SAN ANTONIO -- The short-sleeved jerseys introduced across the NBA this season have been popular with fans and big sellers in stores.
But LeBron James is not a fan.
James partly blamed the jersey for his off shooting night in the Miami Heat's 111-87 loss Thursday to the San Antonio Spurs. He was 6-of-18 from the field, his second-worst shooting game of the season.
"I'm not making excuses, but I'm not a big fan of the jerseys," said James, who had 19 points. "Every time I shoot it feels like it's just pulling right up underneath my arm. I already don't have much room for error on my jump shot. It's definitely not a good thing."
James said the sleeves affect him on long-range shots, especially 3-pointers. He was quick to point out that the jersey also bothered him on Christmas Day, when he shot 0-of-4 from 3-point range in a win over the Los Angeles Lakers, and during the All-Star Game last month, when he was 0-of-7 on 3-pointers in sleeves.
Thursday was a night of equipment malfunctions for James. Unhappy with the plastic mask he was wearing to protect his broken nose -- the same one he scored 61 points while wearing it Monday against Charlotte -- James flung it off after the first quarter and didn't put it back on.
"I don't like it," he said. "I got a message from my wife at halftime telling me to put it back on, so I may be in trouble when I get home."
Regarding the sleeved jerseys, other players have complained, but the league has disputed that the jerseys have caused problems.
"We know that shooting percentages are virtually exactly the same for games in which we have sleeved jerseys and teams in which the guys are wearing conventional jerseys," NBA commissioner Adam Silver said over All-Star Weekend. "So I'm pretty comfortable from a competitive standpoint that it's having no impact."
Silver said that while there's an "enormous demand" from fans for the jerseys in stores, the league would address the issue if players felt uncomfortable.
"I have to figure something out the next time I have to wear them," James said.
When informed the Heat were done wearing the jerseys this season, he replied, "good."