Hot Take Express: The Sleeved Cavs Jerseys Ruined My Day

Sometimes you just need to fire off a quick #HotTake about how something is either the best thing ever or the worst thing ever. Welcome to Hot Take Express. The train is leaving the station. Don’t forget your oven mitts when handling this hot take.


These are the worst uniforms I’ve ever laid eyes on as a fan of the Cleveland Cavaliers, or any Cleveland team for that matter. These are the Tampa Bay Buccaneers of Cleveland jerseys.

I’m a bit of a uniform buff. The Cavs, if they’re going to abandon the 2003–2010 blue alternates, should at least stick to the plain ones I’ve finally gotten used to. There’s nothing exciting about their standard post-2010 jerseys, but I’ll live. Mix things up with one of the many throwbacks. Pick one. They’re all great. This is not a franchise that should be struggling for good jersey options. In fact, I may even argue that I like every single jersey the Cavs have ever worn.

So why am I watching them play in black, sleeved jerseys right now?

They look like an intramural team. If I went to the gym to play a game of HORSE, I’d be wearing the same outfit that Kevin Love is wearing right now. This is a problem. The facts back me up here: The team just shot 36% from the floor in the first half. James, Love, and Williams combined to shoot 33%. LeBron literally destroyed his jersey in order to free his biceps from their fabric prison. He tore his jersey apart like The Incredible Hulk, and then finished the job on the bench with a pair of scissors during the next timeout.

This should not be happening.

Towards the end of the 2013–14 season, LeBron officially joined the list of players on the #AntiSleeves train. After a particularly poor shooting performance against the Spurs, he complained to the media. The New York Times noted his 44.4% 2014 FG% in sleeves. Compare that to his 58.3% average for that season in the traditional sleeveless.

Now LeBron is back home in Cleveland and the Cavs are the favorites to win the NBA Title. Suspiciously, the Cavs now unveil the first sleeved jersey in franchise history. When sleeved jerseys first became trendy, the Cavs were awful and LeBron was in Miami. The sleeved abominations have never made their way to Cleveland… until this year. We all know LeBron James struggles in sleeves. The NBA knows LeBron James struggles in sleeves. Apparel outfitter Adidas knows LeBron James struggles in sleeves.

Suspicious? Yes. Conspiracy? Also yes. Illuminati? Undoubtedly.

LeBron is signed to Nike. Adidas makes the NBA jerseys. Sabotage? #Yes.

The Cavs will win the NBA Championship next June, but not if these t-shirts from hell have anything to say about it.