March 15, 2011
Poor Wilson Chandler(notes). Guy's just starting to get acclimated to a new town, new team and new situation after being traded from the New York Knicks to the Denver Nuggets in the big Carmelo Anthony deal, and then they screw up his last name on the back of the jersey he wore during Denver's Monday night match-up with the New Orleans Hornets. It's enough to make a fella feel unwelcome. Downright rude, is what it is.
Of course, Chandler shouldn't take the transposition of the letters "d" and "l" in his last name personally — the inversion makes him just the most recent victim of the vicissitudes of speed stitching in the NBA this season, following the spaced-out debacle that Mustafa Shakur(notes) had to wear in his big-show season debut and Andray Blatche's(notes) "Baltche" bummer, both courtesy of the Washington Wizards, and the Hornets' Jason Smith(notes) hitting the court with a shirt that read "Smiht" a couple of weeks back. Illustrious company, to be sure.
As Benjamin Hochman of the Denver Post noted, the Nuggets' staff corrected the error at halftime, sending Chandler out for the third quarter with his name spelled properly. He promptly hit five of six field goal attempts in the frame, including four 3-pointers, en route to 21 points and seven rebounds in the Nuggets' 114-103 victory. Credit the Nuggets crew, at least, with cleaning up the mess before it ran the full four stanzas. (Back on Feb. 27, the Hornets fixed up Smith's "Smiht" jersey even quicker, making the change between the first and second quarters.)
Add Wizards rookie Kevin Seraphin's(notes) late January reversal of shorts-une to the aforementioned jersey fouls, and it hasn't exactly been a stellar run of uniform excellence for the NBA — five glitches in 52 days, as Uni Watch's Paul Lukas points out. And while people in all fields make mistakes, one high-profile blunder every 10 days or so really isn't a good look.
C'mon, NBA! Let's tighten things up over the next couple of weeks as the eyes of the world gravitate toward the college game before coming back around to the pros in time for the playoffs. I know a couple of great copy-editors — for a small fee, I'm sure they'd be more than happy to give the jerseys a last look before you send the players out of the locker room.