Nike Had More Than 2 Years To Make Their NBA Jerseys, But Failed Spectacularly

Bryan Brandom
(Photo: Getty Images / NBC Sports)

Back in June 2015, the NBA announced they’d be ditching Adidas in favor of Nike as their apparel provider.

The corporation with a $30 billion revenue that year had 17 months to come up with a passable league-wide jersey before the start of the 2017-18 season, when the deal was to begin.

They just didn’t do it.

So far at least five players’ jerseys have ripped in the middle of a game, including those of LeBron James, Draymond Green, and Tyler Ennis.

On Friday, Ben Simmons‘ jersey was ripped clear off.

Yesterday, Kevin Love‘s came undone. Though he might have helped.

Love’s teammate Dwyane Wade hasn’t had his jersey disintegrate on him yet, but don’t ask him about the shirt’s sweat-wicking capabilities.

According to a piece Nike published a month before the season, the company had tested the jerseys on players in practice for “about a year”:

To put the design to the test and to gather insight on how the athletes feel in the uniforms, several NBA teams including the Jazz, the Mavericks and the Blazers, as well as various college teams tested the uniforms. “They practiced in the uniforms and immediately shared feedback with designers and product managers on things like how much coverage they wanted in the strap or around the arm hole, how long the short would be, and so on,” says [Kurt Parker, Nike’s vice president of apparel design].

Sounds like the members of the Utah Jazz, Portland Trail Blazers, Dallas Mavericks, and various college teams entrusted with the task of testing out the jerseys and giving feedback were too afraid to tell Nike the things had fallen apart after a week.