Saturday, June 12, 2010

Jerseys are magical

Check out the new threads for Team USA. And as usual, Nike has gone scientific on us.

When the United States men's national basketball team heads to Turkey for the FIBA World Championships this summer, they're going to look pretty cool. It's hard to mess up red, white and blue, and the various manufacturers who have supplied their uniforms throughout the years haven't made very many missteps. But this year, they're also going to feel cool thanks to a couple tweaks by Nike.

Through some kind of clothing wizardry, Nike has eliminated more than 13 inches of fabric from a typical basketball jersey, and probably double that when compared to Allan Houston's tarp-like mid-90s shirt. The back of the jersey will once again feature "Aerographics," which you probably know as those intricately-designed perforations that make it look like everyone has a super sweaty back like Patrick Ewing. And yes, that's two zings on the New York Knicks, who have been the antithesis of on-court aesthetics for two decades running. Make that three.

Aside from the extra tailoring, the jerseys are about the same. The shorts are the big story, as far as international basketball clothing news goes. Thanks to Nike's new Hyperelite design, the shorts are about half as light as a normal basketball short when dry. Get them wet — like, you know, from sweating during a game — and they're even better, weighing less when soaked (10.1 oz.) than a normal pair does when dry (13.6).

Don't ask me how that's done, I think they're defying the laws of physics.

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