Nike officials reportedly spent much of Wednesday in meetings about the wardrobe malfunction that befell its highest-paid active NBA spokesman.
In case you missed it, the jersey of Cleveland Cavaliers superstar LeBron James – made by Nike – split clean down the middle during Tuesday night’s home opener against the Boston Celtics.
Although Nike officials declined to publicly comment, sources told ESPN that executives with the shoe and apparel company were extensively reviewing how it could happen.
When Boston Celtics guard Jaylen Brown grabbed at James’ jersey while defending him, the jersey ripped, separating the Nos. 2 and 3 on the back of his uniform.
The NBA jerseys were being worn for the first time in a regular-season game, as Nike outbid Adidas to win the rights to be the league’s official uniform supplier. The company signed an eight-year deal that sources say is worth approximately $1 billion. This summer, Nike boasted its NBA jerseys would wick sweat 30 percent faster than the previous Adidas jerseys, thanks to a product it calls Alpha Yarns and recycled polyester.
The company used jerseys of a similar makeup for last year’s Summer Olympics in Brazil and with some select college basketball teams during last season with no issues.
But before LeBron’s split, Los Angeles Lakers guard Tyler Ennis had his jersey ripped during the preseason opener on Oct. 1, and the 0 in his No. 10 uniform was left hanging.
Meanwhile, James’ torn jersey itself, which was being examined at to find any unforeseen issues, is being auctioned by the NBA, along with other jerseys from opening night, with the proceeds going to hurricane-relief efforts. The auction closes on Oct. 26.
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