger of the worst start to a season. The 2009-10 New Jersey Nets began 0-18, and last year’s 76ers won only one game sooner.

The 76ers will try to avoid the all-time longest streak at the Rockets on Friday. If that goes unsuccessfully, they’ll try to avoid matching the worst season start at the Grizzlies on Sunday. And if both fail, they could set the worst-start record against the Lakers on Tuesday.

76ers-Lakers – it’s shaping up to be a big one.

Timberwolves read mean tweets about themselves (video)

Flip Saunders, Karl-Anthony Towns, Tyus Jones
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The Timberwolves didn’t select the meanest tweets about these players, but credit Karl-Anthony Towns, Tyus Jones, Shabazz Muhammad and Zach LaVine for being good sports.