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

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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.

Markieff Morris flips off Suns fan (video)

Phoenix Suns' Markieff Morris reacts to a call during the second half of the team's NBA basketball game against the Golden State Warriors, Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2016, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)
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Markieff Morris‘ frustrations last night didn’t end with his scuffle with teammate Archie Goodwin. They didn’t end with the Suns’ loss to the Warriors, either.

As Morris was leaving the court, a fan heckled him: “Markieff, you f—ing suck. I can’t wait until you’re traded.” Though Morris probably agrees with the second sentence, he flipped off the fan:

Though it’s difficult to confirm that video was from last night, it jibes with a previous report of the incident.

John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7

Morris will likely at least be fined. Considering his previous behavioral problems this season – he threw a towel at Jeff Hornacek – I wouldn’t completely rule out a suspension. But a fine seems most likely.

Dwight Howard commits ridiculously sloppy inbound violation (video)

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An embarrassing lack of focus by the Rockets? I can hardly believe it.

Late in a game against a team Houston is battling for playoff position, Dwight Howard was just careless, stepping on the baseline as he inbounded the ball. It’s a needless goof, and he’ll get plenty of deserved criticism for it.

But don’t overlook Patrick Beverley‘s frustration foul on Damian Lillard before the ensuing inbound. That was nearly as foolish and even more costly.

The sequence sparked a 7-0 run for the Trail Blazers, who seized control of the game en route to a 116-103 win.

DeAndre Jordan dunks on Marcus Smart before Smart knows what’s happening (video)

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Marcus Smart went to tag DeAndre Jordan on the pick-and-roll, and Jordan took off from so far from the basket, he was dunking on Smart before the Celtics guard could do a thing.