Special jerseys being worn by NBA teams has been a staple of the NBA’s Christmas Day slate for much of the last few years. In Nike’s first year of an eight-year, $1 billion deal as the official apparel provider of the NBA, however, it forgot or purposely eschewed honoring the tradition. In year’s past, the NBA’s Christmas Day jerseys have received mixed reviews.
In 2012, the monochromatic “Big Color” jerseys drew ire. The next Christmas, “Big Logo” jerseys drew a positive reaction. Most recently, the festive font uniforms were a smash hit. This year, Nike treated NBA teams like kids on a naughty list and didn’t even present them with new designs. Predictably, criticism has been sharp.
Nike also missed out on an opportunity to line its pockets like Adidas, the NBA’s previous apparel provider, did by advertising and then selling Christmas jerseys on its online store. Coupled with the breakaway jersey problem that’s emerged this year, the NBA’s Nike era is off to a choppy start.
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