NBA star LeBron James made headlines Wednesday after he ripped the sleeves on his jersey during the middle of a game.
The two-time NBA champion seemed to be very frustrated during the second quarter of the game against New York Knicks, according to Yahoo! Sports. That frustration was likely worsened by the fact that the New York Knicks were up by nine points with only seven minutes remaining in the half.
Moments after LeBron James missed a three-point shot, the camera crew caught him ripping both of his sleeves with his bare hands as he made his way towards the opposite end of the court.
Close-up footage of the 30-year-old player ripping his sleeves quickly became viral thanks to social media.
LeBron James has had enough of the sleeved NBA jerseys. 😱 https://t.co/f3BfFXBFzL
— NBA SKITS (@NBA_Skits) November 5, 2015
There was one main question that was left in the minds of many fans, critics, and viewers when LeBron ripped his jersey: Would it make a difference in his performance? At that point of the game, LeBron James had only made four out of 11 shots from the field and missed all three of his attempts at making a three-point shot.
However, that particular moment of the game apparently was a slight turning point for the four-time NBA MVP, and the stats of his performance seem to support that theory.
After he ripped his sleeves, LeBron scored 15 points, grabbed four rebounds, stole the ball once, and assisted with three shots. The Cavaliers were down by nine points before the half, but LeBron James helped his team eventually win the game by 10 points in a 96-86 victory.
During a post-game interview, according to the NBA, LeBron explained exactly why he was frustrated as well as why he chose to take out that frustration on his jersey sleeves.
“I was just frustrated with myself. I was just off rhythm and the jersey is the only thing I can go to. I couldn’t do nothing to my face. I couldn’t make a bucket so I had to take it out on something.”
When James was asked whether or not he would wear the sleeves again, he shifted that decision to the thoughts and feelings of the fans more so than his own personal opinion.
“If the fans love them, I love them. If our fans love the uniforms, I’ll wear them for 48 (minutes). I’m so used to the sleeveless cutoffs, the tank top. I’ve been playing in tank tops all my life.”
According to the NBA, the Cleveland Cavaliers will be required to wear the sleeved jersey up to six times throughout the season.
The overall reaction to LeBron James’ decision to rip his sleeves out of frustration in the middle of a game was fairly mixed on Twitter. Some applauded him for his efforts, but apparently not everyone viewed it in the same positive light.
— ConnorSmith (@ConnorWSmith) November 5, 2015
Seriously, the LeBron James sleeve tear was cool and all, but that has to be some sort of jersey violation right?
— Ray Boyd (@BoydOnSports) November 5, 2015
If LeBron James can get rid of those awful sleeve jerseys God bless him.
— Chuck Conry (@chuckconry) November 5, 2015
I bet after seeing Lebron James rip the sleeve from those awful t-shirt style jersey the NBA will finally stop making teams wear them
— Jon Moore (@JonnyStarlight) November 5, 2015
When it comes to his poor three-point shooting, LeBron James admitted in the post-game interview that he’s “got to work on it” and he’s “just out of rhythm.” He further explained that he did hit one big shot during the game against the Knicks, so now he just needs to focus on consistency in that regard.
[Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images]