The NBA and its teams have worked overtime in recent years to come up with fresh new jerseys in the interest of moving more merchandise. There have been special uniforms to honor Latin heritage, rebrands andredesigns, retro reissues and short-sleeved strips, aslew of alternate unis and, in some cases, a little bit of everything. We're not quite yet at the point where every team's uniforms will feature overt sponsorship, but we learned Monday that this season could bring a new wrinkle that some might find even odder than an encroaching logo: players' nicknames.
[Photos: What nickname jerseys might look like]
Bleacher Report's Ethan J. Skolnick cited Miami Heatsources in reporting that the team "has discussed" using nicknames to "replace last names above players' numbers on the upper back of one of their alternate jersey styles." The experiment apparently won't be limited to South Beach, though; Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press followed with a report that some members of the Heat "have been told the NBA is considering having them and the Brooklyn Nets wear 'nickname jerseys' in at least one of their four matchups this season." The Heat declined comment to Skolnick, and Reynolds wrote that the NBA "has not announced the plan," though he noted that the Heat and Nets "apparently have been aware of the likelihood of it happening for at least several weeks."
Heat sharpshooter Ray Allen seems kind of into the idea, according to Reynolds:
"It shows growth in our league and it shows we do adapt to what's going on around us," said Allen, the Heat guard who plans to wear Shuttlesworth on his jersey, a nod to his character from the "He Got Game" film. "And we're still kids, playing a kids' game. Even though we're now men playing a kids' game, we still remember where we come from. Everybody had a nickname and it's a way to let the fans in a little bit more." [...]
"Fans will like it and so will a lot of the players," Allen said. "Guys will get a good kick out of it."
Sure, although it'd be cooler if Allen used the first name of the character he played — y'know, the iconic name everybody called him — rather than the last. (Though you can understand why the league might not be too cool with that.)
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