UPDATE: Some photos of the actual “Rip City” jersey with sleeves (click the images for larger versions) …
It has been rumored for some time that all “pride” jerseys, such as Portland’s “Rip City” and Detroit’s “Motor City” uniform options, would be converted to short sleeve jerseys sooner or later as mandated by the NBA. That time is now.
The NBA released designs for the 2014-15 season “pride” jerseys, including the “Rip City” version, and all feature the short sleeves that the league has been testing for the last two seasons. Take a look.
The Trail Blazers have yet to wear sleeved jerseys in a regular season game, so whenever they break these out next season will be the first opportunity to really gauge whether or not these work. Players haven’t really taken to the sleeves for both performance and aesthetic reasons and the “Rip City” jerseys are possibly the most popular of the Trail Blazers jersey options, so any change is going to be met with some level of disapproval. But as far as a shirt goes, I think it looks pretty good.
You can also see the jerseys will feature a gold tag commemorating Portland’s 1977 NBA Championship victory. All teams that have won championships will sport the same patch on all jersey variations.
The change is being dictated by the NBA, so even if the teams protested (and some surely did), the decision was likely to be the same. Some have opined that the sleeves are the logical destination for advertisements, if and when the league decides to swim in that revenue stream, which might be one of the reasons for the insistence on sleeves.